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Essay on Juvenile Delinquency

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❶Even more intelligent psychopaths and gangs exploit them and include them in their group.

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Thus, the perpetrators must be tried under adult laws. It is hard to argue this position as the crimes committed by gang members, regardless of their age, are often as serious and heinous as the ones committed by adults. If one looks at the problem from one point of view, it is hard to understand why the criminal cannot be punished with the entire severity of the law.

As the number of youngsters who get arrested for serious offences increases, it is only natural to believe that the severity of their punishments must be increased as well. This should make the perpetrators understand the real extent of their actions.

A person who is duly punished for breaking the law will be wearier of repeating the act. This cannot be said about someone whose punishment is too light when compared to the crime committed. Is it fair to punish a minor under the laws designed for adults? The issue of morals makes answering this question more difficult, as people are taught that the same rules for adults cannot be applied to children.

The differences in their attitudes and psyche are too big to overlook. The leaders of juvenile gangs fall into this category, so it is only logical that they can manipulate those who are struggling to find their place in the world, while suffering under the onslaught of hormones triggered by puberty.

This unstable psychological condition is the main reason that explains why minors are perceived as incapable of taking the blame for their actions. However, teenage angst can hardly be seen as an excuse to commit a serious crime. This is not a matter of not seeing the right from wrong. There are laws that must be complied with, and not doing so is wrong by default. People who support the idea that juvenile delinquency should be perceived as a less serious crime, based solely on the age of the offenders, do not see the whole picture.

If the nature of the acts committed by minors is serious enough to be tried under adult laws, this is the course of action that should be taken. As per the reports of Caputo and Mandell , Kiestor in about one per cent of the delinquents brain damage leads to lower inhibitory controls and a tendency to show violent behaviour.

Large number of persistent delinquents have been found to possess the traits and characteristics of antisocial and psychopathic personalities. They seem to be quite impulsive, callus, and socially insensitive, they do not have the feelings of sorrow, guilt and repentance. They are not able to establish suitable interpersonal relationship and they do not learn anything from experience in a constructive way.

The persistent delinquents also do not seem to have any reality control or inner conscience or morality. So, they indulge in whatever they wish, which give them pleasure and satisfy their ego with assessing its impact upon the society and their final consequence. For example, they may steal a very little money actually they do not need or they may steal a scooter, a car or snatch a golden chain without any need or necessity. Just to fulfil their aggressive and sadistic tendency they may drive their car to a small distance, break some parts of the car and leave it there.

They just want to satisfy their destructive tendency, which gives them pleasure. Many psychopathic delinquents are found to cut the brand new cushions in theaters and movie halls. This author has also observed many delinquents of years age who are in the habit of breaking the electric bulb in every lamp post on the road without any reason, in the presence of other people in broad day light.

They just did not care, use abusive language and again repeat their aggressive behaviour with more vigour. Actually, the delinquents do not involve themselves in such nuisance for personal gain, but it really reflects their underlying resentment and hostility towards the outer world, the world for which they have no feeling of involvement or belongingness.

There are others who just move around in a gang aimlessly and get pleasure in eve teasing, in passing filthy remarks whenever a member of the fair sex passes by. Such people are really at the mercy of their uncontrolled, uninhibited impulses. It would be interesting to note that currently the incidence of psychopathic personality in female delinquents has increased quite rapidly as reports suggest.

Fine and Fishman conducted a study on girls in a State Correctional Institution in Kentuky to know their general personality characteristics. They found rebelliousness, inadequacy, impulsiveness, instability and immature characteristics commonly found in the psychopathic personality.

It was also found by Ganzer and Sarason that females more frequently come from personally and socially disorganised families than did males. The theories of both sheldon and Eysenck stress genetic aspects along with environmental aspects to explain delinquent behaviour. Quite a large number of delinquents particularly those who are engaged in theft, prostitution and physical assault are found to be addicted to drugs, like heroin, secobarbital and alcohol.

Drug addicted females are usually engaged in stealing and prostitution. Various studies have been conducted to find out the relationship between intelligence and delinquent behaviour to solve the controversy whether delinquency is environmental or genetic.

Long ago, an Italian Scientist Lumbroso made certain empirical studies on crime, and held that criminals have defective physical structure and defective intelligence. Therefore, various steps have been taken to measure the I. The study conducted by Healy, Burt and others have demonstrated clearly that delinquents are not mental defectives. But, nevertheless, the average intelligence of the delinquent group is lower than the average intelligence of the normal group.

It is also found that compared to the normal children a larger proportion of mental defectives are found in the Juvenile group. Various investigators have reported different percentage of average I. Healy and Bronner found it to be 90, Burt found it to be 85, Merril found it to be The above data of different investigators reveal that the average intelligence of delinquents happen to be lower than the average I. These data also give clear signal that the Juvenile delinquents as a group, at large, are not mentally defective though they are below average.

Such people have no foresight to the consequences and significance of their action. That is why, they commit various impulsive behaviour, like small aggressive acts, petty stealing and various other sexual offences.

Even more intelligent psychopaths and gangs exploit them and include them in their group. In some cases, mental retardation is associated with serious brain damage and leads to a combination of features of both the organic and the mentally retarded delinquents.

The above facts lead one to conclude that Juvenile delinquents differ from normal persons in degree and not in kind so far, as their I. Hence, Juvenile delinquents cannot be looked upon as a group of mental defectives. Some other studies also show that below 70 I. But in the delinquent groups there are 12 to 15 per cent mental defectives. Thus, the number of mentally defective children among the delinquents is about times larger than in a normal population says Kupuswamy.

Uday Sankar conducted a study the mental ability of the delinquents and found that the proportions of mentally defective children is very high among the Juvenile delinquents he has studied. Merril made a comparative study of the average intelligence of the delinquents and non-delinquents.

It was found that the average intelligence of juvenile delinquents from socially and economically handicapped group is low. While those coming from higher socio economic groups was higher. The average intelligence of children from the non- delinquent, but lower groups is also low. Merril took a controlled group and an experimental group, each group with boys and girls.

In the experimental group, the boys and girls were delinquents while in the control group they were non-delinquents. The socio-economic status of both the groups were kept constant. Results showed that while the average I. The results, thus, did not show any significant difference between the I.

So, Merril held that it is not justified to assume that larger proportion of the delinquents have lower I. However, it is possible that the higher I. In case, they are caught by the police, the intelligent juveniles escape while the less intelligent juveniles arc trapped. Such incidents are not rare in our society. The innocent ones are caught easily because of their lack of understanding and lack of capacity to solve the immediate problems facing them.

About 3 to 5 per cent of delinquent behaviour, seems to be directly associated with psychoneurotic disorders. Here, the delinquent act is mainly tinged with compulsive behaviour, such as stealing things which one actually does not need, or compelled to do.

He will not be stable and remain at peace unless he does these acts. This type of compulsive acts also lead to sexual deviant behaviour because of the sexual restrictions and beliefs that masturbation and other forms of overt sexual behaviour are very much undesirable and a sin.

In a limited number of cases, i. Then, there is an explosive outburst of violent behaviour like volcanic eruption. Here, the delinquent act is the function of terrible personality, maladjustment and disturbances rather than a consistent antisocial orientation. Delinquency as an antisocial personality is the function of certain pathological and ill developed social environment. Wrong handling and faulty upbringing of the child lead to several emotional problems in the child.

Various observations, case histories and interviews have indicated that quite a high percentage of the delinquents displayed emotional disturbances.

Feeling of inadequacy, inferiority etc. The feeling of insecurity, rejection of the parents and other members of the family were next important factors causing delinquent behaviour. Disharmony and problems of discipline were found in one third of the delinquents. Quite a number of them also expressed sibling rivalry and jealousy. All these data lead to show that various emotional problems like insecurity, inferiority, jealousy, feeling of being neglected and let down were very common among the delinquent children.

The need for recognition and resentment against the sense of insecurity provides enough scope for a person to be delinquent. Rebellious feeling in oneself makes one antisocial and delinquent. Because of these emotional problems which are created by dehumanised social conditions the person becomes a delinquent and tries to take action, against others.

It is a fact that by their antisocial, sadistic and aggressive action they try to get pleasure and mental satisfaction. Because of their emotional problems, they should be considered as maladjusted personalities and not as peculiar human beings, who differ from other human beings not in degree but in kind.

They should not be considered as abnormal human beings. Their needs and desires are very much normal, but they have become so because of faulty family upbringing. They become hostile and aggressive because they feel threatened and insecured.

He is not able to control his impulsive needs. In his case neither realistic considerations, nor moral considerations operate to check his impulsive actions. Stott holds that delinquent breaks down is an escape from emotional situation which for the particular individual with the various conditioning of his background becomes almost temporarily invariable.

When the parents or one of them use rigid discipline, it increases hostility in the child. Because of rigid discipline all his wishes and desires are suppressed and restrained.

This leads to the development of an antisocial, rebellious and hostile personality in the growing child. By constant suppression of desires the child never feels free and clear. Conflicting views of parents and teachers regarding discipline also contribute.

If the child rearing practices are faulty and are based on rigid, dictatorial principles, if the child is always left to cry and cry, if the child is not handled with due love and affection, if the discipline is harsh, inconsistent and irrational, his suppressed and repressed aggression is vented through anti-social and delinquent behaviour.

Prolonged parental deprivation particularly at the early age of life, between years is extremely adverse for the normal personality development of the child. The affectionless and loveless life due to proper parenting and judicious child rearing practices lead to several maladjustments and in some cases juvenile delinquency.

Bowlby compared 44 children who committed various thefts and hence were kept in the London child Guidance Clinic for treatment with 44 normal children of the same age and Socio-economic status, who came to the clinic for treatment but who did not steal.

But in the control group only 02 were separated from their mothers. But there are other factors besides parental deprivation which influence the development of delinquency. Stott is of opinion that security, affection, love and proper attention from the parents are basically required for the proper growth of personality of the child. Those children who do not get this from their parents become susceptible to delinquency.

By becoming delinquents they try to get attention from their parents. Further they with an attitude of revolt try to teach their parents a lesson. Some also become vindictive and develop antisocial, reactionary, negative behaviour. They get sadistic satisfaction by giving pain to their parents and causing them worry.

They get pleasure by seeing them suffering. Lower socio-economic status parents usually remain absent from home for earning their bread. Both the father and mother work from morning to evening outside. So the child is deprived from parental care and is neglected. They also cannot provide a baby sister to take care of the baby because of their poverty.

Since the parents of low S. To add to this the school going children do not get scope for going to good school for their educational and social development. All these factors either separately or in combination pave the way for delinquency. Studies show that children coming from broken homes, where parents are separated or divorced, lead to delinquent behaviour, than those children coining from broken homes where the home is broken by the death of the parents or one of the parents.

In Western countries, where separation and divorce of parents are more common, this is a major cause of delinquency. But in India, though currently separation and divorce cases are increasing day by day, they are not so rampant like their Western counterparts and hence, is not a major cause of delinquency. In a study of institutionalized delinquents in the State of Colorado, Barker and Adams found that only about one-third of the boys and girls come from complete home setting, i.

British and American Investigations reveal that nearly 50 per cent of the delinquents come from broken homes. Glueck and Glueck , Ulmar and Bandura have found high presence of socio- pathic traits in the parents of the delinquents. All these traits make the father an inadequate and unacceptable model for the child. According to Scharfman and Clark the chief variables of the delinquent behaviour of girls were: In studies on juvenile delinquency, Martin and others have emphasized the feeling of unrelatedness and detachment from the family and society as a key cause of delinquency.

Communication gap with one or both parents leads to the failure to learn appropriate social values. This finally leads to a tendency to act out inner tension in hostile and destructive manner. The question is why this feeling of unrelatedness or insecurity arises in young people who differ vastly in age I.

A key source of this feeling appears to be parental absenteeism. When parents are too much absorbed in their own occupations and activities and do not provide the youth optimum attention, necessary support and encouragement during the crisis period of the growing age, they turn to peers and others as models who might be lacking the qualities of ideal models for the child.

When the father is mostly busy with his own work and commitments or in other works, and if he plays a submissive role in the family, the mother takes over the function of providing affection and discipline of the boy. In certain cases, it is found that by nature the mother because of her aggressive personality pattern or earning capacity plays a dominant role compared to the father.

When the child grows up with a mother dominance atmosphere in the family, he starts identifying with the mother and greatly depends upon him as a role model. With this type of attitude when he reaches adolscence, it becomes difficult for the boy to develop a masculine self concept.

Thus, now he tries to express his masculanity, independence courage and finally the so called male ego in rebellious and proving offences. By being engaged in such anti-social acts, he gets the satisfaction that he is really masculine. Andry, on the basis of the findings of his studies, concluded that the delinquent boys felt rejected by their fathers but loved by their mothers.

Non-delinquent boys on the other hand felt to be equally loved and cared by both the parents. A child who is rejected by his parents day in and day out, develops, naturally, an inner feeling of hostility towards him. The gap in communication and lack of understanding between the father and the child paves the way for anti-social behaviour in the form of anguish, aggression and hostility. When he finds that a large part of his world is unable to deal with him properly, he in turn does not like to understand the world either.

This hostility is transformed in the form of anti-social and delinquent behaviour. He, infact, lacks normal inner controls. He does not have the basic values of life. So, he tends to act out his aggressive impulses.

Delinquency is said to be a gang experience. In support of this view, Haney and Gold found that about 66 per cent of the delinquent behaviours are committed in association with other persons. Usually it is a homogenious group so far, as sex is concerned. But in selected cases, as found now a days girls and boys also form gangs and delinquent groups.

Many ego psychologists view that the modern youth is only a bundle of confusions as far as his values of life is concerned. Most surprisingly, it is common in youths coming from all socio-economic levels. There is a communication gap and a generation gap.

They do not accept the values of their parents or grandparents and they are even confused of their so called own values and sense of identity. There is also identity crisis in many of them. Thus, in short, they are all in a mess. They do not know what to accept and what to reject.

They always experience a feeling of alienation from family as well as society. This lack of identification and development of clear values turn them to the outer world to peers gangs and friends for guidance and approval.

There are innumerable instances where many modern youths who run away from home as a sort of reaction to their rebellious feeling, tend to join gangs indulged in delinquent behaviour, prostitution etc. In the same manner, socially disadvantaged youths, such as belonging to lower income groups, lower caste groups and having very little education, having lower status in the society may turn to delinquency also.

With the increase in urbanization and industrialization, family ties grow weaker. Joint family systems are gradually disintegrating. People prefer to have their own family of husband and wife and children.

With the formation of mass society, influence of technology on society and erosion of values, social disintegration is increasing day by day. Joint family system has now become a dream. Tolerance and sense of sacrifice and feeling of cooperation is decreasing day by day. Divorce and remarriage are quite common in the Western countries and urban areas.

Though some decades back in India the public opinion was very strong against divorce and remarriage, now it has changed to some extent with the increase in industrialization and urbanization. The effect of social disintegration, erosion of values, lack of sense of social sacrifice and commitment for the society may make many children social rejects.

Young boys and girls who lack the motivation to do well in school because of various familial and social factors and become drop outs who are social isolates as soon as they can. Normally, they do not qualify for any job.

Irrespective of class, sex social status and wealth, they generally feel useless and unneeded by the society.

This lack of hope, feeling of uselessness and that they are rejected by the society, lead them to show undesirable anti-social behaviour. Many of them remain unemployed. Those who somehow get some employment are funnily unable to hold the job, and so, they shift from job to job, engage in delinquent behaviour, partly as a result of frustration and partly due to confusion and hopelessness.

This includes the rebellion with the norms of the society. If a person is rejected by the society, his inner tension is often revealed in serious delinquent acts beating and fighting leading to serious physical injury. As Jenkins has put it, the socialized delinquents represent not a failure of socialization but a limitation of loyalty to a more or less pedatory peer group.

The basic capacities for social relationship has been achieved. What is lacking in an effective integration with the larger society as a contributing member. In addition to other important causes of delinquency, those who feel inadequate and rejected by the group and society join gangs, peer groups and companions and indulge in anti-social activities.

As a child grows, he mixes with the members of the neighbourhood and always becomes an important member of their play group. The norms set up for the child at home may not be similar to the norms set up by the play groups.

Because of such differences there may be conflict of values, ideas and norms. Even in the school these norms may be different. He has to conform and adjust with one set of norms at home and another set of norms in the play group and another in the school. Various studies indicate that secondary groups, like neighbourhood, playmates, peers and school, and others in the society which the child comes in contact more often than not all have tremendous effects on the personality of the child.

All these agents of socialization play important role in the process of socialization of the growing child. Overcrowding of cities, lack of space at home, residence at slum areas, location of various shops and business centres in various residential areas of the city, environmental pollution create a lot of social problems.

Such problems have an adverse effect on the social development of the child. Children of such areas do not have a park to play, do not have many recreational facilities. Some of these children of the slum areas invade the industrial belts nearby for some occasional job and are sometimes thrown out because of their inefficiency.

Being frustrated and finding no way out, they mix with other children of the similar category and form gangs. Street corner gangs have tremendous contribution to Juvenile delinquency. Initially, the gang starts as a play group.

In the absence of play ground facility, the children start playing in the streets and eventually organise themselves in to gangs. Various groups of the same or nearby area then start fighting.

Very recently one incident occurred in my residential colony. Two days before the last Ganesh Puja when I reached home from market, I found that the two boys of the paan shop along with some outside teenagers are constructing a pendal adjacent to the paan shop. On enquiry, my orderly peon told me that these boys belong to another nearby colony and they are going to celebrate Ganesh Puja here.

They decorated the pendal and also started playing film songs using a mike two days before the Puja. We were very much disturbed by these unnecessary loud sounds. But nobody dared to object with the apprehension of being misbehaved and malhandled by them. At about 2 A. We got up from sleep and saw that two gangs are fighting with each other. Some of them broke the image of Ganesh and broke the mike. Consequently one members of a gang fell down on the ground with severe blows and head injury.

After this incident immediately the culprits lied from the spot leaving the injured boy there. After ten minutes two persons came and took away the injured boy in a rickshaw. After minutes Police came to the spot and after necessary enquiry booked the culprits. Members of both the gangs were kept under the custody of the Police for the whole day.

Why the two gangs fought? So there was conflict and quarrel between the two gangs. Some members of these gangs are involved in petty theft and anti-social behaviour. They are famous for creating social nuisense. Why a person becomes a member of a gang?


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Essay # 1. Introduction to Juvenile Delinquency: Delinquency has always been considered as a social problem over and above the fact that it is a legal problem.

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