“Juvenile crime is not naturally born in the boy, but is largely due either to the spirit of adventure that is in him, to his own stupidity, or to his lack of discipline, according to the nature of the individual.”
The number of Juvenile Delinquents has risen over a past two decades. This has become a major issue for a country like India, where 20% of the population is comprise of the young ones whose age is between 12 to 18 years. According to the data provided by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, it has been found that number of cases related to the Juvenile crime has increased by 69% ( approx ) from 2001 ( 16509 cases ) to 2015 ( 31396 cases ).
Factors That Leads to the Increase in Juvenile Crime:
Economic Factors: Poverty has forced many teenagers to practice criminal activities. Around 55% of children in India is living under Below Poverty Line ( BPL ). So in order to full fill their nourishment they are been forced to choose the world of crime. Some teenagers indulge themselves into these criminal activities in order to earn large profits. Children whose parents are comparatively poor cannot full fill, all of their child’s need ( mostly the unwanted ones ) and hence, these children themselves find some criminal ways by which they can full fill their unwanted needs.
Social Factors: Society plays an important role in grooming the behaviour of a child. A poor society is responsible for increase in Juvenile Delinquents. It includes the discrimination of children which is done by the society on the grounds of race, caste, sex, religion, rich and poor, etc. This discrimination plays a role of a demon in a child’s mind and hence at a very young age they chooses the path of crime. Child trafficking is among the social factors which has led to the increase juvenile crime rates. Children are being tortured to do those activities which are not legal. Besides, the congested neighborhoods and slums is also one of the factors which has increased the Juvenile Delinquency in India. It has been found that the number of children convicted to the criminal activities in cities are mostly from the slums society.
Religion Factors: The increase in the communal violence among the different communities has led to the increase in Juvenile crimes. Some so called religion’s scholars who for their own benefit, influence many children to practice criminal activities in the name of religion. These scholars sow seeds of communal hatred in a child’s mind and hence instead of holding a pen or pencil, they are forced to hold weapons. The example of it includes the various militants group around the world, who influence children to become terrorist and thereby creating danger to the society.
Family Factors: In this fast-paced world, parents never get time for their children. It thus have a deep impact on a child’s mind, considering teenage is the time when one is most vulnerable to stray. They ( Parents ) fail to teach their child some more values of life. Instead of teaching them ( children ) the importance of sharing, the children are been taught to “ always think about themselves ”. They neglect their child’s mistakes, that further gives them the license to continue on with their mistakes.
Education Factors: Literacy plays a vital role in making a child understand the difference between “ what is wrong? ” and “ what is right? ” Despite having Article 21(A) ( Right to free and compulsory education for all the children ) in the Indian Constitution, children are still not being educated on the real grounds. At least 35 million children aged 6 – 14 years do not attend school. 53% of girls and 42% of boys in the age group of 5 to 9 years are illiterate. Dropout rates increase alarmingly in class III to V, its 50% for boys, 58% for girls. So if the children are not educated, then how can they differentiate among ‘good’ or ‘bad’ things.
Media Factors: Mass media has also lead to the increase in Juvenile Crimes in India. Most shows on television and a majority of movies glamorize violence, sex and darkness. Social media sites are also brain washing children’s minds on topics related to communal hatred and violence. Even games on the computer and mobile phones push players to the extremes. The example of it is the recent Blue Whale suicide challenge, which assigns increasingly harmful tasks to players and finally challenges them to kill themselves on the 50th day.
Government Role for Preventing Re-Offending by Minors:
The Government of India is taking various measures to prevent young offenders from re-offending. It includes:
Personalised Approach: Every child is different and deserves support that is specifically tailored to him. For example, an aggressive child can be ordered to attend a course to learn how to control aggression. The Offending Behaviour Programmes Accreditation Committee reviews the courses to determine whether they have actually had the desired effect.
Education Programmes: The Government of India provides training and education for the young offenders at the end of their custodial period. Besides Government of India also provide free education to all the children below the age of 14.
Support and Guidance: The Child Protection Board, the Youth Probation Service and municipalities work together in network and process-related consultative bodies. They arrange shelter, income, education and/or work for young offenders upon release.
Strengthened of Law against the Juvenile Delinquents: The Juvenile Justice Bill of 2014, strengthened the law against crimes done by the children. According to this bill, the imprisoned of 3 years(Juvenile Justice Act 2000) has now been increased to 7 years and more depending upon the type of crime committed by that offender. This will stop the offenders from re-offending and other children as well to commit crime.
But we cannot say all the time, that it’s a job of Government to reduce Juvenile Crime rates in India. As a citizen of this country even we have some fundamental duties for our society, which we should do. It includes, properly guiding own children and society’s children. Teaching them some moral values of life and help them differentiate among ‘good’ things and ‘bad’ things.