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Juvenile Delinquency Youths who are involved in status offences such a truancy, incorrigibility, larceny, immorality, and ungovernability

fall within the definition of juvenile delinquency. According to Reckless (1956), the term applies to the violation of criminal code and/or pursuit of certain patterns of behaviour disapproved of for children and young adolescents. Thus, both age and behavioural infractions prohibited in the statutes are important in the concept of juvenile delinquency. The difference between a delinquent child and an adult criminal is important. The difference between the two is made by the conduct involved, the methods employed by the court, the philosophy and methods applied in treatment and the individuals status, reputation and civil rights in the community after adjudication. Juvenile delinquents have been classified into groups on the basis of offences committed: (1) incorrigibility (keeping out till late hours, disobedience), (2) truancy (staying away from school), (3) larceny (ranging from petty theft to armed robbery), (4) destruction of property (both public and private), (5) violence (against individual or community by using weapons), (6) sex offences (ranging from homosexuality to rape).

Factors causing Delinquency It is generally agreed that a number of factors play an important part in a youngsters delinquencies. Individual Factors include personality traits such as submissiveness, defiance, hostility, impulsiveness, insecurity, fear, lack of self-control and emotional conflict. Situational Factors include family, companions, school environment, movies and work environment. 1. Family Many believe that family is the most significant factor in the development of juvenile delinquency. Family environment producing delinquent behaviour may be analyzed with reference to a broken home, family tension, parental rejection, parental control and family economics. A normal family is described as one which is structurally complete, functionally adequate, economically secure and morally strong. The family is abnormal if it lacks any of these characteristics. The broken family fails to provide affection and control to the child. Family tension is also a major contributing factor to delinquent behaviour. A youngster does not feel secure and content in the tension-filled family environment. Emotional instability and behavioural disturbances in one or both of the parents also lead to a childs delinquent behaviour. The child of the parents who are constantly in conflict often exploits the situations and gets away with a great deal of misbehavior. Family economics is also an important contributing variable in delinquency. A familys inability to provide for the material needs of the child can create insecurity and affect the amount of control that the family exerts over the child, because he often seeks material support and security outside the home.

2. Neighbourhood The impact of neighbourhood on the child is more in the urban areas than in the rural areas. After the family, the child spends a good part of the day in company of children in his neighbourhood. The neighbourhood can contribute to delinquency by blocking basic personality needs and fostering anti-social values. Congested neighbourhoods with inadequate recreation facilities deny the natural play impulses of children and encourage the formation of delinquent gangs. 3. Cinema and Pornographic Literature Movies and comic books featuring immorality, smoking, drinking and brutality leave a strong impression on the young minds of the children and the adolescents. Many a time, they teach the techniques of crime and delinquency. Several children are arrested in different parts of our country for emulating these techniques to commit thefts, burglaries and kidnapping. They claim to have seen such techniques succeed in the movies. These movies also develop attitudes conducive to delinquent behaviour by arousing desires for easy money, inducing a spirit of toughness, arousing sexual desires and invoking day dreaming.

Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, amended in 2006 and 2011, contains statutory provisions to handle cases relating to minor offenders, called as "delinquents," "juveniles in conflict with law" or as "children in need of care and protection". The word "accused" is not purposely used for minor offenders so as to prevent the stigma associated with it. The Act is essentially a social welfare legislation, crafted specially to deal with offenders under the age of 18 and aimed at their proper care, protection and treatment through catering to their development needs. It makes it mandatory for juvenile courts to adopt a child-friendly approach in the adjudication and disposition of matters. Section 2(k) of the Act defines a "juvenile" or a "child" as a person who has not completed 18 year of age while 2(l) says a "juvenile in conflict with law" means a juvenile who is alleged to have committed an offence. Regarding determination of the age of a juvenile, the Act calls for a "due inquiry" by competent authority usually the Juvenile Justice Board. Rules under the Act lay down that medical opinion on the age of an accused be sought only if he fails to produce matriculation or an equivalent educational certificate, or a birth certificate in absence of the former. Whenever a juvenile is arrested for an alleged offence, he requires to be immediately produced before the Juvenile Justice Board. The law says that the Board, irrespective of the offence, should release him on bail, with or without any surety. However, the juvenile must be sent to an observation home or a "place of safety" by a speaking order of the Board, explaining the reasons for not releasing him on bail. During the "inquiry" and not a "trial", such delinquents are to be housed in the observation home and the "inquiry" has to be completed within four months.