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JUVENILE DELINQUENCY SOURCES:

Causes and solutions of juvenile delinquency:


(http://readingcraze.com/index.php/cause-and-solution-of-juvenile-delinquency)

Juvenile delinquency is also known as teenage crime. It is like any crime that human
beings commit but these crime differ becasue they are committed by young people. Before
coming of age girls and boys have less understanding of the world. Parents, friends and
teachers are all responsible along with the juvenile who commit a crime. This is why
courts do not punish the teenagers like they punish the adults when they commit a crime.
There are separate juvenile courts and the purpose of juvenile punishment is to help the
teenager understand the importance of staying away from crimes.
There are various theories of juvenile delinquency and various researchers have reported
different reasons of delinquency. Most of the delinquent teenagers belong from low
social, economical or psychological background. Some of the most common causes of
juvenile delinquency are as follows.
Family:
Family is the basic socialization agency for the children. Children learn basic concepts
about good and bad from their family, they make their values and set the norms of
society. Family can make or break the personality of the children. In family the most
important role is played by the parents and siblings. Most of the adolescents who show
delinquent behavior in any form belong to families that could not give firm foundation to
the children. Broken families, single parent families, separated families, frequent parents
fight, lack of trust and confidence among the parents, criminal parents or psychological
problems in parents can be the msot important reason behind juvenile delinquency. The
other reason can be siblings rivalry or unequal treatment between children. Parents and
elder siblings have the responsibility to mold the personality of the children. When
parents or siblings do not show moral behavior or they commit crime children or younger
siblings also get motivation t o do something bad a delinquent behavior.
 Economic problems in family
Often the cause of juvenile delinquency is economic problems in family. Youth belonging
from poor economical status easily get involved in criminal activities. They want to
improve their status and for this purpose they use negative path, in this regard often
people do not support teenagers who belong from poor status and they go for criminal
activities.
 Psychological problems in family
Psychological problems in parents or siblings can also be a risk factor of juvenile
delinquency. Mental illnesses or other psychological problems like depression,
frustration, aggression or hyper behavior showed by the parents can make the child feel
deprived and inferior among friends. Sometimes children adopt depression and anger
from parents or elder siblings.
 Social problems in family
In many families parents or elder siblings are involved in various social problems. There
can be various problems like gender discrimination, age discrimination, racial
discrimination, child labor or voilation of animal rights. Children and youth learn what
they see in their family, in many rich families parents do not feel shame in child labor and
children could not understand that child labor is against society and against morality.
Social problems cause stress and due to stress teens get involved in voilence.
 Moral problems in family
Morality is the most important concen among teens today. Teens should know how to
respect family and other people. They should give the due respect to everyone they know
and meet. Some parents do not take care of their elders, and it is a known fact that such
children who see their parents disrespecting their elders, their children never respect their
parents and elder siblings.
 Parenting style
Parenting style also matters and many researchers say that it is one of the biggest reason
why teens commit crime. Parents are some time very harsh and they punish their children
for small issues. Children start disrespecting their parents and they become voilent.

Solution:
The family should have a positive attitude towards life and towards society. Parents and
elder siblings should show the children positive values, norms and standards of society in
this way the children will be able to show the right behavior to the society. Family is the
role model of every child and a model behavior by the parents and siblings can give
motivation to the child to behave positively. Government should support families that
have poor economic status so that they can improve their financial condition. Parents
should also teach children the importance of respecting laws of society. Parents should
tell their children the consequences of breaking laws that government has made for public
safety and betterment. Parents should make sure that they observe equality of rights,
justice and condemn discrimination.

Personal Reasons:
Sometimes parents or family has nothing to do with the delinquent behavior of the
juvenile, neither does the teachers or neighborhood have to do with the delinquent
behavior of the teenager. There are sometimes personal reasons responsible for the
delinquent behavior. Sometimes the adolescent faces hardship in life due to some
psychological or physical problem that he is going through. A physical handicap will go
through many problems in life as the society does not accept a person who does not have
similar capacities and abilities that a normal person has. Society is often cruel towards a
handicap and this unequal and unjust attitude of the society develops negative feelings in
the person. The negative feelings make the person commit crime even if he belongs to a
good family. This is a very common reason for commiting crime in adolescence. Those
adolescents who are suffering from some psychological or physical problem want to take
revenge from society, friends, family or peer group.
In modern society racial differences are also a very strong reason behind juvenile
delinquency. Racial diffferences can cause several big crimes by the adolescents as
adolescents become aggressive and they want to take revenge from the society for the
unequal treatment that the society shows to them. Drug use is also a very common cause
of juvenile delinquency. Those juveniles who use drugs usually get involved in criminal
activities as most of their friends belong to criminal class.
 Social concerns
Teenage boys and girls go through several social problems when they are not well
socialized human beings. Some teens are very harsh and rude to talk and they cannot
control their anger or aggression as it is in their nature. Most of the gender biased boys
talk to the opposite sex like they are slaves and they do not respect them. Their voilence
and aggression make them commit crimes that other boys will never do.
 Psychological concerns
Psychological and mental concerns are also important when talking about juvenile
delinquency. Mental disability is another big cause of juvenile delinquency. Mentally ill
boys or girls can commit any crime without knowing the consequences of it. Statistics
show that mental illnesses are one of the biggest reason behind juvenile delinquency in
America and other developed countries.
 Drug use
Drug use has become widespread among teenage boys and girls. Drugs use is prohibited
by laws in many societies. Drug use in youth can be dangerous as they can commit
voilent crimes when they take drugs.
 Physical concerns
Physical disabilities can also cause juvenile delinquency. Juveniles that are physically or
mentally handicap usually want to take revenge from other people for their complexes.
They want to achieve success in life using negative means.

Solution:
Parents can take the responsibility of fighting against any odd that their children have in
their personality. Children especially teenage children have not reached the age of
maturity where they know the difference between good and bad. Their parents do know
what’s good and what’s not and they should keep an eye on their children. They should
know about the friends of their children and their other mates. In case of any disability
parents and teachers should talk to the teens about their problems and they should try to
solve their problems. From early childhood parents should ensure that their children meet
people of their age and know how to behave in the society.

Peer group influence:


Peer group is a very strong force that can cause delinquent behavior in the adolescent.
When friends commit crime adolescents often learn to do it and they cannot understand
the consequences of the crime. Peer group rejection can aslo be the cause of juvenile
delinquency. Adolescents can aslo show delinquent behavior when they cannot get
similar resources as their friends have. Parents should ensure that their children are
hanging out with friends who belong to their class as this will prevent adolescent jealousy
which can cause several crimes in adolescents. Parents should also see that their children
are going out with good friends that belong to respectable families. They should not
become part of any gang.
 Gangs and clicques
Youth can easily become part of a gang or clicque during their age they think it
appropriate to be powerful and to be part of a large group. Often strong groups and gangs
are ones that are indulged in negative actions. Peer group influence can be positive and it
can be negative.
 Abusive behavior
Abusive behavior is the first step towards commiting crimes. When teens become part of
a clicque that is abusive and that does not know how to behave the teen also get involved
in negative means.
 Peer group rejection
Sometimes youth do not get acceptance in any group as they do not have a strong
personality and due to peer group rejection they commit crimes.

Solution:
Peer group influence is very strong on teens and parents should see the friends of their
children. They should create a healthy and friendly relationship with their children. In this
way children feel free to share anything and everyhting with their parents.

Society:
Society itself sometimes become very negative and create difficulties for the youth.
Society is a strong force in developing perosnality of the teens. Developing negative
feelings from society can become a reason behind juvenile delinquency.
 Labeling
Labeling can destroy the personality of the youth and make the teen a criminal forever.
Labeling means that society labels a teen criminal once he commits a crime, though this
is his first time but due to the tagging he will percieve himself a criminal. He will repeat
similar crime or other crimes in future. He will no longer feel any embarrasement in
committing crimes.

PHILIPPINES LAWS
TITLE I
GOVERNING PRINCIPLES

CHAPTER 1
TITLE, POLICY AND DEFINITION OF TERMS

Section 1. Short Title and Scope. - This Act shall be known as the "Juvenile Justice and Welfare
Act of 2006." It shall cover the different stages involving children at risk and children in
conflict with the law from prevention to rehabilitation and reintegration.

Sec. 2. Declaration of State Policy. - The following State policies shall be observed at all times:

(a) The State recognizes the vital role of children and youth in nation building and shall
promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual and social well-being. It
shall inculcate in the youth patriotism and nationalism, and encourage their involvement
in public and civic affairs.

(b) The State shall protect the best interests of the child through measures that will
ensure the observance of international standards of child protection, especially those to
which the Philippines is a party. Proceedings before any authority shall be conducted in
the best interest of the child and in a manner which allows the child to participate and to
express himself/herself freely. The participation of children in the program and policy
formulation and implementation related to juvenile justice and welfare shall be ensured
by the concerned government agency.

(c) The State likewise recognizes the right of children to assistance, including proper care
and nutrition, and special protection from all forms of neglect, abuse, cruelty and
exploitation, and other conditions prejudicial to their development.

(d) Pursuant to Article 40 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child,
the State recognizes the right of every child alleged as, accused of, adjudged, or
recognized as having infringed the penal law to be treated in a manner consistent with
the promotion of the child's sense of dignity and worth, taking into account the child's
age and desirability of promoting his/her reintegration. Whenever appropriate and
desirable, the State shall adopt measures for dealing with such children without resorting
to judicial proceedings, providing that human rights and legal safeguards are fully
respected. It shall ensure that children are dealt with in a manner appropriate to their
well-being by providing for, among others, a variety of disposition measures such as care,
guidance and supervision orders, counseling, probation, foster care, education and
vocational training programs and other alternatives to institutional care.
(e) The administration of the juvenile justice and welfare system shall take into
consideration the cultural and religious perspectives of the Filipino people, particularly
the indigenous peoples and the Muslims, consistent with the protection of the rights of
children belonging to these communities.

(f) The State shall apply the principles of restorative justice in all its laws, policies and
programs applicable to children in conflict with the law.

Sec. 3. Liberal Construction of this Act. - In case of doubt, the interpretation of any of the
provisions of this Act, including its implementing rules and regulations (IRRs), shall be
construed liberally in favor of the child in conflict with the law.

Sec. 4. Definition of Terms. - The following terms as used in this Act shall be defined as follows:

(a) "Bail" refers to the security given for the release of the person in custody of the
law, furnished by him/her or a bondsman, to guarantee his/her appearance before
any court. Bail may be given in the form of corporate security, property bond, cash
deposit, or recognizance.

(b) "Best Interest of the Child" refers to the totality of the circumstances and
conditions which are most congenial to the survival, protection and feelings of
security of the child and most encouraging to the child's physical, psychological and
emotional development. It also means the least detrimental available alternative for
safeguarding the growth and development of the child.

(c) "Child" refers to a person under the age of eighteen (18) years.

(d) "Child at Risk" refers to a child who is vulnerable to and at the risk of
committing criminal offenses because of personal, family and social circumstances,
such as, but not limited to, the following:

(1) being abused by any person through sexual, physical, psychological, mental,
economic or any other means and the parents or guardian refuse, are unwilling, or
unable to provide protection for the child;

(2) being exploited including sexually or economically;

(3) being abandoned or neglected, and after diligent search and inquiry, the parent
or guardian cannot be found;
(4) coming from a dysfunctional or broken family or without a parent or guardian;

(5) being out of school;

(6) being a streetchild;

(7) being a member of a gang;

(8) living in a community with a high level of criminality or drug abuse; and

(9) living in situations of armed conflict.

(e) "Child in Conflict with the Law" refers to a child who is alleged as, accused of, or
adjudged as, having committed an offense under Philippine laws.

(f) "Community-based Programs" refers to the programs provided in a community


setting developed for purposes of intervention and diversion, as well as rehabilitation of
the child in conflict with the law, for reintegration into his/her family and/or community.

(g) "Court" refers to a family court or, in places where there are no family courts, any
regional trial court.

(h) "Deprivation of Liberty" refers to any form of detention or imprisonment, or to the


placement of a child in conflict with the law in a public or private custodial setting, from
which the child in conflict with the law is not permitted to leave at will by order of any
judicial or administrative authority.

(i) "Diversion" refers to an alternative, child-appropriate process of determining the


responsibility and treatment of a child in conflict with the law on the basis of his/her
social, cultural, economic, psychological or educational background without resorting to
formal court proceedings.

(j) "Diversion Program" refers to the program that the child in conflict with the law is
required to undergo after he/she is found responsible for an offense without resorting to
formal court proceedings.

(k) "Initial Contact With-the Child" refers to the apprehension or taking into custody of
a child in conflict with the law by law enforcement officers or private citizens. It includes
the time when the child alleged to be in conflict with the law receives a subpoena under
Section 3(b) of Rule 112 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure or summons under
Section 6(a) or Section 9(b) of the same Rule in cases that do not require preliminary
investigation or where there is no necessity to place the child alleged to be in conflict with
the law under immediate custody.

(I) "Intervention" refers to a series of activities which are designed to address issues that
caused the child to commit an offense. It may take the form of an individualized
treatment program which may include counseling, skills training, education, and other
activities that will enhance his/her psychological, emotional and psycho-social well-being.

(m) "Juvenile Justice and Welfare System" refers to a system dealing with children at
risk and children in conflict with the law, which provides child-appropriate proceedings,
including programs and services for prevention, diversion, rehabilitation, re-integration
and aftercare to ensure their normal growth and development.

(n) "Law Enforcement Officer" refers to the person in authority or his/her agent as
defined in Article 152 of the Revised Penal Code, including a barangay tanod.

(o) "Offense" refers to any act or omission whether punishable under special laws or the
Revised Penal Code, as amended.

(p) "Recognizance" refers to an undertaking in lieu of a bond assumed by a parent or


custodian who shall be responsible for the appearance in court of the child in conflict
with the law, when required.

(q) "Restorative Justice" refers to a principle which requires a process of resolving


conflicts with the maximum involvement of the victim, the offender and the community.
It seeks to obtain reparation for the victim; reconciliation of the offender, the offended
and the community; and reassurance to the offender that he/she can be reintegrated into
society. It also enhances public safety by activating the offender, the victim and the
community in prevention strategies.

(r) "Status Offenses" refers to offenses which discriminate only against a child, while an
adult does not suffer any penalty for committing similar acts. These shall include curfew
violations; truancy, parental disobedience and the like.

(s) "Youth Detention Home" refers to a 24-hour child-caring institution managed by


accredited local government units (LGUs) and licensed and/or accredited nongovernment
organizations (NGOs) providing short-term residential care for children in conflict with
the law who are awaiting court disposition of their cases or transfer to other agencies or
jurisdiction.

(t) "Youth Rehabilitation Center" refers to a 24-hour residential care facility managed by
the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), LGUs, licensed and/or
accredited NGOs monitored by the DSWD, which provides care, treatment and
rehabilitation services for children in conflict with the law. Rehabilitation services are
provided under the guidance of a trained staff where residents are cared for under a
structured therapeutic environment with the end view of reintegrating them into their
families and communities as socially functioning individuals. Physical mobility of
residents of said centers may be restricted pending court disposition of the charges
against them.

(u) "Victimless Crimes" refers to offenses where there is no private offended party.

CHAPTER 2
PRINCIPLES IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUVENILE JUSTICE AND WELFARE

Sec. 5. Rights of the Child in Conflict with the Law. - Every child in conflict with the law shall
have the following rights, including but not limited to:

(a) the right not to be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment;

(b) the right not to be imposed a sentence of capital punishment or life imprisonment,
without the possibility of release;

(c) the right not to be deprived, unlawfully or arbitrarily, of his/her liberty; detention or
imprisonment being a disposition of last resort, and which shall be for the shortest
appropriate period of time;

(d) the right to be treated with humanity and respect, for the inherent dignity of the
person, and in a manner which takes into account the needs of a person of his/her age. In
particular, a child deprived of liberty shall be separated from adult offenders at all times.
No child shall be detained together with adult offenders. He/She shall be conveyed
separately to or from court. He/She shall await hearing of his/her own case in a separate
holding area. A child in conflict with the law shall have the right to maintain contact with
his/her family through correspondence and visits, save in exceptional circumstances;

(e) the right to prompt access to legal and other appropriate assistance, as well as the
right to challenge the legality of the deprivation of his/her liberty before a court or other
competent, independent and impartial authority, and to a prompt decision on such
action;

(f) the right to bail and recognizance, in appropriate cases;


(g) the right to testify as a witness in hid/her own behalf under the rule on examination of
a child witness;

(h) the right to have his/her privacy respected fully at all stages of the proceedings;

(i) the right to diversion if he/she is qualified and voluntarily avails of the same;

(j) the right to be imposed a judgment in proportion to the gravity of the offense where
his/her best interest, the rights of the victim and the needs of society are all taken into
consideration by the court, under the principle of restorative justice;

(k) the right to have restrictions on his/her personal liberty limited to the minimum, and
where discretion is given by law to the judge to determine whether to impose fine or
imprisonment, the imposition of fine being preferred as the more appropriate penalty;

(I) in general, the right to automatic suspension of sentence;

(m) the right to probation as an alternative to imprisonment, if qualified under the


Probation Law;

(n) the right to be free from liability for perjury, concealment or misrepresentation; and

(o) other rights as provided for under existing laws, rules and regulations.

The State further adopts the provisions of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the
Administration of Juvenile Justice or "Beijing Rules", United Nations Guidelines for the
Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency or the "Riyadh Guidelines", and the United Nations Rules
for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of Liberty.

Sec. 6. Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility. - A child fifteen (15) years of age or under at
the time of the commission of the offense shall be exempt from criminal liability. However, the
child shall be subjected to an intervention program pursuant to Section 20 of this Act.

A child above fifteen (15) years but below eighteen (18) years of age shall likewise be exempt
from criminal liability and be subjected to an intervention program, unless he/she has acted
with discernment, in which case, such child shall be subjected to the appropriate proceedings in
accordance with this Act.

The exemption from criminal liability herein established does not include exemption from civil
liability, which shall be enforced in accordance with existing laws.
Sec. 7. Determination ofAge. - The child in conflict with the law shall enjoy the presumption of
minority. He/She shall enjoy all the rights of a child in conflict with the law until he/she is
proven to be eighteen (18) years old or older. The age of a child may be determined from the
child's birth certificate, baptismal certificate or any other pertinent documents. In the absence
of these documents, age may be based on information from the child himself/herself,
testimonies of other persons, the physical appearance of the child and other relevant evidence.
In case of doubt as to the age of the child, it shall be resolved in his/her favor.

Any person contesting the age of the child in conflict with the law prior to the filing of the
information in any appropriate court may file a case in a summary proceeding for the
determination of age before the Family Court which shall decide the case within twenty-four
(24) hours from receipt of the appropriate pleadings of all interested parties.

If a case has been fiied against the child in conflict with the law and is pending in the
appropriate court, the person shall file a motion to determine the age of the child in the same
court where the case is pending. Pending hearing on the said motion, proceedings on the main
case shall be suspended.

In all proceedings, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges and other government officials
concerned shall exert all efforts at determining the age of the child in conflict with the law.

TITLE II
STRUCTURES IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUVENILE JUSTICE AND WELFARE

Sec. 8. Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council (JJWC). - A Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council
(JJWC) is hereby created and attached to the Department of Justice and placed under its
administrative supervision. The JJWC shall be chaired by an undersecretary of the
Department of Social Welfare and Development. It shall ensure the effective implementation of
this Act and coordination among the following agencies:

(a) Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC);

(b) Department of Education (DepEd);

(c) Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG);

(d) Public Attorney's Office (PAO);

(e) Bureau of Corrections (BUCOR);


(f) Parole and Probation Administration (PPA)

(g) National Bureau of Investigation (NBI);

(h) Philippine National Police (PNP);.

(i) Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP);

(i) Commission on Human Rights (CHR);

(k) Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA);

(l) National Youth Commission (NYC); and

(m) Other institutions focused on juvenile justice and intervention programs.

The JJWC shall be composed of representatives, whose ranks shall not be lower than director,
to be designated by the concerned heads of the following departments or agencies:

(a) Department of Justice (DOJ);

(b) Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD);

(c) Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC)

(d) Department of Education (DepEd);

(e) Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)

(f) Commission on Human Rights (CHR);

(g) National Youth Commission (NYC); and

(h) Two (2) representatives from NGOs, one to be designated by the Secretary of Justice
and the other to be designated by the Secretary of Social Welfare and Development.

The JJWC shall convene within fifteen (15) days from the effectivity of this Act. The Secretary
of Justice and the Secretary of Social Welfare and Development shall determine the
organizational structure and staffing pattern of the JJWC.
The JJWC shall coordinate with the Office of the Court Administrator and the Philippine
Judicial Academy to ensure the realization of its mandate and the proper discharge of its duties
and functions, as herein provided.

Sec. 9. Duties and Functions of the JJWC. - The JJWC shall have the following duties and
functions:

(a) To oversee the implementation of this Act;

(b) To advise the President on all matters and policies relating to juvenile justice
and welfare;

(c) To assist the concerned agencies in the review and redrafting of existing
policies/regulations or in the formulation of new ones in line with the provisions of
this Act;

(d) To periodically develop a comprehensive 3 to 5-year national juvenile


intervention program, with the participation of government agencies concerned,
NGOs and youth organizations;

(e) To coordinate the implementation of the juvenile intervention programs and


activities by national government agencies and other activities which may have an
important bearing on the success of the entire national juvenile intervention
program. All programs relating to juvenile justice and welfare shall be adopted in
consultation with the JJWC;

(f) To formulate and recommend policies and strategies in consultation with


children for the prevention of juvenile delinquency and the administration of
justice, as well as for the treatment and rehabilitation of the children in conflict
with the law;

(g) To collect relevant information and conduct continuing research and support
evaluations and studies on all matters relating to juvenile justice and welfare, such
as but not limited to:

(1) the performance and results achieved by juvenile intervention programs and by
activities of the local government units and other government agencies;

(2) the periodic trends, problems and causes of juvenile delinquency and crimes;
and

(3) the particular needs of children in conflict with the law in custody.
The data gathered shall be used by the JJWC in the improvement of the administration
of juvenile justice and welfare system.

The JJWC shall set up a mechanism to ensure that children are involved in research and
policy development.

(h) Through duly designated persons and with the assistance of the agencies provided in
the preceding section, to conduct regular inspections in detention and rehabilitation
facilities and to undertake spot inspections on their own initiative in order to check
compliance with the standards provided herein and to make the necessary
recommendations to appropriate agencies;

(i) To initiate and coordinate the conduct of trainings for the personnel of the agencies
involved in the administration of the juvenile justice and welfare system and the juvenile
intervention program;

(j) To submit an annual report to the President on the implementation of this Act; and

(k) To perform such other functions as may be necessary to implement the provisions of
this Act.

Sec. 10. Policies and Procedures on Juvenile Justice and Welfare. - All government agencies
enumerated in Section 8 shall, with the assistance of the JJWC and within one (1) year from the
effectivity of this Act, draft policies and procedures consistent with the standards set in the law.
These policies and procedures shall be modified accordingly in consultation with the JJWC
upon the completion of the national juvenile intervention program as provided under Section 9
(d).

Sec. 11. Child Rights Center (CRC). - The existing Child Rights Center of the Commission on
Human Rights shall ensure that the status, rights and interests of children are upheld in
accordance with the Constitution and international instruments on human rights. The CHR
shall strengthen the monitoring of government compliance of all treaty obligations, including
the timely and regular submission of reports before the treaty bodies, as well as the
implementation and dissemination of recommendations and conclusions by government
agencies as well as NGOs and civil society.

TITLE III
PREVENTION OF JUVENILE DELINQUENCY
CHAPTER 1
THE ROLE OF THE DIFFERENT SECTORS

Sec. 12. The Family. - The family shall be responsible for the primary nurturing and rearing of
children which is critical in delinquency prevention. As far as practicable and in accordance
with the procedures of this Act, a child in conflict with the law shall be maintained in his/her
family.

Sec. 13. The Educational System. - Educational institutions shall work together with families,
community organizations and agencies in the prevention of juvenile delinquency and in the
rehabilitation and reintegration of child in conflict with the law. Schools shall provide
adequate, necessary and individualized educational schemes for children manifesting difficult
behavior and children in conflict with the law. In cases where children in conflict with the law
are taken into custody or detained in rehabilitation centers, they should be provided the
opportunity to continue learning under an alternative learning system with basic literacy
program or non- formal education accreditation equivalency system.

Sec. 14. The Role of the Mass Media. - The mass media shall play an active role in the
promotion of child rights, and delinquency prevention by relaying consistent messages through
a balanced approach. Media practitioners shall, therefore, have the duty to maintain the
highest critical and professional standards in reporting and covering cases of children in
conflict with the law. In all publicity concerning children, the best interest of the child should
be the primordial and paramount concern. Any undue, inappropriate and sensationalized
publicity of any case involving a child in conflict with the law is hereby declared a violation of
the child's rights.

Sec. 15. Establishment and Strengthening of Local Councils for the Protection of Children. -
Local Councils for the Protection of Children (LCPC) shall be established in all levels of local
government, and where they have already been established, they shall be strengthened within
one (1) year from the effectivity of this Act. Membership in the LCPC shall be chosen from
among the responsible members of the community, including a representative from the youth
sector, as well as representatives from government and private agencies concerned with the
welfare of children.

The local council shall serve as the primary agency to coordinate with and assist the LGU
concerned for the adoption of a comprehensive plan on delinquency prevention, and to oversee
its proper implementation.

One percent (1%) of the internal revenue allotment of barangays, municipalities and cities shall
be allocated for the strengthening and implementation of the programs of the LCPC: Provided,
That the disbursement of the fund shall be made by the LGU concerned.

Sec. 16. Appointment of Local Social Welfare and Development Officer. - All LGUs shall
appoint a duly licensed social worker as its local social welfare and development officer tasked
to assist children in conflict with the law.

Sec. 17. The Sangguniang Kabataan. - The Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) shall coordinate with
the LCPC in the formulation and implementation of juvenile intervention and diversion
programs in the community.

CHAPTER 2
COMPREHENSIVE JUVENILE INTERVENTION PROGRAM

Sec. 18. Development of a Comprehensive Juvenile Intervention Program. - A Comprehensive


juvenile intervention program covering at least a 3-year period shall be instituted in LGUs
from the barangay to the provincial level.

The LGUs shall set aside an amount necessary to implement their respective juvenile
intervention programs in their annual budget.

The LGUs, in coordination with the LCPC, shall call on all sectors concerned, particularly the
child-focused institutions, NGOs, people's organizations, educational institutions and
government agencies involved in delinquency prevention to participate in the planning process
and implementation of juvenile intervention programs. Such programs shall be implemented
consistent with the national program formulated and designed by the JJWC. The
implementation of the comprehensive juvenile intervention program shall be reviewed and
assessed annually by the LGUs in coordination with the LCPC. Results of the assessment shall
be submitted by the provincial and city governments to the JJWC not later than March 30 of
every year.

Sec. 19. Community-based Programs on Juvenile Justice and Welfare. - Community-based


programs on juvenile justice and welfare shall be instituted by the LGUs through the LCPC,
school, youth organizations and other concerned agencies. The LGUs shall provide community-
based services which respond to the special needs, problems, interests and concerns of children
and which offer appropriate counseling and guidance to them and their families. These
programs shall consist of three levels:

(a) Primary intervention includes general measures to promote social justice and equal
opportunity, which tackle perceived root causes of offending;
(b) Secondary intervention includes measures to assist children at risk; and

(c) Tertiary intervention includes measures to avoid unnecessary contact with the formal
justice system and other measures to prevent re-offending.

TITLE IV
TREATMENT OF CHILDREN BELOW THE AGE OF CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY

Sec. 20. Children Below the Age of Criminal Responsibility. - If it has been determined that the
child taken into custody is fifteen (15) years old or below, the authority which will have an
initial contact with the child has the duty to immediately release the child to the custody of
his/her parents or guardian, or in the absence thereof, the child's nearest relative. Said
authority shall give notice to the local social welfare and development officer who will
determine the appropriate programs in consultation with the child and to the person having
custody over the child. If the parents, guardians or nearest relatives cannot be located, or if
they refuse to take custody, the child may be released to any of the following: a duly registered
nongovernmental or religious organization; a barangay official or a member of the Barangay
Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC); a local social welfare and development officer;
or when and where appropriate, the DSWD. If the child referred to herein has been found by
the Local Social Welfare and Development Office to be abandoned, neglected or abused by his
parents, or in the event that the parents will not comply with the prevention program, the
proper petition for involuntary commitment shall be filed by the DSWD or the Local Social
Welfare and Development Office pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 603, otherwise ,known as
"The Child and Youth Welfare Code."

TITLE V
JUVENILE JUSTICE AND WELFARE SYSTEM

CHAPTER I
INITIAL CONTACT WITH THE CHILD

Sec. 21. Procedure for Taking the Child into Custody. - From the moment a child is taken into
custody, the law enforcement officer shall:

(a) Explain to the child in simple language and in a dialect that he/she can
understand why he/she is being placed under custody and the offense that he/she
allegedly committed;
(b) Inform the child of the reason for such custody and advise the child of his/her
constitutional rights in a language or dialect understood by him/her;

(e) Properly identify himself/herself and present proper identification to the child;

(d) Refrain from using vulgar or profane words and from sexually harassing or
abusing, or making sexual advances on the child in conflict with the law;

(e) Avoid displaying or using any firearm, weapon, handcuffs or other instruments
of force or restraint, unless absolutely necessary and only after all other methods of
control have been exhausted and have failed;

(f) Refrain from subjecting the child in conflict with the law to greater restraint
than is necessary for his/her apprehension;

(g) Avoid violence or unnecessary force;

(h) Determine the age of the child pursuant to Section 7 of this Act;

(i) Immediately but not later than eight (8) hours after apprehension, turn over
custody of the child to the Social Welfare and Development Office or other
accredited NGOs, and notify the child's apprehension. The social welfare and
development officer shall explain to the child and the child's parents/guardians the
consequences of the child's act with a view towards counseling and rehabilitation,
diversion from the criminal justice system, and reparation, if appropriate;

(j) Take the child immediately to the proper medical and health officer for a
thorough physical and mental examination. The examination results shall be kept
confidential unless otherwise ordered by the Family Court. Whenever the medical
treatment is required, steps shall be immediately undertaken to provide the same;

(k) Ensure that should detention of the child in conflict with the law be necessary,
the child shall be secured in quarters separate from that of the opposite sex and
adult offenders;

(l) Record the following in the initial investigation:

1. Whether handcuffs or other instruments of restraint were used, and if so, the
reason for such;

2. That the parents or guardian of a child, the DSWD, and the PA0 have been
informed of the apprehension and the details thereof; and
3. The exhaustion of measures to determine the age of a child and the precise details
of the physical and medical examination or the failure to submit a child to such
examination; and

(m) Ensure that all statements signed by the child during investigation shall be witnessed
by the child's parents or guardian, social worker, or legal counsel in attendance who shall
affix his/her signature to the said statement.

A child in conflict with the law shall only be searched by a law enforcement officer of the same
gender and shall not be locked up in a detention cell.

Sec. 22. Duties During Initial Investigation. - The law enforcement officer shall, in his/her
investigation, determine where the case involving the child in conflict with the law should be
referred.

The taking of the statement of the child shall be conducted in the presence of the following: (1)
child's counsel of choice or in the absence thereof, a lawyer from the Public Attorney's Office;
(2) the child's parents, guardian, or nearest relative, as the case may be; and (3) the local social
welfare and development officer. In the absence of the child's parents, guardian, or nearest
relative, and the local social welfare and development officer, the investigation shall be
conducted in the presence of a representative of an NGO, religious group, or member of the
BCPC.

After the initial investigation, the local social worker conducting the same may do either of the
following:

(a) Proceed in accordance with Section 20 if the child is fifteen (15) years or below or
above fifteen (15) but below eighteen (18) years old, who acted without discernment; and

(b) If the child is above fifteen (15) years old but below eighteen (18) and who acted with
discernment, proceed to diversion under the following chapter.

CHAPTER 2
DIVERSION

Sec. 23. System of Diversion. - Children in conflict with the law shall undergo diversion
programs without undergoing court proceedings subject to the conditions herein provided:

(a) Where the imposable penalty for the crime committee is not more than six (6) years
imprisonment, the law enforcement officer or Punong Barangay with the assistance of the
local social welfare and development officer or other members of the LCPC shall conduct
mediation, family conferencing and conciliation and, where appropriate, adopt
indigenous modes of conflict resolution in accordance with the best interest of the child
with a view to accomplishing the objectives of restorative justice and the formulation of a
diversion program. The child and his/her family shall be present in these activities.

(b) In victimless crimes where the imposable penalty is not more than six (6) years
imprisonment, the local social welfare and development officer shall meet with the child
and his/her parents or guardians for the development of the appropriate diversion and
rehabilitation program, in coordination with the BCPC;

(c) Where the imposable penalty for the crime committed exceeds six (6) years
imprisonment, diversion measures may be resorted to only by the court.

Sec. 24. Stages Where Diversion May be Conducted. - Diversion may be conducted at the
Katarungang Pambarangay, the police investigation or the inquest or preliminary investigation
stage and at all 1evels and phases of the proceedings including judicial level.

Sec. 25. Conferencing, Mediation and Conciliation. - A child in conflict with law may undergo
conferencing, mediation or conciliation outside the criminal justice system or prior to his entry
into said system. A contract of diversion may be entered into during such conferencing,
mediation or conciliation proceedings.

Sec. 26. Contract of Diversion. - If during the conferencing, mediation or conciliation, the child
voluntarily admits the commission of the act, a diversion program shall be developed when
appropriate and desirable as determined under Section 30. Such admission shall not be used
against the child in any subsequent judicial, quasi-judicial or administrative proceedings. The
diversion program shall be effective and binding if accepted by the parties concerned. The
acceptance shall be in writing and signed by the parties concerned and the appropriate
authorities. The local social welfare and development officer shall supervise the implementation
of the diversion program. The diversion proceedings shall be completed within forty-five (45)
days. The period of prescription of the offense shall be suspended until the completion of the
diversion proceedings but not to exceed forty-five (45) days.

The child shall present himself/herself to the competent authorities that imposed the diversion
program at least once a month for reporting and evaluation of the effectiveness of the program.
Failure to comply with the terms and conditions of the contract of diversion, as certified by the
local social welfare and development officer, shall give the offended party the option to institute
the appropriate legal action.

The period of prescription of the offense shall be suspended during the effectivity of the
diversion program, but not exceeding a period of two (2) years.

Sec. 27. Duty of the Punong Barangay When There is No Diversion. - If the offense does not fall
under Section 23(a) and (b), or if the child, his/her parents or guardian does not consent to a
diversion, the Punong Barangay handling the case shall, within three (3) days from
determination of the absence of jurisdiction over the case or termination of the diversion
proceedings, as the case may be, forward the records of the case of the child to the law
enforcement officer, prosecutor or the appropriate court, as the case may be. Upon the issuance
of the corresponding document, certifying to the fact that no agreement has been reached by
the parties, the case shall be filed according to the regular process.

Sec. 28. Duty of the Law Enforcement Officer When There is No Diversion. - If the offense does
not fall under Section 23(a) and (b), or if the child, his/her parents or guardian does not consent
to a diversion, the Women and Children Protection Desk of the PNP, or other law enforcement
officer handling the case of the child under custody, to the prosecutor or judge concerned for
the conduct of inquest and/or preliminary investigation to determine whether or not the child
should remain under custody and correspondingly charged in court. The document
transmitting said records shall display the word "CHILD" in bold letters.

Sec. 29. Factors in Determining Diversion Program. - In determining whether diversion is


appropriate and desirable, the following factors shall be taken into consideration:

(a) The nature and circumstances of the offense charged;

(b) The frequency and the severity of the act;

(c) The circumstances of the child (e.g. age, maturity, intelligence, etc.);

(d) The influence of the family and environment on the growth of the child;

(e) The reparation of injury to the victim;

(f) The weight of the evidence against the child;

(g) The safety of the community; and

(h) The best interest of the child.


Sec. 30. Formulation of the Diversion Program. - In formulating a diversion program, the
individual characteristics and the peculiar circumstances of the child in conflict with the law
shall be used to formulate an individualized treatment.

The following factors shall be considered in formulating a diversion program for the child:

(a) The child's feelings of remorse for the offense he/she committed;

(b) The parents' or legal guardians' ability to guide and supervise the child;

(c) The victim's view about the propriety of the measures to be imposed; and

(d) The availability of community-based programs for rehabilitation and reintegration of


the child.

Sec. 31. Kinds of Diversion Programs. - The diversion program shall include adequate socio-
cultural and psychological responses and services for the child. At the different stages where
diversion may be resorted to, the following diversion programs may be agreed upon, such as,
but not limited to:

(a) At the level of the Punong Barangay:

(1) Restitution of property;

(2) Reparation of the damage caused;

(3) Indemnification for consequential damages;

(4) Written or oral apology;

(5) Care, guidance and supervision orders;

(6) Counseling for the child in conflict with the law and the child's family;

(7)Attendance in trainings, seminars and lectures on:

(i) anger management skills;


(ii) problem solving and/or conflict resolution skills;

(iii) values formation; and

(iv) other skills which will aid the child in dealing with situations which can
lead to repetition of the offense;

(8) Participation in available community-based programs, including community


service; or

(9) Participation in education, vocation and life skills programs.

(b) At the level of the law enforcement officer and the prosecutor:

(1) Diversion programs specified under paragraphs (a)(1) to (a)(9) herein; and

(2) Confiscation and forfeiture of the proceeds or instruments of the crime;

(c) At the level of the appropriate court:

(1) Diversion programs specified under paragraphs(a)and (b) above;

(2) Written or oral reprimand or citation;

(3) Fine:

(4) Payment of the cost of the proceedings; or

(5) Institutional care and custody.

CHAPTER 3
PROSECUTION

Sec. 32. Duty of the Prosecutor's Office. - There shall be a specially trained prosecutor to
conduct inquest, preliminary investigation and prosecution of cases involving a child in conflict
with the law. If there is an allegation of torture or ill-treatment of a child in conflict with the
law during arrest or detention, it shall be the duty of the prosecutor to investigate the same.

Sec. 33. Preliminary Investigation and Filing of Information. - The prosecutor shall conduct a
preliminary investigation in the following instances: (a) when the child in conflict with the law
does not qualify for diversion: (b) when the child, his/her parents or guardian does not agree to
diversion as specified in Sections 27 and 28; and (c) when considering the assessment and
recommendation of the social worker, the prosecutor determines that diversion is not
appropriate for the child in conflict with the law.

Upon serving the subpoena and the affidavit of complaint, the prosecutor shall notify the
Public Attorney's Office of such service, as well as the personal information, and place of
detention of the child in conflict with the law.

Upon determination of probable cause by the prosecutor, the information against the child
shall be filed before the Family Court within forty-five (45) days from the start of the
preliminary investigation.

CHAPTER 4
COURT PROCEEDINGS

Sec. 34. Bail. - For purposes of recommending the amount of bail, the privileged mitigating
circumstance of minority shall be considered.

Sec. 35. Release on Recognizance. - Where a child is detained, the court shall order:

(a) the release of the minor on recognizance to his/her parents and other suitable person;

(b) the release of the child in conflict with the law on bail; or

(c) the transfer of the minor to a youth detention home/youth rehabilitation center.

The court shall not order the detention of a child in a jail pending trial or hearing of his/her
case.

Sec. 36. Detention of the Child Pending Trial. - Children detained pending trial may be released
on bail or recognizance as provided for under Sections 34 and 35 under this Act. In all other
cases and whenever possible, detention pending trial may be replaced by alternative measures,
such as close supervision, intensive care or placement with a family or in an educational setting
or home. Institutionalization or detention of the child pending trial shall be used only as a
measure of last resort and for the shortest possible period of time.

Whenever detention is necessary, a child will always be detained in youth detention homes
established by local governments, pursuant to Section 8 of the Family Courts Act, in the city or
municipality where the child resides.

In the absence of a youth detention home, the child in conflict with the law may be committed
to the care of the DSWD or a local rehabilitation center recognized by the government in the
province, city or municipality within the jurisdiction of the court. The center or agency
concerned shall be responsible for the child's appearance in court whenever required.

Sec. 37. Diversion Measures. - Where the maximum penalty imposed by law for the offense
with which the child in conflict with the law is charged is imprisonment of not more than
twelve (12) years, regardless of the fine or fine alone regardless of the amount, and before
arraignment of the child in conflict with the law, the court shall determine whether or not
diversion is appropriate.

Sec. 38. Automatic Suspension of Sentence. - Once the child who is under eighteen (18) years of
age at the time of the commission of the offense is found guilty of the offense charged, the court
shall determine and ascertain any civil liability which may have resulted from the offense
committed. However, instead of pronouncing the judgment of conviction, the court shall place
the child in conflict with the law under suspended sentence, without need of application:
Provided, however, That suspension of sentence shall still be applied even if the juvenile is
already eighteen years (18) of age or more at the time of the pronouncement of his/her guilt.

Upon suspension of sentence and after considering the various chcumstances of the child, the
court shall impose the appropriate disposition measures as provided in the Supreme Court
Rule on Juveniles in Conflict with the Law.

Sec. 39. Discharge of the Child in Conflict with the Law. - Upon the recommendation of the
social worker who has custody of the child, the court shall dismiss the case against the child
whose sentence has been suspended and against whom disposition measures have been issued,
and shall order the final discharge of the child if it finds that the objective of the disposition
measures have been fulfilled.

The discharge of the child in conflict with the law shall not affect the civil liability resulting
from the commission of the offense, which shall be enforced in accordance with law.

Sec. 40. Return of the Child in Conflict with the Law to Court. - If the court finds that the
objective of the disposition measures imposed upon the child in conflict with the law have not
been fulfilled, or if the child in conflict with the law has willfully failed to comply with the
conditions of his/her disposition or rehabilitation program, the child in conflict with the law
shall be brought before the court for execution of judgment.
If said child in conflict with the law has reached eighteen (18) years of age while under
suspended sentence, the court shall determine whether to discharge the child in accordance
with this Act, to order execution of sentence, or to extend the suspended sentence for a certain
specified period or until the child reaches the maximum age of twenty-one (21) years.

Sec. 41. Credit in Service of Sentence. - The child in conflict with the law shall be credited in
the services of his/her sentence with the full time spent in actual commitment and detention
under this Act.

Sec. 42. Probation as an Alternative to Imprisonment. - The court may, after it shall have
convicted and sentenced a child in conflict with the law, and upon application at any time, place
the child on probation in lieu of service of his/her sentence taking into account the best interest
of the child. For this purpose, Section 4 of Presidential Decree No. 968, otherwise known as the
"Probation Law of 1976", is hereby amended accordingly.

CHAPTER 5
CONFIDENTIALITY OF RECORDS AND PROCEEDINGS

Sec. 43. Confedentiality of Records and Proceedings. - All records and proceedings involving
children in conflict with the law from initial contact until final disposition of the case shall be
considered privileged and confidential. The public shall be excluded during the proceedings
and the records shall not be disclosed directly or indirectly to anyone by any of the parties or
the participants in the proceedings for any purpose whatsoever, except to determine if the child
in conflict with the law may have his/hes sentence suspended or if he/she may be granted
probation under the Probation Law, or to enforce the civil liability imposed in the criminal
action.

The component authorities shall undertake all measures to protect this confidentiality of
proceedings, including non-disclosure of records to the media, maintaining a separate police
blotter for cases involving children in conflict with the law and adopting a system of coding to
conceal material information which will lead to the child's identity. Records of a child in
conflict with the law shall not be used in subsequent proceedings for cases involving the same
offender as an adult, except when beneficial for the offender and upon his/her written consent.

A person who has been in conflict with the law as a child shall not be held under any provision
of law, to be guilty of perjury or of concealment or misrepresentation by reason of his/her
failure to acknowledge the case or recite any fact related thereto in response to any inquiry
made to him/her for any purpose.
TITLE VI
REHABILITATION AND REINTEGRATION

Sec. 44. Objective of Rehabilitation and Reintegration. - The objective of rehabilitation and
reintegration of children in conflict with the law is to provide them with interventions,
approaches and strategies that will enable them to improve their social functioning with the
end goal of reintegration to their families and as productive members of their communities.

Sec. 45. Court Order Required. - No child shall be received in any rehabilitation or training
facility without a valid order issued by the court after a hearing for the purpose. The details of
this order shall be immediately entered in a register exclusively for children in conflict with the
law. No child shall be admitted in any facility where there is no such register.

Sec. 46, Separate Facilities from Adults. - In all rehabilitation or training facilities, it shall be
mandatory that children shall be separated from adults unless they are members of the same
family. Under no other circumstance shall a child in conflict with the law be placed in the same
confinement as adults.

The rehabilitation, training or confinement area of children in conflict with the law shall
provide a home environment where children in conflict with the law can be provided with
quality counseling and treatment.

Sec. 47. Female Children. - Female children in conflict with the law placed in an institution
shall be given special attention as to their personal needs and problems. They shall be handled
by female doctors, correction officers and social workers, and shall be accommodated
separately from male children in conflict with the law.

Sec. 48. Gender-Sensitivity Training. - No personnel of rehabilitation and training facilities


shall handle children in conflict with the law without having undergone gender sensitivity
training.

Sec. 49. Establishment of Youth Detention Homes. - The LGUs shall set aside an amount to
build youth detention homes as mandated by the Family Courts Act. Youth detention homes
may also be established by private and NGOs licensed and accredited by the DSWD, in
consultation with the JJWC.

Sec. 50. Care and Maintenance of the Child in Conflict with the Law. - The expenses for the
care and maintenance of a child in conflict with the law under institutional care shall be borne
by his/her parents or those persons liable to support him/her: Provided, That in case his/her
parents or those persons liable to support him/her cannot pay all or part of said expenses, the
municipality where the offense was committed shall pay one-third (1/3) of said expenses or part
thereof; the province to which the municipality belongs shall pay one-third (1/3) and the
remaining one-third (1/3) shall be borne by the national government. Chartered cities shall pay
two-thirds (2/3) of said expenses; and in case a chartered city cannot pay said expenses, part of
the internal revenue allotments applicable to the unpaid portion shall be withheld and applied
to the settlement of said obligations: Provided, further, That in the event that the child in
conflict with the law is not a resident of the municipality/city where the offense was committed,
the court, upon its determination, may require the city/municipality where the child in conflict
with the law resides to shoulder the cost.

All city and provincial governments must exert effort for the immediate establishment of local
detention homes for children in conflict with the law.

Sec. 51. Confinement of Convicted Children in Agricultural Camps and other Training
Facilities. - A child in conflict with the law may, after conviction and upon order of the court, be
made to serve his/her sentence, in lieu of confinement in a regular penal institution, in an
agricultural camp and other training facilities that may be established, maintained, supervised
and controlled by the BUCOR, in coordination with the DSWD.

Sec. 52. Rehabilitation of Children in Conflict with the Law. - Children in conflict with the law,
whose sentences are suspended may, upon order of the court, undergo any or a combination of
disposition measures best suited to the rehabilitation and welfare of the child as provided in the
Supreme Court Rule on Juveniles in Conflict with the Law.

If the community-based rehabilitation is availed of by a child in conflict with the law, he/she
shall be released to parents, guardians, relatives or any other responsible person in the
community. Under the supervision and guidance of the local social welfare and development
officer, and in coordination with his/her parents/guardian, the child in conflict with the law
shall participate in community-based programs, which shall include, but not limited to:

(1) Competency and life skills development;

(2) Socio-cultural and recreational activities;

(3) Community volunteer projects;

(4) Leadership training;

(5) Social services;

(6) Homelife services;

(7) Health services;


(8) Spiritual enrichment; and

(9) Community and family welfare services.

In accordance therewith, the family of the child in conflict with the law shall endeavor to
actively participate in the community-based rehabilitation.

Based on the progress of the youth in the community, a final report will be forwarded by the
local social welfare and development officer to the court for final disposition of the case.

If the community-based programs are provided as diversion measures under Chapter II, Title
V, the programs enumerated above shall be made available to the child in conflict with the law.

Sec. 53. Youth Rehabilitation Center. - The youth rehabilitation center shall provide 24-hour
group care, treatment and rehabilitation services under the guidance of a trained staff where
residents are cared for under a structured therapeutic environment with the end view of
reintegrating them in their families and communities as socially functioning individuals. A
quarterly report shall be submitted by the center to the proper court on the progress of the
children in conflict with the law. Based on the progress of the youth in the center, a final report
will be forwarded to the court for final disposition of the case. The DSWD shall establish youth
rehabilitation centers in each region of the country.

Sec. 54. Objectives of Community Based Programs. - The objectives of community-based


programs are as follows:

(a) Prevent disruption in the education or means of livelihood of the child in conflict with
the law in case he/she is studying, working or attending vocational learning institutions;

(b) Prevent separation of the child in conflict with the law from his/her parents/guardians
to maintain the support system fostered by their relationship and to create greater
awareness of their mutual and reciprocal responsibilities;

(c) Facilitate the rehabilitation and mainstreaming of the child in conflict with the law
and encourage community support and involvement; and

(d) Minimize the stigma that attaches to the child in conflict with the law by preventing
jail detention.

Sec. 55. Criteria of Community-Based Programs. - Every LGU shall establish community-
based programs that will focus on the rehabilitation and reintegration of the child. All
programs shall meet the criteria to be established by the JJWC which shall take into account
the purpose of the program, the need for the consent of the child and his/her parents or legal
guardians, and the participation of the child-centered agencies whether public or private.

Sec. 56. After-Care Support Services for Children in Conflict with the Law. - Children in
conflict with the law whose cases have been dismissed by the proper court because of good
behavior as per recommendation of the DSWD social worker and/or any accredited NGO
youth rehabilitation center shall be provided after-care services by the local social welfare and
development officer for a period of at least six (6) months. The service includes counseling and
other community-based services designed to facilitate social reintegration, prevent re-offending
and make the children productive members of the community.

TITLE VII
GENERAL PROVISIONS

CHAPTER 1
EXEMPTING PROVISIONS

Sec. 57. Status Offenees. - Any conduct not considered an offense or not penalized if committed
by an adult shall not be considered an offense and shall not be punished if committed by a
child.

Sec. 58. Offenses Not Applicable to Children. - Persons below eighteen (18) years of age shall be
exempt from prosecution for the crime of vagrancy and prostitution under Section 202 of the
Revised Penal Code, of mendicancy under Presidential Decree No. 1563, and sniffing of rugby
under Presidential Decree No. 1619, such prosecution being inconsistent with the United
Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: Provided, That said persons shall undergo
appropriate counseling and treatment program.

Sec. 59. Exemption from the Application of Death Penalty. - The provisions of the Revised
Penal Code, as amended, Republic Act No. 9165, otherwise known as the Comprehensive
Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, and other special laws notwithstanding, no death penalty shall
be imposed upon children in conflict with the law.

CHAPTER 2
PROHIBITED ACTS

Sec. 60. Prohibition Against Labeling and Shaming. - In the conduct of the proceedings
beginning from the initial contact with the child, the competent authorities must refrain from
branding or labeling children as young criminals, juvenile delinquents, prostitutes or attaching
to them in any manner any other derogatory names. Likewise, no discriminatory remarks and
practices shall be allowed particularly with respect to the child's class or ethnic origin.

Sec. 61. Other Prohibited Acts. - The following and any other similar acts shall be considered
prejudicial and detrimental to the psychological, emotional, social, spiritual, moral and
physical health and well-being of the child in conflict with the law and therefore, prohibited:

(a) Employment of threats of whatever kind and nature;

(b) Employment of abusive, coercive and punitive measures such as cursing, beating,
stripping, and solitary confinement;

(c) Employment of degrading, inhuman end cruel forms of punishment such as shaving
the heads, pouring irritating, corrosive or harmful substances over the body of the child
in conflict with the law, or forcing him/her to walk around the community wearing signs
which embarrass, humiliate, and degrade his/her personality and dignity; and

(d) Compelling the child to perform involuntary servitude in any and all forms under any
and all instances.

CHAPTER 3
PENAL PROVISION

Sec. 62. Violation of the Provisions of this Act or Rules or Regulations in General. - Any person
who violates any provision of this Act or any rule or regulation promulgated in accordance
thereof shall, upon conviction for each act or omission, be punished by a fine of not less than
Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00) but not more than Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) or
suffer imprisonment of not less than eight (8) years but not more than ten (10) years, or both
such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court, unless a higher penalty is provided
for in the Revised Penal Code or special laws. If the offender is a public officer or employee,
he/she shall, in addition to such fine and/or imprisonment, be held administratively liable and
shall suffer the penalty of perpetual absolute disqualification.

CHAPTER 4
APPROPRIATION PROVISION
Sec. 63. Appropriations. - The amount necessary to carry out the initial implementation of this
Act shall be charged to the Office of the President. Thereafter, such sums as may be necessary
for the continued implementation of this Act shall be included in the succeeding General
Appropriations Act.

An initial amount of Fifty million pesos (P50,000,000.00) for the purpose of setting up the
JJWC shall be taken from the proceeds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

TITLE VIII
TRANSITORY PROVISIONS

Sec. 64. Children in Conflict with the Law Fifteen (15) Years Old and Below. - Upon effectivity
of this Act, cases of children fifteen (15) years old and below at the time of the commission of
the crime shall immediately be dismissed and the child shall be referred to the appropriate
local social welfare and development officer. Such officer, upon thorough assessment of the
child, shall determine whether to release the child to the custody of his/her parents, or refer the
child to prevention programs as provided under this Act. Those with suspended sentences and
undergoing rehabilitation at the youth rehabilitation center shall likewise be released, unless it
is contrary to the best interest of the child.

Sec. 65. Children Detained Pending Dial. - If the child is detained pending trial, the Family
Court shall also determine whether or not continued detention is necessary and, if not,
determine appropriate alternatives for detention.

If detention is necessary and he/she is detained with adults, the court shall immediately order
the transfer of the child to a youth detention home.

Sec. 66. Inventory of "Locked-up" and Detained Children in Conflict with the Law. - The PNP,
the BJMP and the BUCOR are hereby directed to submit to the JJWC, within ninety (90) days
from the effectivity of this Act, an inventory of all children in conflict with the law under their
custody.

Sec. 67. Children Who Reach the Age of Eighteen (18) Years Pending Diversion and Court
Proceedings. - If a child reaches the age of eighteen (18) years pending diversion and court
proceedings, the appropriate diversion authority in consultation with the local social welfare
and development officer or the Family Court in consultation with the Social Services and
Counseling Division (SSCD) of the Supreme Court, as the case may be, shall determine the
appropriate disposition. In case the appropriate court executes the judgment of conviction, and
unless the child in conflict the law has already availed of probation under Presidential Decree
No. 603 or other similar laws, the child may apply for probation if qualified under the
provisions of the Probation Law.
Sec. 68. Children Who Have Been Convicted and are Serving Sentence. - Persons who have
been convicted and are serving sentence at the time of the effectivity of this Act, and who were
below the age of eighteen (18) years at the time the commission of the offense for which they
were convicted and are serving sentence, shall likewise benefit from the retroactive application
of this Act. They shall be entitled to appropriate dispositions provided under this Act and their
sentences shall be adjusted accordingly. They shall be immediately released if they are so
qualified under this Act or other applicable law.

TITLE IX
FINAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 69. Rule Making Power. - The JJWC shall issue the IRRs for the implementation of the
provisions of this act within ninety (90) days from the effectivity thereof.

Sec. 70. Separability Clause. - If, for any reason, any section or provision of this Act is declared
unconstitutional or invalid by the Supreme Court, the other sections or provisions hereof not
dfected by such declaration shall remain in force and effect.

Sec. 71. Repealing Clause. - All existing laws, orders, decrees, rules and regulations or parts
thereof inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

Sec. 72. Effectivity. - This Act shall take effect after fifteen (15) days from its publication in at
least two (2) national newspapers of general circulation.

Approved: April 28, 2006

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Since 19.07.98
Statement of the Philippine Hierarchy on Juvenile Delinquency
(http://www.cbcponline.net/documents/1950s/1957-juvenile_delinquency.html)

Youthful crime is not something new in human affairs. But in our age the problem of
juvenile delinquency has assumed such proportions as to cause grave concern to the
community and to call for special comment and prompt remedy.

To an alarming degree the records of wrongdoing reveal that the criminals are under 21
years of age, and many of them are under 18, a fact which is reflected in the unsavory
notoriety which has gathered around the term "teen-age gang."

The crimes involved run from general disorderliness and insubordination to acts of the
gravest violence, not excluding murder. And the wave has spread its influence so widely
that it has affected society at every level, and there is hardly a family with growing sons
and daughters which does not feel apprehensive of its contagion.

What are the reasons for this upsurge of youthful criminality? Obviously at the root of it
is that primordial rebellion which we call original sin, which at all times and in all places
has been prolific in wrongdoing. But why is this evil root producing such luxuriant fruit
precisely now and precisely among our youth?

Let it be said at the very beginning that it is a great mistake to treat juvenile delinquency
as a malady detached from the body of society. There is juvenile delinquency because
there is adult delinquency. And therefore its most basic cause is a decline in public and
private morality, as its most fundamental remedy is a reformation of life at all levels of
society. This is an unpleasant necessity that many reformers refuse to face, and as a result
deserve from youth the scriptural rebuke: Physician cure yourself.

Nevertheless, there are special reasons why the evil is flourishing in our day and these
deserve mention and discussion.

The first reason is to be found in the fact that hundreds of thousands of our boys and girls
are growing up without serious religious formation. The first source of religious training
for children should be the family. But with a very large fraction of the parents themselves
products of the very system that creates juvenile delinquency, not much is to be hoped for
from that source, until the parents themeslves seriously study and practice religion. Too
many homes are without any religion except perhaps a few traditional observances that
have lost most of their meaning. As a consequence, the children are raised in an
environment devoid of Christian virtue. There is a lack of true love between husband and
wife; an absence of proper esteem for honesty, truthfulness and chastity. The parents in
too many instances seek their happiness elsewhere. They are constantly out of the house
in quest of diversion, according to the potentialities of their income, at gambling tables,
night clubs, or movies. The care of the children is confided to maids, houseboys,
chauffeurs; or they are simply left to their own devices. Little effort is made to exercise
parental authority; with cruel indulgence fathers and mothers yield to their children's
every whim, spare them every hardship, pass over every misdeed. It is obvious that such
a home is little prepared to fulfill its most important function of turning the child's heart
and mind to God.

Unfortunately, religious instruction outside the home can do little to compensate for these
domestic failures. The number of priests is too few to allow pastors to take proper care of
their flocks. And the schools are still far from offering a solution. It is true that religious
instruction is authorized by law in our public schools but the implementation of the law is
very frequently attended with grave difficulties.

In many cases widespread poverty adds new occasion for the downfall of the young.
Fathers and mothers are forced by the need of earning a livelihood to be frequently away
from home for long periods. Housing conditions are often such as to deprive the
members of the most elemental privacy, and are so restricted that children must of
necessity spend most of their time in the streets. In the dire want that is a daily, nay, an
hourly anxiety, thieving and other kinds of wrongdoing offer tempting avenues of
income.

It is not surprising if, in this absence of religion and in this favorable climate of poverty,
bad motion pictures and bad literature, the two principle forces for juvenile delinquency,
produce disastrous results.

The late Pope Pius XI listed the harm wrought by evil motion pictures. "Everyone" he
said, "knows what damage is done to the soul by bad motion pictures. They are
occasions of sin; they seduce young people along the ways of evil by glorifying the
passions; they show life a false light; they cloud ideals; they destroy pure love, respect for
marriage and affection for the family." (Vigilanti Cura, June 29, 1936)

Obviously not all motion pictures incur these strictures. But the number of harmful
movies is so high as to bring discredit on the whole industry. Producers, distributors,
theatre owners and advertisers must all share the blame for the evil. Advertisers
especially play a peculiarly sinister role in this tragedy. In their efforts to attract the
public to the theater, they often exceed all bounds of decency, and seem to think no
means illicit if it serves their purpose. Newspapers which print their advertising are
equally to blame for the harm that results.

Bad literature is the accomplice of the movies in this campaign of corruption. Motion
picture magazines are of course tainted with the same disease as the industry itself,
holding up bad principles, false ideals and sinful people for the admiration and emulation
of the young.

Among other magazines the pictorials are outstanding offenders with their displays of
indecency; but worst of all and most pernicious are the so-called comics where the young
mind can drink in detailed descriptions of every sin and perversion in the annals of crime.

Meanwhile, the community is largely content with lip-protests against these conditions.
As soon as effective means are suggested to cope with the dissemination of moral poison
and to promote the more effective teaching of religion, small but very vocal groups raise
exaggerated claims for one liberty or another, insensitive to the much more important
values that are in danger. On the other hand what does youth find in those circles of the
community which should be expected to provide moral leadership? He sees prominent
men in all walks of society leading immoral lives. He finds that they suffer no stigma
therefrom but are received with open arms everywhere. He learns the callous doctrine
that what succeeds is right. He observes that wealth and power are above the law; crime
if committed by important men goes unpunished.

We should not be surprised if in such circumstances young people listen with a certain
cynicism to exhortations to virtue, whether at home or at school. And it is not strange
that there exists a problem of juvenile delinquency; rather it is a wonder that it has been
so long in gathering momentum, and that it is not even greater than it is.

It is a consoling fact that in spite of this gloomy picture there is a solid mass of decent
people in the country who refuse to bow to the pernicious influences just described. And
it is they who are most alarmed at the deterioration of youth. Many of them are parents
who try to provide a good, wholesome home for their children, to supervise their
activities outside the house, and by word and example to cultivate in them a deep
religious spirit. But their efforts are thwarted by the dangerous impact of the world
outside their homes, by influences from which their best and most constant efforts cannot
shield their children and against which they strive in vain to fortify them.

The remedies for juvenile delinquency are suggested by the very sources of the evil.
First, there must be a return to domestic virtues. The movement for the family rosary is a
step in the right direction. Parents must be impressed with the necessity of cultivating a
genuine home life in which the whole family participates. Fathers and mothers must
endeavor to know, supervise and to an extent share the recreation of their sons and
daughters. Great care must be exercised over the choice of companions. Parental
authority must be maintained and obedience insisted upon, lovingly but firmly, with a
condign punishment for disobedience. Children must be filled with a sense of
responsibility and of their vocation to play a role in human society, for which they have
an obligation to prepare themselves. Cooperation must be given to school authorities,
and parents must keep themselves constantly informed of the conduct and application of
their children at school.

The state and all social agencies must lose no opportunity of insisting on the sanctity of
marriage and the nobility of family life; that married life is something to be entered into
carefully and prayerfully, since it is a vocation to provide citizens for the kingdom of
heaven. Every influence must be brought to bear to prevent rash, ill-considered
marriages and the unbridled promiscuity which inevitably occasions them.

Especially we call upon the government to take effective steps to control those agencies
of destruction: bad motion pictures and bad literature. These are protected by powerful
vested interests, deaf to the voice of conscience and the appeal of public decency. The
Church, the school and the home will make little progress against them unless the state
awakens to its obligation to safeguard its citizens, especially those who because of
inexperience and weakness are unable to protect themselves.

But parents should not leave organized work exclusively to the state and social agencies.
In many places in the world excellent results have been accomplished by the private
group action of families who refused any longer to stand idly by while theatres,
newspapers, newsstands, advertisers and other cardinal offenders in this matter worked to
undermine the virtue of their children. These parents united in their resistance to the evil
and first directed appeals to the offenders. When these failed, by the force of public
opinion and other group sanctions they obtained a hearing and remedy.

Another obvious step is to raise the standard of living among the poor, to provide
employment, to pay decent wages, to make satisfactory housing available. All this will
serve to alleviate the problem of juvenile delinquency. Though in general the proportion
of crime among the poor is not greater than among the rich, the causes among the poor
are more sharply economic and therefore admit more easily of an economic solution.

There must be a great advance in the quality and quantity of religious instruction. More
children must be given better instruction in their obligations to God and their duties as
citizens. The law of religious instruction must be effectively implemented. This means
on the one hand, that the government will not tolerate any efforts to sabotage its
implementation, and on the other hand, the Catholics must be ready to put themselves at
the disposition of their parish priests as teachers to provide this instruction.
To these general measures, aimed at preventing the rise of delinquency, must be added
specific remedies for the problem as it actually exists. Society must admit its obligations
to the delinquent child and take a patient optimistic interest in his adjustment. To this
end, clubs, recreational centers, parks, and guidance centers must be established and
maintained. The official handling of youthful crime must avoid the two errors of
excessive leniency and excessive severity. Young men and women must be made to
understand that society will not tolerate attacks upon its well-being and existence from
any source, and that wrongdoing will receive a swift, just and suitable punishment. On
the other hand, the official handling of youthful crime should take into consideration the
age of the offender, who should be tried by special courts, where the prevailing mood will
be paternal. The offenders will be shielded during the process from contact with
hardened criminals and other evil influences. Trained specialists should be employed to
ascertain to what extent physical and psychic causes contribute to the delinquency, so that
proper remedies may be provided. And finally by means of vocational training,
apprentice programs and placement bureaus, skillful, gainful and interesting occupations
should be made possible for those for whom idleness is the occasion of wrongdoing.

In all remedies, general and specific, it cannot be too often emphasized that religion must
be the basis of all true reform. The most fundamental reason why young people are
delinquent is because they are offered no convincing reason for being otherwise. Elders,
who "say and do not", urge respectability and civic virtue-- a kind of temperate
sinfulness; but youth is not deceived by such hollow preaching. It is only the support
which sound religious doctrine and practise give to the voice of conscience, with the
example of Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother, which can hope to achieve any measure
of success against the violent tempests of adolescent rebellion.

The Hierarchy cannot end this statement without a word of warm praise for those persons
who, whether in government, civic and religious agencies or in their private capacity are
devoting themselves to the solution of this problem. We know that there are many public
officials and private citizens who are thoroughly alive to the menace of the evil and are
generously and unselfishly giving their time, talents and resources to its solution. It is
certain that they will receive an abundant reward from Him Who always showed His
predilection for youth.

July 26, 1957, Feast of St. Anne, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary

For the Philippine Hierarchy:

New Juvenile justice law signed


By Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 9, 2013 - 12:00am

6 119 googleplus3 2

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino signed into law a measure that seeks to protect
youth offenders and a bill that imposes harsher penalties on those who maltreat or torture
animals.

Signed into law last Oct. 3, Republic Act 10630 amends the Juvenile Justice System and
Welfare Act of 2006.

But the new law did not change the minimum age of criminal responsibility, which
remains at 15. This means that a child who is 15 years old or under at the time of the
commission of the offense shall remain exempt from criminal liability. However, the
offender shall be subjected to an intervention program of the government.

Some sectors have called on Congress to amend the provisions on the minimum age of
liability, noting that offenders are getting younger.

But the Department of Social Welfare and Development is not in favor of such
amendment, saying that children in conflict with the law are also victims.

Malacañang, for its part, believes that the new law has enough provisions to address the
concerns of all sectors.

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

“There are enough provisions in the existing law that would balance the concerns of some
who are in favor of lowering the age of liability,” deputy presidential spokesperson
Abigail Valte said.

Under the new law, a child above 15 years old but below 18 years old can also be exempt
from criminal liability and be subjected to an intervention program unless he has acted
with discernment.

The exemption from criminal liability, however, does not include exemption from civil
liability.

The new law also creates regional Juvenile Justice and Welfare Councils to ensure
effective implementation of the law in the local level.

Children in crime cracks in the country’s juvenile system


MANILA, Philippines – How do you make criminals out of children? Put them in areas
where they won’t be able to meet their basic needs for food, water, shelter, health care,
education and sanitation. Strip them of their rights to develop and maintain a life of
dignity so that they’ll grow up uneducated and unemployed. Mire them in places where
there is no solution to despair and destitution.
In the Philippines, where the plight of majority of the poor remains largely unaddressed,
many places become breeding grounds for youth offenders. While many of these
children were able to rise from the rut---proving that poverty isn’t a justifiable excuse for
committing crime--thousands of other juveniles have failed to get out of the trap and are
forced to break the law primarily to survive.
At the Center for Restorative Activities Development and Learning Experiences
(CRADLE) in Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan, Taguig City, most of the 74 male children
aged 15 and above who are accused of crimes come from poor families, mostly from
depressed areas in Paranaque, Pasig, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, San Juan, and Malabon.
The place is run by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the
Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.
“Pinakamaraming kaso ng mga bata sa amin ay crime against property tulad ng theft at
robbery. Galing sila sa pamilyang mahihirap…hindi sila nakapag-aral. Kailangan nilang
tumulong sa pamilya, kailangang kumita ng pera," says Norma Marcelino, social welfare
officer of CRADLE where children in conflict with the law (CICL) are being housed
while their cases are being heard in family courts.
[Most of the cases involving CICLs in CRADLE consist of crimes against property such
as theft and robbery…Most of them come from poor families, they couldn’t attend
school…They need to help their families, they need to earn money.]
At the DSWD’s Marillac Hills in Muntinlupa City also known as the National Training
School for Girls, 28 female CICLs also aged 15 and above are housed while their
criminal cases are being heard in the courts. Here, stories of poor girls from far-flung
provinces victimized by internal trafficking are not uncommon.
Many of them who were forced to work as house help or caregivers in the metropolis
were also charged with theft or robbery.
“We house several of them here. I knew of one 16-year-old girl from a poor farming
community in Davao del Sur who was forced to work as a maid somewhere in Rizal
province. Her employer charged her with qualified theft,” says Eva Villegas, a veteran
social worker at Marillac.
Villegas says the girl received a phone call from a man whom she said sounded like her
employer, and told her to bring money and jewelry to a certain place.
“The girl even went back to the house of her employer not knowing that it was not her
boss but a different person who talked to her on the phone,” says Villegas.
CICLs in Tondo
In District I-Tondo consisting of 163 barangays, social worker Ma. Raquel Tubale of the
Manila Department of Social Welfare (MDSW) doesn’t hide the fact that in her area,
particularly in Parola or Barangay 20 where she is assigned, the rate of crimes involving
children mostly from large but poor families are among the highest in the districts of
Manila.
She says that CICLs in District I –Tondo, some as young as nine years old, are often
engaged in property-related crimes such as theft and robbery, a matter attributed to
deprivation and poverty.
According to Tubale, many of these CICLs are repeat offenders who start with
committing petty crimes and then “graduate” on to being hardened criminals.
“Pickpocket lang dati, hanggang sa mang-snatch ng gamit, ma-involve sa robbery-hold-
up tapos sumama sa mga grupo ng akyat-bahay gang [They start as pickpockets, then as
snatchers and robbers until they become members of a group of house burglars],” says
Tubale.
From February to August 2011,the MDSW in District I in Tondo recorded a total of 366
CICLs in the area or about 52 CICLs monthly, many of them engaged in property-related
crimes and are repeat if not chronic offenders.
Crimes involving CILCs from depressed communities in District I are particularly
rampant in Parola, according to Councilor Arnel “Bong” Parce, head of Barangay 20’s
Committee on Peace and Order.
He says the barangay’s daily crime blotter is always filled with records of repeat youth
offenders, mostly members of akyat-bahay gangs.
“Yung makapal naming blotter book kung minsan after two months lang ubos na ang
pahina at dapat nang palitan dahil napuno na ngrecords ng CICLs [Sometimes we need
to replace our thick blotter book with a new one after only two months because the
previous one had already been filled with cases of CICLs],” Parce says.
Tragically, drugs is a key driver of crime, and may account, according to those who have
observed the juvenile justice system since the 60s, for the anecdotal evidence of more and
more of the younger offenders being implicated in not just petty crimes like theft, but
occasionally even heinous ones like rape and murder.
Parce observes that most of the CICLs in his barangay first get high on drugs before they
carry out the crime. “Marami dito tumitira muna ng solvent o acetone bago gumawa ng
masama.”
National data on CICLs
Current statistics and CICL profiles from DSWD rehabilitation centers and from Tondo
are reflective of earlier government national data on youth offenders -- an indication that
the problem has persisted through the years.
A report from the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) shows that more than
52,000 children from 1995 to 2000 were reported to be in conflict with the law.
Separate data from the DSWD show that from 2001 to 2010, there were close to 64,000
CICLs served by the government. The presence of CICLs was highest in Region VI or
Western Visayas, the National Capital Region, and Region XI or the Davao Region
throughout the period.
Another 2010 report from the CWC on the “Situationer on Filipino Children” presents the
profile of CICLs: usually male between the ages of 14 and 17; has low educational
attainment; belongs to large, low-earning families of six members; charged with property-
related crimes; use drugs; and alcohol; and has stopped schooling.
Holistic, restorative justice approach
Government efforts at resolving problems of CICLs resulted in the enactment of
Republic Act 9344 or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006.
Until the passage of R.A. 9344, the rules and procedures applicable to CICLs were no
different from those being used for adult offenders, especially during the Marcos
administration when the Judiciary Reorganization Act abolished in 1980 the juvenile and
domestic relations courts. This resulted in the criminalization of children as general
courts subjected minors to the same adversarial proceedings faced by adult suspects.
R.A. 9344 envisioned a holistic and restorative justice approach to addressing the plight
of CICLs. Instead of punishing juvenile offenders and treating them as criminals, the
approach aims at providing help to CICLs to prevent them from committing future
offenses. Under this method, efforts at rehabilitating CICLs require the victim and the
community to take an active role in the process.
Furthermore, the law prohibits the detention of children in jails. It likewise raises the age
of criminal responsibility from nine under Presidential Decree 603 to a minimum of 15
years old. RA 9344 also exempts CICLs aged 15 and above from criminal liability unless
the prosecution proves that they acted with discernment or the capacity to determine what
is right and wrong.
Instead of going to trial, the law provides for the referral of children’s cases to
community-based rehabilitation programs as well as juvenile delinquency prevention
programs, rehabilitation, reintegration, and aftercare services.
A year after RA 9344’s implementation, data from the DSWD show that from a record of
8,661 CICLs served by the agency in 2006, the number decreased to a yearly average of
about 2,500 from 2007 to 2009.
Rosalie Dagulo, chief of the DSWD’s Alternative Care and Placement Program Division,
explains that the decreasing number of CICLs served by the agency did not mean that the
number of youth offenders also went down.
She says that it only meant that the CICLs “were no longer subjected to punitive
punishment” but were reintegrated with their parents after undergoing rehabilitation
process under the supervision of community-based shelter centers.
Solution under attack
However, five years since it was implemented, some lawmakers, government officials,
and law enforcers found RA 9344 ineffective. Some claimed that instead of addressing
crimes involving minors, the law made the problem worse.
Among the law’s critics is Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero who is proposing that the
minimum age of criminal responsibility be lowered back to nine as stipulated under P.D.
603 or the Child and Youth Welfare Code of 1974.
Escudero, chairman of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, claims that
RA 9344’s raising of the age of criminal responsibility to 15 has resulted in more crimes
perpetrated by minors.
He says that criminal syndicates use juveniles in their illegal operations because they
know that under the law, minors can go scot-free even if they act as drug couriers and
crime agents.
The senator’s point was highlighted after the media recently reported the case of “Batang
Hamog,” a group of children caught on camera attacking vehicles in Makati City that
were stuck in traffic during rush hours. The group’s modus operandi is for a member to
knock on the window of the unsuspecting driver while other members open the car door
on the other side and snatch whatever valuables they could take from the vehicle.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson, former PNP chief, shares Escudero’s view. Though he doesn’t want
minors to be put inside prison cells of common criminals, the legislator also wants CICLs
punished.
”If you will notice, the age of the minors involved in crimes is getting younger. How can
we serve justice if they are exempted in the crime they are committing?” says Lacson.
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo also
wants the law amended, for the same reasons pointed out by Escudero.
Robredo says that based on police intelligence reports, minors are getting bolder and
braver in committing crimes because they now know that they will not be punished for
their acts but will only be turned over to the DSWD.
A policeman interviewed recently by InterAksyon.com who requested anonymity says
that in District I-Tondo, some parents from depressed areas who know about the
exemptions under RA 9344 are involved in the crimes committed by their children.
“May mga kaso dito ng robbery-snatching na iyong magulang na lalaki ang
magnanakaw tapos i-aabot doon sa bata tapos tatakbo. Pag nakaligtas ‘yung bata,
presto, instant money, na pwedeng panustos sa pangangailangan nila," the policeman
says.
[There are cases here of robbery-snatching involving fathers. They hand over their loot to
their children who go scot-free with the instant money, which their family will use for
their needs.]
This is also why PNP chief Nicanor Bartolome is now urging Congress to amend the law.
He wants the age of discernment lowered to 12 because at that age, the child is “already
in the right mind and can already think about the consequences of his actions.”
Bartolome made the call after a series of high-profile crimes involving children took
place last September. Among them are the cases of the 13-year-old boy who shot his 16-
year-old companion and then himself at the SM Mall in Pampanga; the 12-year-old boy
accused of raping a three-year-old girl in Sta. Mesa, Manila; and the 15-year-old boy who
admitted robbing, raping and nearly killing his employer in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
Effective implementation, not amendment
But for the law’s supporters, amending RA 9344, specifically on lowering the minimum
age of criminal responsibility, is a short-sighted solution.
For DSWD division chief Dagulo, the effective implementation of the law and not its
amendment will ensure the law’s success.
“The problem on CICLs will not end and there can never be genuine justice if the people
see that the child should be solely responsible for the crimes he committed, but don’t take
into account that it’s the political and socio-economic system that created the problem in
the first place and that the child was only a victim of such systemic weakness,” says
Dagulo.
Among the actions being proposed by the DSWD to ensure effective implementation of
law is for the DILG to monitor LGU compliance with the provision related to the use of 1
percent of internal revenue allotment in support of the implementation of RA 9344.
The law mandates that the said IRA fund be utilized for the formation of Barangay
Councils for the Protection of Children (BCPC) nationwide.
Among the specific functions of the BCPCs are the following:
-Foster education of every child in the barangay;
-Encourage the proper performance of the duties of parents and provide learning
opportunities on the adequate rearing of children and positive parent-child relationship;
-Report all cases of child abuse to the proper authorities;
-Protect and assist abandoned, maltreated, and abused children and facilitate their cases
filed against child abusers;
-Prevent child labor in their area and protect working children from abuse and
exploitation;
-Take steps to prevent juvenile delinquency and to assist children with behavioral
problems so that they can get expert advice;
- Adopt measures to promote the health and nutrition of children;
-Promote the opening and maintenance of playgrounds and day care centers and other
services that are necessary for child and youth welfare;
-Secure the cooperation of organizations devoted to the welfare of children and
coordinate their activities;
-Promote wholesome entertainment in the community especially in movie houses;
-Assist parents whenever necessary in securing expert guidance counselling from the
proper governmental or private welfare agencies;
-Advocate for the passage of child-friendly barangay ordinances in response to child-
related issues and concerns;
-Prepare the barangay plans of action for children which address the needs of children in
the community and ensure their integration into the Barangay Development Plan and
implementation by the barangay.
Non-functioning councils for child protection
But five years since since RA 9344 was enacted, DILG data showed that as of December
2010, only 13 percent or 5,208 of the 39,535 barangays that submitted information to the
department had functioning BCPs; at least 3,876 barangays had no report on BCPC
functionality.
The non-functioning councils include 157 of the 163 barangays of District I-Tondo. Data
from the Manila Department of Social Welfare show that only six barangays in the
district – Barangays 29, 61, 101, 105, 123 and 128, – have fully functional BCPCs.
But the DILG doubts that the 5,208 barangays that it listed having ideal BCPCs are
indeed fully functional. According to Nesia Seneca of the DILG’s Institutional Linkages
and Networking Division, the agency is set to conduct field investigation to verify if the
supposedly ideal BCPCs are indeed working effectively.
Seneca says the investigation was prompted by reports from some non-government
organizations working for the welfare of children that some BCPCs were not as ideal as
the barangays claim.
Shortcuts in handling CICL cases
Another problem in the implementation of RA 9344 is the “big gap” in the intervention
process of handling CICLs, according to Dagulo.
In the DSWD flow chart of handling CICL cases, a child aged 15 or below who commits
a crime should be placed under the custody of a law enforcement officer who then looks
for the child’s parent or guardian.
The officer has to assess whether the child would be in danger if he or she returns to his
or her parents. If safety is assured, the officer releases the child to the parents or guardian.
But if the officer determines that the child had suffered from neglect, abandonment, or
abuse, the child should undergo an intervention program.
Under RA 9344, such program refers to a series of individualized treatment activities or
programs designed to address issues that caused the child to commit an offense. These
may include counseling, skills training, education, and other activities meant to improve
and enhance the child’s psychological, emotional and psycho-social well-being.
If the officer determines that the child will be in danger if he or she stays with the parents
or guardian, the officer should encourage temporary custody where a child is committed
to a youth home, a government rehabilitation facility, or a non-government organization
that caters to the needs of children.
In cases where the parents or guardian are unavailable, it will be the responsibility of the
local social welfare and development officer to refer the child in conflict with the law to
at least five entities – a duly registered NGO, a faith-based organization, a barangay
officer, a member of the BCPC, and an officer from the DSWD - for them to carry out
programs and interventions to rehabilitate the child before he or she is reintegrated to the
family and community.
But there are many instances when the process is cut short, according to Dagulo. “There
are many cases when intervention programs are not carried out and the child is just
returned to the parent or guardian,” she says.
Dagula attributes this intervention gap to these factors: the lack of information among law
enforcers and local officials, LGUs that have different priorities, role overload being
experienced especially by social workers, and/or the lack of consciousness and
understanding on the importance of promoting and defending the interest of
disadvantaged children.
Address the roots of the problem
The DSWD admits that while the five-year-old law offers a lasting solution to the plight
of CICLs, the government needs to “intensify” its “popularization,” especially its basic
provisions “for a better appreciation of the principles of restorative justice.”
For party-list Akap Bata, the solution to the plight of CICLs does not lie in lowering the
age of criminal responsibility but in addressing the root cause of the problem: poverty
that pushes children to commit criminal acts.
“These young people are victims of neglect, poverty, hunger, malnutrition and so many
other forms of social injustice. They are the very ones who have the right to demand
changes in how the country is run because they are the biggest victims along with their
parents. They come from the most exploited sectors of society,” says Lean Peace Flores,
Akap Bata spokesperson.
For DSWD’s Eva Villegas, who has been working for the rights of children for the last 17
years, the change shouldn’t just come from the children and from their parents.
“The community, the local government, and the national government as a whole should
also be ready to change for the child to change and have a better future. Otherwise, it will
just be another vicious circle,” Villegas concludes.
KRUSADA: Juvenile Delinquency

By Nathalie Blanco, Multimedia Producer, Krusada

Posted at 11/21/2011 7:10 PM | Updated as of 11/23/2011 11:31 AM

Anchor: Henry Omaga-Diaz

Juvenile Delinquents: These children put up a face that brings fear and a sense of
defiance. In return, society denounces them with intense aversion, forgetting that they are
children who are just in need of greater guidance.

Formally, a Child in Conflict with the Law (CICL) is a person who at the time of the
commission of the offense is below eighteen years old but not less than 15 years and one
day old.

In this Krusada episode, Henry Omaga Diaz posited imperative questions: Are the
Children in Conflict with the Law considered as young criminals or are they actually
victims of society? Should they undergo the Criminal Justice System like the rest? How
does the government respond to children who have committed serious crimes?

More importantly, what can we do to help them?


According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), there are
more than 2,600 juvenile delinquency cases reported in 2009. A year later, the number
reduced to 1,200. However, DSWD claims that there are still many unreported cases in
the country.

Restorative Justice for Youth Offenders

“Gab” always takes off his shirt and shows off his tattoos for everyone to see the signs of
his ‘strength’; when in truth, he only had himself inked out of peer pressure.

Henry Omaga-Diaz interviews Gab and his friend

At 16 years old, he has gone in and out of rehabilitation centres; even the city jail once,
for committing burglary, marijuana and solvent abuse and theft numerous times.

Every night, he hangs out with his group of fellow youth offenders to smoke and
pickpocket. At three in the morning, they break into houses. In three to five minutes, he
says he could steal money, mobile phones and jeweleries. He had constant practice since
ten years old.

His biggest single loot was P3,000. It is more than enough to buy some solvent or
marijuana for him and his friends. The ‘one-day millionaire’ uses the instant cash to buy
drugs that ‘help them forget their problems’.

He says that the ‘Rock’, rehabilitation centres for youth offenders, could not help him. He
does not like it there despite admitting that it allows him to eat well, bathe and study. He
comes back to ‘normal’ every time he comes out—how he prefers to live.
Gab flaunts his tatoos on the streets so passers by would fear him

Aurora Flores of the Philippines Mental Health Association in Dumaguete believes that
youth offenders have mental health issues and reiterates that such is not just the absence
of mental illness.

The concept of right and wrong among youth offenders is vague or erroneous; leading to
their low self-control. In the long run, their values become distorted, allowing them to
commit crimes without feeling guilty.

Central Visayas has the most number of CICL cases since 2009 according to DSWD. Two
in the list of youth offenders in Region 7 are “Troy”, found guilty of frustrated homicide
at age 17; and “Anjo”, committed arson at eight years old.

Troy played with toy guns as a child and accidentally fired a pistol at his uncle’s enemy
during the physical conflict that involved the adults. On the other hand, Anjo was bullied
and made to follow orders of older children which led him to burn a local chapel.

Brenda Vigo, Executive Director of the Council for the Welfare of Children, says that
these children are victims of dysfunctional families, communities and poverty. That is
why they should not be treated as criminals and be allowed to undergo the Criminal
Justice System.

Republic Act 9344 prohibits imprisonment as it will only subject the children into more
harm than good. A Restorative Justice System is observed where their personal issues can
be discussed and conflict can be resolved. Through it, a child is said to realize that what
he did is wrong without causing him to rebel more.

There are 16 rehabilitation centres in the Philippines at present.

Delinquency Prevention Program


The law states that local government units (LGU) should allot budget for homes and
counselors as part of the Delinquency Prevention Program, like in the example of
Bayawan City, Negros Oriental. However, may LGUs do not adhere to this.

In cases like these, non-government foundations like PREDA Foundation, Inc. respond to
the problem. Under the leadership of Father Shay Cullen, the New Dawn Boys Home
reintegrates values among the children for them to shun away from delinquency.

The importance of re-acceptance of family and society is also addressed.

In the New Dawn Boys Home, rehabilitation starts with the Emotional Release Therapy
to resolve a child’s problems and pains. It is gradually followed by sports activities and
skills training such as carpentry, mechanics, agriculture and computer literacy.

All Hope Lost?

“Gab” continues to blame his only family—his aunt Susan—who took him from his
parents who are both drug addicts with the hope of saving the child from having the same
fate.

On the other hand, Susan blames Gab’s barkada of being a bad influence; making it hard
for the child to get out of the life he now lives. She has started to lose faith that Gab can
still change.

While he dreams to have his own family, Gab says that he wants to die early and does not
believe he will reach 30 years old. He further said that he has lost all hope in his
future.November 17, 2011

The problem of youth offenders:

The Problem of Youth Offenders:


When Children Commit Adult Crimes
Statistics show that most of the Philippines’ young offenders – “children in
conflict with the law” – come from poor families. Thus, most of the crimes they
reportedly commit are crimes against property. Yet the country’s justice and
prison system – the same system to which these youth offenders are committed –
is fit only for the adult, hardened criminals. The proposal to adopt a child-
friendly justice, called “restorative juvenile justice,” is a distant dream.
BY YNA SORIANO
Bulatlat.com
Marlon, 10, is the youngest ward in the National Training School for Boys (NTSB) in
Tanay, Rizal, a rehabilitation center for minors with suspended sentence or with
pending court cases.

Marlon was accused by his own mother of raping his younger sister several times last
year in their Guinayangan residence in Southern Quezon. Marlon however denies this,
saying he does not know what the word “rape” means. In his sworn statement to the
NTSB, Marlon said that he only followed what his father had been doing to his sister.
His father is also currently detained in the provincial jail.

Marlon is only one of the more than 10,094 Filipino children who have been involved
in various crimes. The state calls them “juvenile offenders” – persons under 18 but
over nine years of age at the time they committed the offense.

Problem children

Records of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) show that of
the thousands, 9,390 are male and only 704 are female. Most came from the Visayas,
Southern Tagalog and Ilocos regions.

In the National Capital Region, there are about 1,130 youth offenses documented. Of
these, 488 are crimes against property and 263 are crimes against person. Drug-related
cases number 234.

The increasing number of delinquent youth and youth offenders, admits DSWD, has
been a serious concern of the government since the late 1980s. Their population
doubled, for example, from 3,814 to 6,778 from 1987 to 1989. Since then, the number
has been constantly and aggressively increasing, said Nelita Culong, OIC of the youth
offenders division, DSWD-NCR.

“In my two decades (as a social worker),” Culong said in an interview, “the number of
youth offenders has never gone down…and the nature of crimes are becoming more
and more serious…”

The bigger picture

A DSWD primer on child welfare services elaborates that “youth offenders are victims
of circumstances beyond their control hence they should be treated as individuals with
problems who need help and not as criminals.”

Filipino youth offenders, says DSWD, should be understood in the context of the
Filipino family in crisis. But then, the family as the basic unit of social production,
should be further viewed as a miniature of the larger Filipino society that is in crisis.

Following the United Nations definition (that persons under 18 years old are
considered children unless a state recognizes otherwise), the independent research
group IBON Foundation reports that there are 34.7 million children in the country out
of the total population of 75.5 million as of last year.

The National Statistics Office (NSO) reports that one out of every five Filipino
children had no early education. Only 15% of children aged 3 to 5 years old are
attending some early childhood program in pre-school, nursery and daycare centers.

On basic education (elementary and high school), only 77% (17.3 million) of the 22.5-
million school-aged children (5 to 17 years old) were reportedly enrolled in school
year 1999-2000. This means that about five million Filipino children failed to go to
school at that time.

As of the last school year, the rate of completion of primary education is only 68
percent. This means that for every 100 students who enter Grade 1, only 68 are able to
finish grade 6. The rates in secondary education are much lower; participation is only
65% while completion rate is 47%.

In its latest survey, the NSO documented that around 800,000 minors aged 10 to 14
years old are part of the country’s labor force. Child laborers (five to 17 years old)
reportedly number around 3.7 million.

Five years ago, the number of young workers was pegged at 3.6 million. According to
IBON Foundation, one in every 10 of these children engaged in heavy physical work.
About 1.3 million child workers were out of school at that time.

Quoting the Bureau of Women and Young Workers, IBON says that “the economic
recession…has pushed children to skip their studies and help their families augment
their income. Children started competing with the adults in non-skilled jobs. And
because they are willing to support their families and are ignorant of their rights,
management prefers them.”

The fact that a large number of the crimes committed by juvenile offenders were
crimes against property – usually theft and robbery – already indicates the economic
difficulties that push them into criminal activities. Poverty, together with dysfunctional
family relationships and negative peer influence, is a major factor that pushes the
youth toward lawlessness.

Inadequate response

Rehabilitative services for youth offenders, since the 1960s, have been the principal
solution of the Philippine government, past and present, to the persistent social
problem of juvenile delinquency.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) maintains 10 regional


rehabilitation centers throughout the country; biggest among these are the National
Training School for Boys (NTSB) in Rizal province and the Marillac Hills for girls in
Alabang, Metro Manila. There are also other youth centers run by various local
government units, church-based institutions and non-government organizations.

Several advocacy groups as well as some psychologists and parents are not convinced
that NTSB, Marillac Hills and government rehabilitative services could really serve
their reformatory purposes.

These facilities lack personnel and social workers for the growing number of youth
offenders. At Marillac, for example, there are only 25 full time social workers for its
average 500 clients; at the NTSB, there are only five social workers for its average 300
clients.

Although the NTSB has its share of “success stories,” DSWD admits that these are
very few. Some of its discharged clients have since been jailed repeatedly for new
crimes.

While the DSWD is supposed to provide a post-care service, Gorospe of NTSB admits
that it does not have the resources, mechanism and system for out-of-center guidance.
Thus, most of its discharged patients are no longer monitored and supervised.

Other children NGOs criticize that the country’s juvenile justice system only
intensifies the social ties that bind children to misery and criminality.

Albert Schweitzer Association, an Australian NGO for children’s rights and welfare
based in the Philippines, described the government rehabilitative efforts as
“ineffective.” So does the feminist NGO, the ISIS International – Manila.

Schweitzer’s social worker Agnes M. Cabauatan explained their group’s analysis that
poverty is the condition that breeds “bad boys and girls.” “To bring them (youth
offenders) to a center, feed them or educate them for a month to a year then discharge
them back to the condition of poverty is a vicious cycle of crime and poverty,” she
said.

Ma. Victoria C. Belleza of ISIS strongly suggested that government efforts should first
address the root of the social problem of juvenile delinquency, which is poverty. She
elaborated that the government should make sure that the basic needs of the Filipino
family are addressed by the government’s social services.

Meanwhile, there are a number of laws in the country that supposedly protect and
promote the interests of children. One of them is Republic Act No. 7610.

Known as “An Act Providing for Stronger Deterrence and Special Protection against
Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination,” this law provides for a more
comprehensive mechanism for child protection. But as with other laws that look good
on paper, its implementation remains a big problem.
Juvenile justice

For Sen. Robert Barbers, however, the best solution to the present critical problem of
juvenile delinquency is the iron hand. Barbers’ Senate Bill 892 proposes to lower the
age limit of convicts who could be sentenced and thrown into the death row.

Proposals such as these are opposite to the view that young offenders still have a
chance of growing up responsible and law-abiding adults if properly educated and
reformed. Called restorative justice for the juvenile, this concept still advocates
punishment for juvenile offenders but ensures that the punishment fits the crime.

There is no question that the country’s penal system is not fully equipped to taken in
adult offenders much less the young ones. A child-friendly justice system – complete
with policemen trained on the proper handling of youth offenders and a national office
that will establish the national standard for juvenile justice, including recruitment of
jail guards, establishment of youth centers and appointment of competent family court
judges – remains a very, very distant dream.

And in the end, because juvenile delinquency is both a reflection and direct effect of
the crisis besieging the family, it is the economic and political empowerment of the
Filipino family that will decisively address the problem. Bulatlat.com

LOWERING AGE WILL NOT AVERT JUVENILE DELINQUENCY--VILLAR

Senator Cynthia Villar on Thursday said lowering the age of criminal liability from 15 to
13 years old will not curb the problem of juvenile delinquency.

Reducing the age of discernment and criminal responsibility is one of the key features in
the recently launched Philippine Code of Crimes or House Bill 2300, authored by House
justice committee chairman Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas.

Tupas said a 13-year old now is way physically, emotionally, and intellectually more
mature than a 13-year-old in 1932.

"We should also look into holding the parents or guardians of these delinquent children
accountable for the crimes committed especially when it is proven that the 'elders' were
the ones who instigated the 'young' to commit the crimes," said Villar.

She stressed that the parents or guardians should also be investigated for a crime
committed by their children or wards.

She cited instances when syndicate members and leaders ordered or enticed children,
particularly those under their custody, to engage in unlawful activities like pickpocket,
holdup, snatching, robbery holdup and other crimes.

In this case, Villar said the law should run after these members and leaders of syndicates
using children to violate the laws.

According to the senator, parents are bound by law to take care and look after the welfare
of their children.

Juvenile delinquency, also known as juvenile offending or youth crime such as


easton, is participation in illegal behavior by minors(juveniles) (individuals younger than
the statutory age of majority).[1] Most legal systems prescribe specific procedures for
dealing with juveniles, such as juvenile detention centers, and courts. A juvenile
delinquent in the United States is a person who is typically under the age of 19 and
commits an act that otherwise would have been charged as a crime if they were an adult.
Depending on the type and severity of the offense committed, it is possible for persons
under 18 to be charged and tried as adults.
In recent years a higher proportion of youth have experienced arrests by their early 20s
than in the past, although some scholars have concluded this may reflect more aggressive
criminal justice and zero-tolerance policies rather than changes in youth behavior.[2]
Juvenile crimes can range from status offenses (such as underage smoking), to property
crimes and violent crimes. Youth violence rates in the United States have dropped to
approximately 12% of peak rates in 1993 according to official US government statistics,
suggesting that most juvenile offending is non-violent.[3] However, juvenile offending can
be considered normative adolescent behavior.[4] This is because most teens tend to offend
by committing non-violent crimes, only once or a few times, and only during
adolescence. Repeated and/or violent offending is likely to lead to later and more violent
offenses. When this happens, the offender often displayed antisocial behavior even before
reaching adolescence.[5]

Types[edit]
Juvenile delinquency, or offending, can be separated into three categories:

 delinquency, crimes committed by minors which are dealt with by the juvenile
courts and justice system;
 criminal behavior, crimes dealt with by the criminal justice system;
 status offenses, offenses which are only classified as such because one is a minor,
such as truancy, also dealt with by the juvenile courts.[6]

According to the developmental research of Moffitt (2006),[4] there are two different types
of offenders that emerge in adolescence. One is the repeat offender, referred to as the life-
course-persistent offender, who begins offending or showing antisocial/aggressive
behavior in adolescence (or even childhood) and continues into adulthood; and the age
specific offender, referred to as the adolescence-limited offender, for whom juvenile
offending or delinquency begins and ends during their period of adolescence.[5] Because
most teenagers tend to show some form of antisocial, aggressive or delinquent behavior
during adolescence, it is important to account for these behaviors in childhood in order to
determine whether they will be life-course-persistent offenders or adolescence-limited
offenders.[5] Although adolescence-limited offenders tend to drop all criminal activity
once they enter adulthood and show less pathology than life-course-persistent offenders,
they still show more mental health, substance abuse, and finance problems, both in
adolescence and adulthood, than those who were never delinquent.[7]
Sex differences[edit]
Juvenile offending is disproportionately[8] committed by young men. Feminist theorists
and others have examined why this is the case.[9] One suggestion is that ideas of
masculinitymay make young men more likely to offend. Being tough, powerful,
aggressive, daring and competitive becomes a way for young men to assert and express
their masculinity.[10]Acting out these ideals may make young men more likely to engage
in antisocial and criminal behavior.[11] Also, the way young men are treated by others,
because of their masculinity, may reinforce aggressive traits and behaviors, and make
them more susceptible to offending.[11]
Alternatively, young men may actually be naturally more aggressive, daring and prone to
risk-taking. According to a study led by Florida State University criminologist Kevin M.
Beaver, adolescent males who possess a certain type of variation in a specific gene are
more likely to flock to delinquent peers. The study, which appears in the September 2008
issue of the Journal of Genetic Psychology, is the first to establish a statistically
significant association between an affinity for antisocial peer groups and a particular
variation (called the 10-repeat allele) of the dopamine transporter gene (DAT1).[12]
In recent years however, there has also been a bridging of the gap between sex
differences concerning juvenile delinquency. While it is still more common for males to
offend than females, the ratio of arrests by sex is one third of what it was 20 years ago (at
2.5 to 1 today).[13] This is most likely due to the combined effects of more females being
arrested (for offenses which did not get them arrested before), and a drop in male
offenses.[14]
here is also a significant skew in the racial statistics for juvenile offenders. When
considering these statistics, which state that Black and Latino teens are more likely to
commit juvenile offenses it is important to keep the following in mind: poverty, or low
socio-economic status are large predictors of low parental monitoring, harsh parenting,
and association with deviant peer groups, all of which are in turn associated with juvenile
offending. The majority of adolescents who live in poverty are racial minorities.[15] Also,
minorities who offend, even as adolescents, are more likely to be arrested and punished
more harshly by the law if caught.[16] Particularly concerning a non-violent crime and
when compared to white adolescents. While poor minorities are more likely to commit
violent crimes, one third of affluent teens report committing violent crimes.[4]
Ethnic minority status has been included as a risk factor of psychosocial maladaptation in
several studies (e.g., Gutman et al. 2003; Sameroff et al. 1993; Dallaire et al. 2008), and
represents a relative social disadvantage placed on these individuals. Though the relation
between delinquency and race is complex and may be explained by other contextual risk
variables (see, for example, Holmes et al. 2009), the total arrest rate for black juveniles
aged 10–17 is more than twice that as of white juveniles (National Center for Juvenile
Justice 2008)(p. 1474).[17] This does not seem to be the case for the minority group of East
Asian background.[citation needed]

Risk factors[edit]
The two largest predictors of juvenile delinquency are

 parenting style, with the two styles most likely to predict delinquency being
1 "permissive" parenting, characterized by a lack of consequence-based
discipline and encompassing two subtypes known as
1 "neglectful" parenting, characterized by a lack of monitoring and
thus of knowledge of the child's activities, and
2 "indulgent" parenting, characterized by affirmative enablement of
misbehavior
2 "authoritarian" parenting, characterized by harsh discipline and refusal to
justify discipline on any basis other than "because I said so";
 peer group association, particularly with antisocial peer groups, as is more likely
when adolescents are left unsupervised.[4]

Other factors that may lead a teenager into juvenile delinquency include poor or low
socioeconomic status, poor school readiness/performance and/or failure, peer rejection,
orattention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). There may also be biological factors,
such as high levels of serotonin, giving them a difficult temper and poor self-regulation,
and a lower resting heart rate, which may lead to fearlessness. Most of these tend to be
influenced by a mix of both genetic and environmental factors.[4]
Individual risk factors[edit]
Individual psychological or behavioural risk factors that may make offending more likely
include low intelligence, impulsiveness or the inability to delay gratification, aggression,
lack of empathy, and restlessness.[15] Other risk factors which may be evident during
childhood and adolescence include, aggressive or troublesome behavior, language delays
or impairments, lack of emotional control (learning to control one's anger), and cruelty to
animals.[18]
Children with low intelligence are more likely to do badly in school. This may increase
the chances of offending because low educational attainment, a low attachment to school,
and low educational aspirations are all risk factors for offending in themselves.[11][19][20]
Children who perform poorly at school are also more likely to be truant, and the status
offense of truancy is linked to further offending.[15] Impulsiveness is seen by some as the
key aspect of a child's personality that predicts offending.[15] However, it is not clear
whether these aspects of personality are a result of “deficits in the executive functions of
the brain”[15] or a result of parental influences or other social factors.[21] In any event,
studies of adolescent development show that teenagers are more prone to risk-taking,
which may explain the high disproportionate rate of offending among adolescents.[4]
Family environment and peer influence[edit]
Family factors which may have an influence on offending include: the level of parental
supervision, the way parents discipline a child, particularly harsh punishment, parental
conflict or separation, criminal parents or siblings, parental abuse or neglect, and the
quality of the parent-child relationship.[21] Some have suggested that having a lifelong
partner leads to less offending.[citation needed]
Juvenile Delinquency, which basically is the rebellious or unlawful activities by kids in
their teens or pre-teens, is caused by four main risk factors namely; personality,
background, state of mind and drugs. These factors may lead to the child having low IQ
and may increase the rate of illiteracy.[22]
Children brought up by lone parents are more likely to start offending than those who live
with two natural parents. It is also more likely that children of single parents may live in
poverty, which is strongly associated with juvenile delinquency.[4] However once the
attachment a child feels towards their parent(s) and the level of parental supervision are
taken into account, children in single parent families are no more likely to offend than
others.[21] Conflict between a child's parents is also much more closely linked to offending
than being raised by a lone parent.[11]
If a child has low parental supervision they are much more likely to offend.[21] Many
studies have found a strong correlation between a lack of supervision and offending, and
it appears to be the most important family influence on offending.[15][21] When parents
commonly do not know where their children are, what their activities are, or who their
friends are, children are more likely to truant from school and have delinquent friends,
each of which are linked to offending.[21] A lack of supervision is also connected to poor
relationships between children and parents. Children who are often in conflict with their
parents may be less willing to discuss their activities with them.[21]
Adolescents with criminal siblings are only more likely to be influenced by their siblings,
and also become delinquent, if the sibling is older, of the same sex/gender, and warm.
[18]
Cases where a younger criminal sibling influences an older one are rare. An aggressive,
non-loving/warm sibling is less likely to influence a younger sibling in the direction of
delinquency, if anything, the more strained the relationship between the siblings, the less
they will want to be like, and/or influence each other.[18]
Peer rejection in childhood is also a large predictor of juvenile delinquency. Although
children are rejected by peers for many reasons, it is often the case that they are rejected
due to violent or aggressive behavior. This rejections affects the child's ability to be
socialized properly, which can reduce their aggressive tendencies, and often leads them to
gravitate towards anti-social peer groups.[18] This association often leads to the promotion
of violent, aggressive and deviant behavior. "The impact of deviant peer group influences
on the crystallization of an antisocial developmental trajectory has been solidly
documented."[18] Aggressive adolescents who have been rejected by peers are also more
likely to have a "hostile attribution bias" which leads people to interpret the actions of
others (whether they be hostile or not) as purposefully hostile and aggressive towards
them. This often leads to an impulsive and aggressive reaction.[23] Hostile attribution bias
however, can appear at any age during development and often lasts throughout a persons
life.
Children resulting from unintended pregnancies are more likely to exhibit delinquent
behavior.[24] They also have lower mother-child relationship quality.[25]

Crime Theories Applicable to Juvenile Delinquency[edit]


There are a multitude of different theories on the causes of crime, most if not all of are
applicable to the causes of juvenile delinquency.
Rational choice[edit]
Classical criminology stresses that causes of crime lie within the individual offender,
rather than in their external environment. For classicists, offenders are motivated by
rational self-interest, and the importance of free will and personal responsibility is
emphasized.[9] Rational choice theory is the clearest example of this idea. Delinquency is
one of the major factors motivated by rational choice.
Social disorganization[edit]
Current positivist approaches generally focus on the culture. A type of criminological
theory attributing variation in crime and delinquency over time and among territories to
the absence or breakdown of communal institutions (e.g. family, school, church and
social groups.) and communal relationships that traditionally encouraged cooperative
relationships among people.
Strain[edit]
Strain theory is associated mainly with the work of Robert Merton. He felt that there are
institutionalized paths to success in society. Strain theory holds that crime is caused by
the difficulty those in poverty have in achieving socially valued goals by legitimate
means.[9] As those with, for instance, poor educational attainment have difficulty
achieving wealth and status by securing well paid employment, they are more likely to
use criminal means to obtain these goals.[26] Merton's suggests five adaptations to this
dilemma:

1 Innovation: individuals who accept socially approved goals, but not necessarily
the socially approved means.
2 Retreatism: those who reject socially approved goals and the means for acquiring
them.
3 Ritualism: those who buy into a system of socially approved means, but lose sight
of the goals. Merton believed that drug users are in this category.
4 Conformity: those who conform to the system's means and goals.
5 Rebellion: people who negate socially approved goals and means by creating a
new system of acceptable goals and means.

A difficulty with strain theory is that it does not explore why children of low-income
families would have poor educational attainment in the first place. More importantly is
the fact that much youth crime does not have an economic motivation. Strain theory fails
to explain violent crime, the type of youth crime which causes most anxiety to the public.
Differential association[edit]
The theory of Differential association also deals with young people in a group context,
and looks at how peer pressure and the existence of gangs could lead them into crime. It
suggests young people are motivated to commit crimes by delinquent peers, and learn
criminal skills from them. The diminished influence of peers after men marry has also
been cited as a factor in desisting from offending. There is strong evidence that young
people with criminal friends are more likely to commit crimes themselves . However it
may be the case that offenders prefer to associate with one another, rather than delinquent
peers causing someone to start offending. Furthermore there is the question of how the
delinquent peer group became delinquent initially.
Labeling[edit]
Labeling theory is a concept within Criminology that aims to explain deviant behavior
from the social context rather than looking at the individual themselves. It is part of
Interactionism criminology that states that once young people have been labeled as
criminal they are more likely to offend.[9] The idea is that once labelled as deviant a
young person may accept that role, and be more likely to associate with others who have
been similarly labelled.[9] Labelling theorists say that male children from poor families are
more likely to be labelled deviant, and that this may partially explain why there are more
working class young male offenders.[11]
Social control[edit]
Social control theory proposes that exploiting the process of socialization and social
learning builds self-control and can reduce the inclination to indulge in behavior
recognized as antisocial. The four types of control can help prevent juvenile delinquency
are:
Direct: by which punishment is threatened or applied for wrongful behavior, and
compliance is rewarded by parents, family, and authority figures. Internal: by which a
youth refrains from delinquency through the conscience or superego. Indirect: by
identification with those who influence behavior, say because his or her delinquent act
might cause pain and disappointment to parents and others with whom he or she has close
relationships. Control through needs satisfaction, i.e. if all an individual's needs are met,
there is no point in criminal activity.

Juvenile delinquents diagnosed with mental/conduct disorders[edit]


Juvenile delinquents are often diagnosed different disorders. Around six to sixteen
percent of male teens and two to nine percent of female teens have a conduct disorder.
These can vary from oppositional-defiant disorder, which is not necessarily aggressive, to
antisocial personality disorder, often diagnosed among psychopaths.[27] A conduct
disorder can develop during childhood and then manifest itself during adolescence.[28]
Juvenile delinquents who have recurring encounters with the criminal justice system, or
in other words those who are life-course-persistent offenders, are sometimes diagnosed
withconduct disorders because they show a continuous disregard for their own and others
safety and/or property. Once the juvenile continues to exhibit the same behavioral
patterns and turns eighteen he is then at risk of being diagnosed with antisocial
personality disorder and much more prone to become a serious criminal offender.[29] One
of the main components used in diagnosing an adult with antisocial personality disorder
consists of presenting documented history of conduct disorder before the age of 15. These
two personality disorders are analogous in their erratic and aggressive behavior. This is
why habitual juvenile offenders diagnosed with conduct disorder are likely to exhibit
signs of antisocial personality disorder early in life and then as they mature. Some times
these juveniles reach maturation and they develop into career criminals, or life-course-
persistent offenders. "Career criminals begin committing antisocial behavior before
entering grade school and are versatile in that they engage in an array of destructive
behaviors, offend at exceedingly high rates, and are less likely to quit committing crime
as they age."[29]
Quantitative research was completed on 9,945 juvenile male offenders between the ages
of 10 and 18 in the 1970s.[where?] The longitudinal birth cohort was used to examine a trend
among a small percentage of career criminals who accounted for the largest percentage of
crime activity.[30] The trend exhibited a new phenomenon amongst habitual offenders. The
phenomenon indicated that only 6% of the youth qualified under their definition of a
habitual offender (known today as life-course persistent offenders, or career criminals)
and yet were responsible for 52% of the delinquency within the entire study.[30] The same
6% of chronic offenders accounted for 71% of the murders and 69% of the aggravated
assaults.[30]This phenomenon was later researched among an adult population in 1977 and
resulted in similar findings. S.A. Mednick did a birth cohort of 30,000 males and found
that 1% of the males were responsible for more than half of the criminal activity.[31] The
habitual crime behavior found amongst juveniles is similar to that of adults. As stated
before most life-course persistent offenders begin exhibiting antisocial, violent, and/or
delinquent behavior, prior to adolescence. Therefore, while there is a high rate of juvenile
delinquency, it is the small percentage of life-course persistent, career criminals that are
responsible for most of the violent crimes.

Prevention[edit]
Delinquency prevention is the broad term for all efforts aimed at preventing youth from
becoming involved in criminal, or other antisocial, activity.
Because the development of delinquency in youth is influenced by numerous factors,
prevention efforts need to be comprehensive in scope. Prevention services may include
activities such as substance abuse education and treatment, family counseling, youth
mentoring, parenting education, educational support, and youth sheltering. Increasing
availability and use of family planning services, including education and contraceptives
helps to reduce unintended pregnancy and unwanted births, which are risk factors for
delinquency. education Education is the great equalizer, opening doors to lift themselves
out of poverty…. Education also promotes economic growth, national productivity and
innovation, and values of democracy and social cohesion.[32] Prevention through
education aides the young person to interact more effectively in social contexts therefor
diminishing need for delinquency.
It has been noted that often interventions may leave at-risk children worse off then if
there had never been an intervention.[33] This is due primarily to the fact that placing large
groups of at risk children together only propagates delinquent or violent behavior. "Bad"
teens get together to talk about the "bad" things they've done, and it is received by their
peers in a positive reinforcing light, promoting the behavior among them.[33] As
mentioned before, peer groups, particularly an association with antisocial peer groups, is
one of the biggest predictors of delinquency, and of life-course-persistent delinquency.
The most efficient interventions are those that not only separate at-risk teens from anti-
social peers, and place them instead with pro-social ones, but also simultaneously
improve their home environment by training parents with appropriate parenting styles,[33]
parenting style being the other large predictor of juvenile delinquency.

Critique of risk factor research[edit]


Two UK academics, Stephen Case and Kevin Haines, among others, criticized risk factor
research in their academic papers and a comprehensive polemic text, Understanding
Youth Offending: Risk Factor Research, Policy and Practice.
The robustness and validity of much risk factor research is criticized for:
- Reductionism - e.g. over-simplfying complex experiences and circumstances by
converting them to simple quantities, relying on a psychosocial focus whilst neglecting
potential socio-structural and political influences;
- Determinism - e.g. characterising young people as passive victims of risk experiences
with no ability to construct, negotiate or resist risk;
- Imputation - e.g. assuming that risk factors and definitions of offending are homogenous
across countries and cultures, assuming that statistical correlations between risk factors
and offending actually represent causal relationships, assuming that risk factors apply to
individuals on the basis of aggregated data.
Juveniles who commit sexual crimes refer to individuals adjudicated in a criminal court
for a sexual crime.[34] Sex crimes are defined as sexually abusive behavior committed by a
person under the age of 18 that is perpetrated “against the victim’s will, without consent,
and in an aggressive, exploitative, manipulative, or threatening manner”.[35] It is important
to utilize appropriate terminology for juvenile sex offenders. Harsh and inappropriate
expressions include terms such as “pedophile, child molester, predator, perpetrator, and
mini-perp”[36] These terms have often been associated with this group, regardless of the
youth’s age, diagnosis, cognitive abilities, or developmental stage.[36] Using appropriate
expressions can facilitate a more accurate depiction of juvenile sex offenders and may
decrease the subsequent aversive psychological affects from using such labels.[36] In the
Arab Gulf states [sic], homosexual acts are classified as an offense, and constitute one of
the primary crimes for which juvenile males are charged.[37]
Prevalence data[edit]
Examining prevalence data and the characteristics of juvenile sex offenders is a
fundamental component to obtain a precise understanding of this heterogeneous group.
With mandatory reporting laws in place, it became a necessity for providers to report any
incidents of disclosed sexual abuse. Longo and Prescott indicate that juveniles commit
approximately 30-60% of all child sexual abuse.[36] The Federal Bureau of Investigation
Uniform Crime Reports indicate that in 2008 youth under the age of 18 accounted for
16.7% of forcible rapes and 20.61% of other sexual offenses.[38] Center for Sex Offender
Management indicates that approximately one-fifth of all rapes and one-half of all sexual
child molestation can be accounted for by juveniles.[39]
Official record data[edit]
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention indicates that 15% of juvenile
arrests occurred for rape in 2006, and 12% were clearance (resolved by an arrest).[40] The
total number of juvenile arrests in 2006 for forcible rape was 3,610 with 2% being female
and 36% being under the age of 15 years old.[40] This trend has declined throughout the
years with forcible rape from 1997–2006 being −30% and from 2005-2006 being −10%.
[40]
The OJJDP reports that the juvenile arrest rate for forcible rape increased from the
early 1980s through the 1990s and at that time it fell again.[40] All types of crime rates fell
in the 1990s.[citation needed] The OJJDP also reported that the total number of juvenile arrests
in 2006 for sex offenses (other than forcible rape) was 15,900 with 10% being female and
47% being under the age of 15.[40] There was again a decrease with the trend throughout
the years with sex offenses from 1997–2006 being −16% and from 2005-2006 being
−9%.[40]
Males who commit sexual crimes[edit]
Barbaree and Marshall indicate that juvenile males contribute to the majority of sex
crimes, with 2–4% of adolescent males having reported committing sexually assaultive
behavior, and 20% of all rapes and 30–50% of all child molestation are perpetrated by
adolescent males.[34] It is clear that males are over-represented in this population. This is
consistent with Ryan and Lane’s research indicating that males account for 91-93% of the
reported juvenile sex offenses.[35] Righthand and Welch reported that females account for
an estimated 2–11% of incidents of sexual offending.[41] In addition, it reported by The
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention that in the juvenile arrests during
2006, African American male youth were disproportionately arrested (34%) for forcible
rape.

Kalra (1996), Mulvey, Arthur, Reppucci (1993 and 1997), and Regoli and Hewitt (2006)
give us this introduction and definition to Juvenile Delinquency(via Wikipedia)

Juvenile delinquency refers to participation in illegal behavior by a minor who falls


under a statutory age limit. Most legal systems prescribe specific procedures for dealing
with juveniles, such as juvenile detention centers. There are a multitude of different
theories on the causes of crime, most if not all of which can be applied to the causes of
youth crime. Youth crime is an aspect of crime which receives great attention from the
news media and politicians. The level and types of youth crime can be used by
commentators as an indicator of the general state of morality and law and order in a
country, and consequently youth crime can be the source of ‘moral panics’. Theories on
the causes of youth crime can be viewed as particularly important within criminology.
This is firstly because crime is committed disproportionately by those aged between
fifteen and twenty-five. Secondly, by definition any theories on the causes of crime will
focus on youth crime, as adult criminals will have likely started offending when they were
young.

A Juvenile Delinquent is a person who is typically under the age of 18 and commits an
act that otherwise would’ve been charged as a crime if they were an adult. Juvenile
delinquents sometimes have associated mental disorders and/or behavioral issues such
as post traumatic stress disorder or bipolar disorder, and are sometimes diagnosed with
conduct disorder partially as both the cause and resulting effects of their behaviors.

It is not uncommon in these days that the young people are either being used in criminal
acts or they themselves commit crimes punishable by law. Experts, through the years, are
developing theories why a young person would do such act. As mentioned, theories on
the causes of crimes in adults can be also applied to the young people.

Why, one earth, do these young people commit crimes at such an early age? Definitely,
these children are experiencing conflict within themselves brought about by the
environment s/he is in.

The nature versus nurture debate concerns the relative importance of an individual’s
innate qualities (“nature,” i.e. nativism, or innatism) versus personal experiences
(“nurture,” i.e. empiricism or behaviorism) in determining or causing individual
differences in physical and behavioral traits.

The nature-nurture theory in psychology clearly states that the environment is one of the
key factors essential to one’s growth and development. Whether good or not, children’s
thinking and personality are greatly influenced by the type of environment they are in.
Infants and toddlers should, therefore, be exposed to an environment that positively
contributes to their development. This knowledge about early development alone will
help us understand the psychological aspect of this issue.

Other than the psychologists’ side of this issue, we should equally consider other theories
developed by sociologists, theologians, and anthropologists, among others.

As part of my introduction, I should also list other possible topics that I would most
likely tackle and conduct research on:

 Theories about the causes of (juvenile) crime


 Juvenile delinquency in the Philippines and other countries
 Statistical data on juvenile delinquency
Meanwhile, as I was searching for topics, I stumbled upon the following comic strips.

Sources

1. Juvenile
Delinquency.
Definition.

2. [IMG] Photos
courtesy of Google
Images.

CAUSE AND
EFFECT

Working with a population of cognitively low-functioning special needs students in


grades 9-12 is often challenging, yet rewarding. By writing this unit on Juvenile
Delinquency: Cause and Effect, I want to raise students level of awareness so that at an
early age, students can avoid participating in criminal activities.We are constantly
reminded that there are problems with juvenile violence. Nightly we hear of shootings in
communities and even in our schools. Increasing levels of juvenile violence are a national
concern. The concern has focused on punishment, but very little on prevention or
intervention.

In this unit, we will discuss and present tools that allow youth to deal constructively with
interpersonal conflicts, problem-solving techniques and behaviors of peacemaking skills.
The future of our world depends on responsible citizens who possess the ability to
express and resolve conflicts while working together for civic improvement.

This unit will help students acquire knowledge and skills needed to carry out their
responsibilities and protect their rights as citizens of a free society. Lessons in this unit
will emphasize basic knowledge of juvenile crime, causes, offenses, treatment, and risk
factors. The reward for learning this unit will be to make significant progress in the
lifelong pursuit of becoming a good citizen in a free society.

Juvenile Justice

In the United States, juveniles involved with the law are treated differently from adults.
However, this has not always been the case. In earlier times, children were thrown into
jails with adults. Long prison terms and corporal punishment were common. Some
children were even sentenced to death for their crimes.

Reformers concerned about the harsh treatment of children urged the establishment of a
separate court system for juveniles. The idea behind juvenile court was that children in
trouble with the law should be helped rather than punished. Central to the concept of
juvenile court was the principle of parens patriae. This meant that instead of lawyers
fighting to decide guilt or innocence, the court would act as a parent or guardian
interested in protecting and helping the child. Hearings would be closed to the public.
Proceedings would be informal. If convicted, children would be separated from adult
criminals.1

In 1899, Cook County, Illinois, set up the country�s first juvenile court. Today, every
state has a separate court system for juveniles. These courts generally handle two
different groups of juveniles: the delinquent offender and the status offender. A delinquent
child is one who has committed an act that is a crime for adults under federal, state, or
local law. Status offenders, on the other hand, are youths who are considered unruly or
beyond the control of their legal guardians. Status offenses are not crimes. They are
illegal acts that can only be committed by juveniles. Status offenses include running away
from home, skipping school, refusing to obey parents, or engaging in certain behaviors
such as drinking alcohol while under the age of majority.2

Some people believe parents should be held responsible for crimes committed by their
children. Those in favor of these parental responsibility laws believe they are particularly
appropriate in cases in which parents know or should know that their children are using
or selling drugs or belong to juvenile gangs. In some states parents may be charged with
contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Who is the Juvenile?

Before the establishment of juvenile courts, children under the age of seven were never
held responsible for criminal acts. The law considered them incapable of forming the
necessary criminal intent. Children between the ages of 7 and 14 were generally thought
to be incapable of committing a criminal act, but this belief could be disproved by
showing that the youth knew the act was a crime or would cause harm to another and
committed it anyway. Children over the age of 14 could be charged with a crime and
handled in the same manner as an adult.3

Today, all states set age limits that determine whether a person accused of a crime is
treated as an adult or as a juvenile. In most states, young people are considered juveniles
until age 18. However, some states set the limit at 16 and 17.

In most states, a juvenile charged with a serious crime, such as robbery or murder, can be
transferred to criminal court and tried as an adult. Sometimes prosecutors make this
decision, or some states that allow transfers require a hearing to consider the age and
record of the juvenile, the type of crime, and the likelihood that the youth can be helped
by the juvenile court. As a result of a get-tough attitude involving juvenile crime, many
states have revised their juvenile codes to make it easier to transfer youthful offenders to
adult court.

Recent years have seen an increase in serious crime by juveniles. This has included more
violent acts, such as murder, which are often related to drugs, gangs, or both.
Consequently, there has been a movement in congress and in a number of states to further
reduce the age at which juveniles can be tried as adults. Some people believe all juveniles
should be tried as adults if they commit certain violent crimes.

Juvenile Crime, in law, term denoting various offenses committed by children or youths
under the age of 18. Such acts are sometimes referred to as juvenile delinquency.
Children�s offenses typically include delinquent acts, which would be considered
crimes if committed by adults, and status offenses, which are less serious misbehavior
such as truancy and parental disobedience. Both are within the jurisdiction of the juvenile
court; more serious offenses committed by minors may be tried in criminal court and be
subject to prison sentences.

Under certain circumstances, youthful offenders can be tried either as juveniles or as


adults. But even in these situations, their treatment is different from that of adults, for
example, a juvenile who is arrested for an �adult� offense can be adjudicated in either
juvenile court or adult court; if convicted, he or she can be placed with either other
juvenile or adults. In contrast, an adult charged with the same offense would be tried in an
adult court; if convicted, he or she would be incarcerated by the state and would be
housed with adults.

Explaining crime and delinquency is a complex task. A multitude of factors exist that
contribute to the understanding of what leads someone to engage in delinquent behavior.
While biological and psychological factors hold their own merit when explaining crime
and delinquency, perhaps social factors can best explain juvenile delinquency. Juvenile
delinquency is a massive and growing individual while others view delinquency as a
macra level function of society.4

Many of the theories that will be presented will be applicable to at least some instances of
crime and delinquency in society. Crime is such a diverse topic, that the explanation of
this social problem is just as diverse. This perspective sees delinquency as a function of
the surroundings or environment that a juvenile lives in. The saying, �society made me
do it� could help to better understand this perspective.

The public appears much more aware of juvenile crime today than in the past; this is due
in part to more thorough reporting techniques and greater emphasis on publicizing
delinquent acts in the media. Official U.S. crime reports in the 1980�s, showed that
about one-fifth of all persons arrested for crimes are under 18 years of age. In the
1970�s, juvenile arrests increased in almost every serious crime category, and female
juvenile crime more than doubled. During the most recent five year period studied,
juvenile arrests decreased slightly each year. Unofficial report, however, suggest that a
higher percentage of juveniles are involved in minor criminal behavior; grossly
underreported common offenses include vandalism, shoplifting, underage drinking, and
using marijuana.

As students work through this unit, they will continually make and judge decisions, and
they will analyze decision making by government officials and those seeking to influence
government.

Responsible decision making involves careful assessment of alternative and their


consequences in light of values and goals. Responsible decision makers consider the
effects of their choices on themselves and various others. They will judge the fairness of
their choices in terms of both individual and group goals. A responsible citizen might ask;
1) How will my decision affect me? 2) How will my decision affect various others? The
responsible citizen tries to make decisions that balance the needs of the individual and of
society.

This unit will conclude with actual written case studies featuring current topics, issues,
and events. Each case is written to develop one or more decision-making skills can help
them achieve goals they value are likely to strive to acquire these competencies.

The juvenile justice system has evolved over the years based on the premise that
juveniles are different from adults and juveniles who commit criminal acts generally
should be treated differently from adults. Separate courts, detention facilities, rules,
procedures, and laws were created for juveniles with the intent to protect their welfare
and rehabilitate them, while protecting public safety.The root causes of crime are many
and diverse. Any hope of addressing those causes successfully requires multi-faceted
strategies, bits and pieces of which can be implemented by neighborhoods, communities
and various levels of government. There is no silver bulletno simple, expedient answer
that can be imposed from above. Any solution to juvenile crime must involve all sectors
of society: individuals, families, schools, churches, community groups, governments and
businesses. While the scope of effort involved should be as broad as all of society.

Each state should have particular �ownership� of the juvenile crime problems. The
inclination toward crime often arises from factors at home; the impact of crime is felt in
neighborhoods; the arrests, prosecutions and, in most cases, dispositions are city and
county operations. Only 2 percent of juveniles arrested eventually are placed in state
institutions. While the state is a bit player in the day-to-day staging of the juvenile justice
system, it has the ability and responsibility to carve out a powerful role as a policy leader
and facilitator for local solutions.

Prevention works better and is cheaper than treatment. The sobering reality is that
improving to the optimum extent how juvenile criminals are treated once they are
apprehended will only reduce recidivism by at most 10 percent. While keeping 10 percent
from continually recycling through the juvenile justice systemand ultimately, the adult
systemwould free significant resources, the fact is that prevention and early intervention
hold far more promise than good rehabilitation programs for actually reducing crime.
Children are much harder to �fix� once they have become criminals than they are
when they first show signs of deviant or anti-social behavior.5

Personal accountability for actions and decisions is the cornerstone of a civilized society.
Children should be taughtboth at home and in schoolsinformed decision-making
processes. And they should learn that, in theory and in practice, there are swift
consequences for poor decisions and both tangible and intangible rewards for good
decisions. To reinforce these lessons, all of the actors within the juvenile justice system,
from the policeman on the beat to the judge in juvenile court, must strive to make the
system work more effectively in providing consequences at all levels of criminal severity.

The juvenile justice system is a complex web of people and agencies that processes about
a quarter of a million youths annually at a cost exceeding $1 billion. To understand the
system requires a baseline knowledge of the statistical trends during the past decade that
have shaped the system�s ability to function and the roles played by the various
components of the system.

Academic experts have long recognized that crime is a young man�s game. The typical
criminal is a male who begins his career at 14 or 15, continues thorough his mid-20s and
then tapers off into retirement. Three statistics demonstrate the disproportionate impact of
those under the age of 18 on criminal activity; while comprising roughly one-sixth of the
nation�s population, they make up a full one-quarter of all people arrested and account
for nearly one-third of the arrests for the seven crimes in the uniform crime
index(homicide, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, vehicle theft and
larceny).

Statistics show that somewhere between 30 and 40 percent of all boys growing up in an
urbanized area in the United States will be arrested before their 18th birthday�although
juveniles account for only a small proportion of the total population, older juveniles have
the highest arrest rates of any age group. Furthermore, studies of criminal careers have
demonstrated that one of the best predictors of sustained and serious adult criminality is
the age of initiation and seriousness of the delinquent career.6

Risk factorsResearch shows a small number of juveniles commit crime. Furthermore, of


those juveniles who do commit one or two offenses. For these individuals, the experience
of the juvenile justice systembeing arrested by a law enforcement officer, facing their
parents, having to spend a night in juvenile hall, interacting with a probation officer or a
judgeis enough to keep them from offending again.

Failure in schoolthis factor manifests itself at an early age. Failure at school includes poor
academic performance, poor attendance, or more likely, explusion or dropping out of
school. This is an important factor for predicting future criminal behavior. Leaving school
early reduces the chance that juveniles will develop the �social� skills that are gained
in school, such as learning to meet deadlines, following instructions, and being able to
deal constructively with their peers.

Social Factors -- Changes in the American social structure may indirectly affect juvenile
crime rates. For example, changes in the economy that lead to fewer job opportunities for
youth and rising unemployment in general. This factor includes a history of criminal
activity in the family. It also includes juveniles who have been subject to sexual or
physical abuse, neglect, or abandonment. It is also manifested by a lack of parental
control over the child.

Families have also experienced changes with the last 25 years. More families consist of
one-parent households or two working parents; consequently, children are likely to have
less supervision at home that was common in the traditional family structure. This lack of
parental supervision is thought to be an influence on juvenile crime rates. Other
identifiable causes of delinquent acts include frustration or failure in school, the increased
availability of drugs and alcohol, and the growing incidence of child abuse and child
neglect. All these conditions tend to increase the probability of a child committing a
criminal act, although a direct causal relationship has not yet been established.

Families are important to consider when trying to explain juvenile delinquency. The
family unit is crucial to a child�s development and healthy upbringing, in addition,
much of what a child learns is through their family or guardians. A criminal parent can
teach their child adverse lessons about life when their child views or witnesses their
parent�s delinquent behavior.

Peer can also teach an adolescent or child criminal behavior just as the family member
can. Family members and peers can also cause delinquent patterns of behavior by
labeling their child as delinquent. This is somewhat of the �if the shoe fits, wear it�
saying. If a child feels as though they are viewed as delinquent, then they will act as such
and find a sense of self-esteem by doing so.

Treatment of Offenders � The juvenile justice system tries to treat and rehabilitate
youngsters who become involved in delinquency. The methods can be categorized as
community treatment, and institutionalization.

In most instances community treatment involves placing the child on probation. When the
child is not believed to be harmful to others, he or she is placed under the supervision of
an officer of the juvenile court and must abide by the specific rules that are worked out
between the officer and the child. In some instances community treatment also takes the
form of restitution, in which the child reimburses the victim either through direct
payment or through some form of work or public service.

Each activity will challenge students to use information, ideas, and skills. These
application exercises will allow students to move from lower to higher cognitive levels.
Students will not only read about making decisions, they will practice making and
judging decisions. They will use skills in finding, comprehending, organizing, evaluating,
and communicating information and ideas. Through regular application of these skills,
students may demonstrate competence.

What is Juvenile Crime?

In its simplest definition, �crime� is any specific act prohibited by law for which
society has provided a formally sanctioned punishment. This also can include the failure
of a person to perform an act specifically required by law.

Types of offenses�crimes, whether committed by adults or juveniles, are classified by


the seriousness of the offenses as follows: a felony is the most serious offense, punishable
by a sentence to a state institution (youth authority facility or adult prison). Felonies
generally include violent crimes, sex offenses, and many types of drugs and property
violations.

A misdemeanor is a less serious offense for which the offender may be sentenced to
probation, county detention (in a juvenile facility or jail), a fine, or some combination of
the three. Misdemeanors generally include crimes such as assault and battery, petty theft,
and public drunkenness. A fraction is the least serious offense and generally is punishable
by a fine. Many motor vehicle violations are considered infraction. Juveniles, like adults,
can be charge with a felony, a misdemeanor, or an infraction. However, as we will discuss
later, juveniles can also be charged with offenses that are unique to youth.

The Juvenile Court


The juvenile court is a noble institutiona noble, underfunded, often unappreciated
institution charged with the most important duty imaginable, protecting and reforming
our children when all else failed.

The juvenile court is one of the few places in society where the needs of children are
paramount and where a passion for helping children defines its work. In the juvenile
court, children are the absolute priority. The juvenile court is doing a creditable job under
adverse circumstances toward achieving these goalshowever, a better job is needed and,
fortunately, it can be achieved.

Most citizens see the juvenile court as an institution designed to deal with young
offenders who commit crimes. Although this may be its most public function, the juvenile
court is much more. The dispositions of child abuse and neglect cases and cases involving
the termination of parental rights are equally and increasingly important functions that are
essential to understanding the relationship between dependency and delinquency.

The juvenile court system was founded with high goals. In theory, the system was
supposed to help and rehabilitate young offenders. It was designed to act as a guardian
looking out for the best interests of children. In practice, juvenile court often failed to
rehabilitate. It also denied young people the protection and rights guaranteed to adults. In
many cases, juveniles were processed through a system with few safeguards and little
hope of treatment. In 1966, the U.S. Supreme Court began to change the theory and
operation of the juvenile justice system.

Should teenagers have the same rights as adults under the Constitution? Several cases
have dealt with this question. The answer is not always yes and the court has said, in fact,
that in certain instances teenagers can be treated differently.

In this section, we will discuss cases affecting teenagers. These cases will form the basis
for classroom debates or in preparation for state debate competition. The cases discussed
relate to the question of whether or not teenagers are entitled to the same protection under
the law as adults.

The first session deals with cases relating to the 1st amendment rights of teenagers. The
second section deals with Supreme Court rulings regarding the disciplining of teenagers.

Section 1 � Supreme Court cases affecting the procedural protection of teenagers under
the Constitution.

In Re Gault - Minor�s Rights

WAS IT FAIR? In 1964, in Globe, Arizona, 15 � year-old Gerald Gault was charged
with making an obscene telephone call to a female neighbor. He was convicted by a
juvenile court in Arizona and committed to a juvenile correctional facility for an
indeterminate period not to extend beyond his 21st birthday. Justice Fortas again wrote
the opinion for the court and ruled that youth are also protected under the 14th
amendment. He also stated that Gault�s constitutional rights had been violated and that
Gault was entitled to:7

Adequate notice of the precise nature of the charges brought against him.
Notice of the right to counsel and, if indigent, the right to have counsel appointed.
The right to confront witnesses and have them cross-examined.
The privilege against self-incrimination, which applies to juvenile and adult proceedings.
The court also concluded that, because the non-criminal label attached to juvenile
proceedings did not dictate the scope of the juvenile�s rights, calling such matter
�civil� would not dictate the parameter of the rights prescribed. Gault marked the
constitutional domestication of the parens patriae juvenile court, and a new era dawned
based on a more criminal due process model contrasted with the historic informality of
juvenile court proceedings. It decision affected the way all juveniles are treated in court
today.

In re Gault, focused on children�s due process rights, and, in the 1990�s, to one
focused on accountability and punishment. None of these, alone, is enough. Today, the
court must somehow simultaneously afford children due process, deliver swift and
appropriate punishment, and endeavor to rehabilitate and meet the therapeutic needs of
juvenile offenders and their families.

Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier � Student Censorship

The Hazelwood vs. kuhlmeier case deals with the first Amendment rights of students to
free expression. The controversy began in the Spring of 1983 when Robert E. Reynolds,
the principal of Hazelwood East High School, refused to permit the publication of two
articles in the Spectrum, a school newspaper.

Principal Reynolds said he deleted the two articles dealing with divorce and teenage
pregnancy because they described families and students in such a way that even though
their names were going to tread on the rights of privacy of students and their parents.�
School Officials further said that the newspaper was an extension of classroom
instruction and did not enjoy first Amendment protection.8

A district court judge agreed with the school board�s lawyer who said that schools
would be in trouble if people could change curriculum at the drop of a lawsuit. A court of
appeals disagreed, however, and by a 2 � 1 decision overturned the judge�s decision
saying the Hazelwood�s spectrum was, in fact, a public forum.�

When the case finally reached the Supreme Court on January 13,1988, the court ruled 5-3
that school officials have broad power

To censor school newspaper, plays and other �school sponsored expressive activities.

In this unit, students will read about young people under the age of 18. In some ways,
these young people are probably a lot like them and their friends. In other ways they may
be quite different. For the people they are going to read about have been in trouble with
the law. They are just a few of the thousands of young people whom state and local
government call juvenile delinquents.

Judge Maurice B. Cohill�s, Jr., a juvenile judge in Pittsburgh, described in a newspaper


three cases he had decided. In the article, he argued that it was good that juvenile judges
have a wide choice in the way they treat young offenders. After reading the following
cases, see if you agree with judge Cohill�s decisions.

1). Beverly was in judge Cohill�s when she was 15. She repeatedly ran away from a
home for emotionally distrubed children. There was no doubt that Beverly was
emotionally disturbed. She was described as bitter and hostile, and she often banged her
head against the wall. The people who ran the home where she lived said they could not
keep Beverly any longer. No one knew who her parents were because she had been left in
a garbage can when she was an infant. She had already been in three foster homes and an
orphanage.

2). Nancy, 13, was picked up for shoplifting in a department store. When police
couldn�t locate her mother, she was sent to a detention home. There it was discovered
that the only person she was close to was a 16-year-old boy with whom she was sexually
involved (a juvenile offense in most states). When Nancy�s mother came to her hearing,
she sat in the back of the courtroom muttering dirty words. The judge thought the mother
didn�t know where she was.

3). Ken, 14, took an old family car out for a ride without his parent�s permission. He
had no driver�s license. He and a friend were riding along the highway when the car
went out of control. It smashed head-on into another car, killing the other driver.

Students will think about each case. What do they think should be done about Beverely,
Nancy,and Ken? They will discuss their opinions with other classmates.

The Supreme Court said: 1). Juveniles must be warned that they do not have to testify
against themselves or give a confession. 2). Like adults, they are entitled to a lawyer for
any offense for which an adult could have one. If they can�t afford a lawyer, the court
must furnish one. 3). Juveniles must be told what the charges are against them soon
enough to prepare for their hearing. 4). They have a right to confront the witnesses
against them and cross-examine them. Witnesses must be sworn in.

Summary
The interconnected issues of violence, poverty, lack of social support, and high school
dropout rates have led to an ever-increasing incarceration of young people from inner-city
areas with large minority populations. The police, court, and state-run juvenile justice
systems’ response to social problems is reactive, funneling young people into expensive
treatment and reintegration programs. These programs generally have very limited
success.
Men in Motion in the Community (MIMIC) is a group of men — most of whom are ex-
offenders — whose concerns about the high number of youth entering the juvenile justice
system prompted them to provide mentorship and crisis intervention to most-at-risk
young males (ages 12-17) in their North Philadelphia community. Many of these youth
are very hard to reach via conventional channels (like the state-run programs). Given
their personal experiences, MIMIC volunteers are able to connect to the youth quickly,
eliminating the barriers faced by traditional service providers in engaging extremely at-
risk youth (Desamour 2009). MIMIC offers a proactive, community-based solution that
focuses on root causes to prevent youth from entering the juvenile justice system in the
first place. In addition, some of the men who volunteer with MIMIC find that
transforming their own past prison experiences into a positive contribution to their
communities facilitates a more sustainable re-entry experience for them.

To tackle youth crime, we must address the root causes of crime, not the act itself.
MIMIC demonstrates that the best way to “reform” the juvenile justice system is to make
sure the juveniles don’t enter the system at all. The authentic relationships, emphasis on
male role models rooted in the community, and similarities in background between
MIMIC volunteers and at-risk youth all contribute to the volunteers’ success.

The Problem: Poverty, Violence, Low educational Levels, and Lack of Social
Support Lead to Rising Incarceration of Juveniles
The industrial boom in the early 20th century made Philadelphia one of the most thriving
cities in the United States. People from all over the world, many of them minority
populations, flocked to the city to fill the labor shortage. But by the 1970s, the industry
jobs had mostly dried up, and Philadelphia had lost a half million people by 2000 — with
those remaining left to struggle with job shortages. By the 1980s, the crack epidemic had
struck many poor urban communities, and selling drugs became an alternative job
market.

Federal and local policy changes also contributed to the impoverishment of urban
communities. “Reaganomics” rerouted the New Deal’s legacy by reducing government
spending and regulation. American voters increasingly resisted higher taxes to pay for
social services. Presidents Reagan and Bush both aggressively pushed for privatization of
social services and devolution of government responsibilities. Further, the minimum
wage hasn’t kept pace with inflation since the 1970s (Niskanen 2002). All of these
external variables spurred cycles of violence and poverty and factor into an overarching
problem of troubled home environments and breakdown in social support systems for
youth.
MIMIC works in the 24th, 25th, and 26th Police Districts in North Philadelphia, which
have large minority populations and are plagued with some of the highest levels of
poverty in the city. Approximately 47 percent of Latino and African-American children
aged 17 and younger live below the poverty level in these areas (U.S. Census Bureau
2005). A total of 55 percent of Latinos citywide are either unemployed or not in the labor
force (Bartelt 2001). The median family income in 1998 of a Latino household in the city
of Philadelphia was $12,744, and the median household income for an African-American
household was $23,847 (Bartelt 2001).

Young people not graduating from high school have fewer skills, lower earnings, and
reduced opportunities for employment. This area of Philadelphia has the lowest four-year
on-time high school graduation rates in the city, between 40 and 50 percent (Children’s
Commission 2005). The 2004 dropout rate in North Philadelphia where MIMIC works
was approximately 42 percent, much higher than the average city rate of 26 percent
(ENPYSC 2005).

Poverty, lower education levels, and lack of social support are all closely related to crime.
The incidence of Philadelphia Latino youth involved in the juvenile justice system has
increased steadily from 1995 to 2000. In 2004, Latino youth were projected to comprise
14.6 percent of the caseload, with over 500 youth involved in the juvenile justice system
(Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 2004).

Over the past 20 years, the upsurge in violent juvenile crime has been cause for serious
alarm. In response to this increase, the 1990s produced many state laws that allowed
more youths to be tried as adults and allowed courts to institute stronger sanctions. The
role of mental health issues in juvenile delinquency was given little or no consideration.
Disproportionate minority contact between youth offenders and the juvenile justice
system became a troubling and little-addressed problem.

Research has suggested that overlooking some factors and implementing harsher
sanctions such as trying juveniles as adults have increased recidivism (a relapse in
delinquent behavior resulting in re-entering the system) and reduced educational and
employment opportunities (Models for Change 2007). To date, state-run programs in
Pennsylvania have an average 33 percent recidivism rate among urban teenage males
(Kalist and Lee 2009). Teens who enter the juvenile justice system have a lower chance
than others of graduating from high school. In turn, these factors have increased racial
and economic disparities in low-income communities (Models for Change 2007).

In the past few years, Pennsylvania’s investment in research on juvenile justice has
resulted in a re-evaluation of crime prevention and aftercare programs that recognize
juvenile-adult differences, take into account mental health issues, address
disproportionate minority contact including language and cultural considerations, utilize
early-warning risk factors, and recognize individual differences in program development.
The past two governors of Pennsylvania have set aside more money in the state budgets
than ever before for prevention and comprehensive re-integration, which is an
encouraging sign.

The most promising new programs addressing these issues are Blueprints for Violence
Prevention programs. These include Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care, an
“alternative to group or residential treatment, incarceration, or hospitalization for
adolescents who have problems with chronic antisocial behavior, emotional disturbance
and delinquency”; Multisystemic Therapy, an “intensive family- and community-based
treatment that addresses the multiple reasons behind the serious antisocial behavior of
juvenile offenders”; and Functional Family Therapy, an “outcome driven
prevention/intervention program for youth who have demonstrated the entire range of
maladaptive, acting out behaviors and related syndromes”(Models for Change 2005: 28-
30). However, implementing change at the state level is slow, and even these more
progressive programs still show significant gaps in addressing root problems after full
implementation.

Examination of current juvenile justice documents, policy statements, and program


guidelines addressing prevention issues shows no mention of the lack of safe, supportive,
and loving relationships with adults in the youths’ communities of origin. The
communities are included in the solution as passive participants, but the latent potential
of community involvement and responsibility for re-integrating youth are not fully
recognized. State-run programs rely largely on institutional models utilizing state
employees such as probation officers, social workers, counselors, and teachers.

In addition, there are few provisions for crisis intervention and prevention. Usually by the
time police or other authorities are contacted, risky situations have progressed into crisis.
Recent literature does not stress the importance of the simplest prevention and
intervention elements such as consistent, reliable social support systems. There is little
reliance on any effort outside of system-bound solutions, and certainly no inclusion of ex-
offenders or other males from the community built into prevention or aftercare programs.

Institutional juvenile programs are not client-centric. The prevention programs that target
“at-risk” youth are usually decided upon with little if any input from the youth
themselves. Typically, the preventive services have a prescribed service strategy that tries
to fit young people into one model. In addition, there are simply not enough caseworkers
to deal with the volume of youth. As a result, youth become a number and their stories are
relegated to the pages of a standardized report.

The Solution: Prevention and Intervention from Outside the System


MIMIC is focused on helping young men to engage/re-engage in education and
strengthen the social networks needed to live a life free of crime and violence. The
MIMIC volunteers who grew up in the same locality realize that their lives could have
been much different if somebody had shown them options beyond the violence and
poverty all around them. They want the young men in Philadelphia’s 24th, 25th, and 26th
Police Districts to understand that they can have a bright future if they really want it.
MIMIC’s ultimate goal is to reduce the number of young males of color entering gangs
and/or the criminal justice system.

The most innovative components of MIMIC’s model include:

 Relationship: MIMIC is composed of men with similar backgrounds and cultures


who can connect with kids on a personal level.
 Volunteer model: The volunteer-driven model conveys MIMIC’s authenticity to
the kids.
 Client-centric: Kids select their own level of involvement with MIMIC and get
very personalized attention; MIMIC meets the kids where they are — in school or on
the corner — and provides a 24-hour hotline for around-the-clock support.
 Redemption: Many MIMIC volunteers have gone through the justice system and
are uniquely prepared to work on prevention; MIMIC provides ex-offenders with a
sustainable re-entry/re-integration program.

Relationship

The who of the MIMIC relationship is what makes such a profound difference. The
MIMIC volunteers identify with the young people and earn their trust because they share
similarities in culture, language, and background. MIMIC volunteers also have respect in
the streets of their communities, which allows for greater mutual respect between the kids
and their mentors. Hence, they are equipped to offer the youth what they lack most — a
meaningful relationship with a supportive male role model.

Crime committed by juveniles in Philadelphia is partly due to dysfunctional family


situations. Most young men do not have a male mentor to look up to and talk to at their
most vulnerable and impressionable age. MIMIC volunteers try to solve this problem by
offering an intense mentoring relationship. The similar backgrounds, culture, class, and
geography help the boys feel comfortable in opening up, and this leads to the formation
of an authentic relationship.

Volunteer Model
MIMIC acts as a transformative force leveraging volunteers to effect positive change in
their communities. The volunteer force is important because the young people understand
that their mentors are driven by internal motives, not financial motives. All the MIMIC
volunteers have jobs; they find time for MIMIC before and after work, during holidays,
or by using vacation or sick leave time. When the young men see that these mentors are
working voluntarily for their betterment, it becomes easier for them to trust MIMIC.

MMIC was not designed by a group of people outside of the community with a larger
agenda. Rather, it evolved naturally as a result of the efforts of a group of responsible
men trying to improve the lives of young men in their community. Edwin Desamour,
MIMIC’s founder, says, “These kids are smart and when they realize that we function
without any resources other than our passion towards this cause, they develop respect for
MIMIC.” It is this trust and respect that helps MIMIC touch the hardest-to-reach young
males and win their confidence.

Client-Centric

Typically in existing preventive services, a prescribed service strategy tries to fit young
people into one model. However, the relationship that is formed between MIMIC
volunteers and the youth is one that responds in a timely fashion to the needs of the
young person and is client-centric.

MIMIC can also be distinguished from the state-run juvenile correction programs based
on its approach towards the connection. By distributing their hotline numbers, MIMIC
volunteers give the kids an option to take the first step; the relationship is initiated by the
youth who call. This initiative can play an important role in making them feel responsible
for maintaining the relationship, as it is something they have done of their own choice
rather than obligation.

Redemption

In the Alcoholics Anonymous model, the best way to stay sober is to help another
alcoholic. In this same way, MIMIC reinforces its mission on two fronts: preventing
youth from entering the justice system helps MIMIC volunteers from re-entering the
system.

MIMIC volunteers struggle with their own histories of abusive childhoods, addiction,
violence, or poverty. The name MIMIC is an intentional play on words — the men ask
the kids to mimic them and not the drug dealers running the streets. Through the
opportunity to turn their lives around, MIMIC is helping its volunteers stay focused and
giving them a reason to act responsibly: they love these kids, and these kids look up to
them. Oftentimes after making a presentation, a MIMIC volunteer will say, “I really
needed that.” This response reinforces the authenticity of the mentoring relationships;
they need the kids just as much as the kids need them.

In addition, the structure of MIMIC provides the adult male volunteers with a social
support network among themselves. The men work out together as a way to vent their
stress, and check in with each other regularly. Occasionally, after meetings, which are
routinely held in churches and community centers, the men end with a prayer, and some
help out with ministries at the churches. Some volunteers cite MIMIC as a way to work
through the guilt they carry. For many of them, preventing other youth from entering the
system is the path to confession, forgiveness, and redemption.

How MIMIC Works


MIMIC has developed various strategies for outreach in the areas of prevention, crisis
intervention, and community building.

Hollar at Me

This is a unique technique used by MIMIC to engage youth by having two to four
speakers give testimonies about their past tribulations and poor personal choices. Each
speaker has a different history that ranges from prison experiences to violence, gangs,
drugs, poverty, trouble with school, and homelessness. These stories make a deep impact
on the listeners, as most of them are facing the same problems in their own lives. Each
speaker explains what it took and still takes to overcome obstacles and live a healthy,
productive life. Youth are encouraged to ask questions and discuss decision making with
presenters. The MIMIC volunteers distribute business cards during these sessions to
enable the youth to call them and discuss problems one-on-one. MIMIC has also done
presentations on youth re-entry at juvenile facilities and drug and alcohol treatment
centers.

Life Line

At its inception, MIMIC volunteers handed out their personal cell phone numbers. Now
that the number of calls has increased dramatically, they have designated a 24-hour
hotline number for calls. The MIMIC volunteers take turns being on call for Life Line
through rotating shifts each week.

Under MIMIC’s Life Line program, the volunteers distribute business cards with the
hotline number on street corners, in parks, at schools, and even in abandoned buildings
where young people hang out. It provides a great support to the youth, as they know that
they can approach MIMIC in their time of need — day or night. The ability to respond
immediately at any time of the day is one of the methodologies that most distinguishes
MIMIC from other prevention/intervention programs and has proven quite successful.
Past phone calls have included issues of abuse at home, questions about sex and
sexuality, situations involving gun violence, and requests for general help in turning their
lives around.

Mentorship

The mentoring relationship is born out of Hollar at Me events with at-risk youth in the
schools and continues via face-to-face meetings, telephone calls, and activities in neutral
community spaces (churches, parks, and other meeting places). During the development
of the relationship, the mentor helps the youth identify the various social and systemic
obstacles to success and determines how each one will be addressed. The mentors often
become staunch advocates supporting the kids at meetings with schools or other state
service providers, accompanying them to court visits, or attending school or community
events with them when family support is not present.

The mentoring services provide immediate crisis intervention and defuse conflicts or
potentially violent situations. Also, they increase independent survival skills and decrease
the need for gang involvement among at-risk males by providing access to educational
opportunities, job training, life skills training, and leadership skills development. Lastly,
they decrease gang-related activity by redirecting violent behavior into productive
activities in the community.

For youth currently enrolled in schools, MIMIC expects to see the following additional
outcomes as a result of mentoring relationships: increased school attendance, improved
relationships and attitudes towards school and school officials, decrease in behavioral
problems at school, and increased effort and interest in academic subjects.

The Hook Up

By collaborating with community-based organizations, recreational centers, and faith-


based organizations, MIMIC becomes a bridge for at-risk youth who want to be
reconnected with school, family, and society. For out-of-school youth, MIMIC provides
engagement in educational or job training opportunities, identification of career goals,
and development of social skills needed for good self-presentation in interviews and for
successful relationships with peers and/or coworkers. In this way, MIMIC serves as an
intermediary agent that connects at-risk youth with community resources they may have
never known about. They have connected youth with needed resources such as mental
health services, safe and adequate housing, addiction counseling, etc.

Building Bridges

Perhaps no other program shows how much trust MIMIC has gained within the
community than Building Bridges. Attendance increased 250 percent (from 200 to 500
people) between the first and second years of the program.

Building Bridges is an annual event that brings together principals, teachers, community
residents, and local business owners to celebrate and promote education with the youth.
The day is filled with music, games, and food. In collaboration with schools, businesses,
and community organizations, MIMIC provides school bags and school supplies for
students during the event. Parents are provided the opportunity to communicate with
school personnel and various community organizations.

Junior MIMIC

Junior MIMIC is a group of kids that the volunteers have been working with since its
inception. This group has the highest level of involvement, with the kids often helping
out with MIMIC community outreach programs, like neighborhood clean-ups. Samuel
Rodriguez (a pseudonym) is one of the Junior MIMIC members with an inspiring story.

Samuel’s Story
Samuel Rodriguez, a 15-year-old in North Philadelphia, has known Edwin Desamour for
just over one year. They met during a Hollar at Me presentation at Samuel’s middle
school. Samuel says that when he met Edwin he was “the worst person in my class,” and
if it weren’t for MIMIC he’d “be locked up right now.” Edwin’s message reached Samuel
unlike any other intervention program up to that point because “everything he said was
true and honest. MIMIC — they’re different, they keep it real with you.”

Samuel doesn’t know his father. His mother was addicted to drugs when he was born, so
he was placed in foster care as a young child. He has been abused, both physically and
verbally, by his foster mother his whole life. He has used the 24-hour Life Line in the
middle of the night to reach out for help with the physical violence in his home. A social
worker is assigned to Samuel’s case, but she must refamiliarize herself with his file every
time he comes in because she has so many clients. In addition, the red tape in the foster
care system has prevented Samuel from being moved from his foster home, and the
system has been slow to act when there are reports of abuse.

Unlike case managers or even parents, Edwin keeps tabs on Samuel, and the relationship
is intensely personalized. He drives to Edwin’s school and pops his head into his classes.
Since the teachers know him, he can pull Samuel out of class for a few minutes to check
in. If Samuel isn’t at school, Edwin drives to his house. Brief conversations are
sometimes all that’s needed, but these check-ins keep the lines of communication clear,
open, and — most importantly to kids like Samuel — authentic. Personalized support like
this can make the difference between a kid graduating or not.

When asked to describe how his relationship with Edwin has affected his performance at
school, Samuel said, “Mr. Desamour is keeping me outta trouble. The guys at MIMIC
don’t wait and they don’t say no. Mr. Desamour was always there for me. I graduated 8th
grade last year, which is pretty good. I woulda never graduated if not for Mr. Desamour.”

This first step — simply graduating 8th grade — puts Samuel statistically ahead of other
at-risk youth in his neighborhood. Each grade that Samuel can finish brings him closer to
graduating high school and staying out of the justice system altogether. When kids have
to live one day at a time, a relationship with a supportive adult who understands where
they’re coming from may be the only thing that can help them through.

Over the course of this year-long mentorship, Edwin has made many expectations clear to
Samuel: keep focused and do what you need to do to get through school, dress in a clean
way, always introduce yourself the first thing when you see someone new (to clear the air
upfront and avoid trouble in the streets), check in with Edwin as often as needed, respect
your teachers and the people around you. Samuel used to just go home and “get into
trouble” after school. Now, he “participates in more activities after school, like helping
MIMIC with their events.”

Samuel says that in five years, he sees himself helping others the way MIMIC helped
him. What Samuel may not know is just how much he and the other boys in Junior
MIMIC help the volunteers each day as well.

Social Return on Investment


MIMIC has shown enormous potential taxpayer savings: for every 50 youth that are
prevented from entering the juvenile justice system, the state will save $3,341,000 per
year.

To date, MIMIC has been functioning rather informally. Only recently did MIMIC’s
founder, Edwin, start working full-time as the organization’s president. Through
alignment of the Latino Juvenile Justice Networka MacArthur Foundation initiative, and
MIMIC’s goals Edwin is able to dedicate himself full time to this work. He is working on
putting in place a more solid institutional infrastructure. MIMIC also has an advisory
board of six members from the local nonprofit community. MIMIC supports 11
volunteers who each mentor a few youth and handle only a small number of phone calls,
due to time, organizational, and financial constraints. It has had little to no capacity to
measure outcomes and as a result operates with only anecdotal evidence of its success.

However, with a full-time president, volunteer coordinator, data specialist, and


receptionist, MIMIC estimates that it can manage about 50 volunteers — each of whom
could provide comprehensive mentoring for two youth. If MIMIC could serve 100 at-risk
youth each year, operating with a 50 percent success rate, it could prevent 50 youth from
entering the juvenile justice system. Including the costs for arrests and court hearings, and
taking into account the recidivism rate, the average cost to incarcerate one youth for one
year in Philadelphia is $71,820. In contrast, the annual operating costs for MIMIC are
approximately $250,000. This means that spending $250,000 to prevent 50 youth from
entering the system today will save the state $3,341,000 in taxpayer money tomorrow. If
the state spent the amount of money for 3.5 placements on MIMIC’s model, it could save
the amount of money needed for 46.5 placements. (Costs are based on Philadelphia police
estimates and on projected MIMIC budgets.) In addition, MIMIC greatly improves the
lives of at-risk youth and eases re-entry for ex-offenders. MIMIC has an undeniably huge
social and financial return on investment.

Studies show that personalized counseling programs cost less than confinement and are
often more effective. MIMIC saves just as much or more taxpayer money when compared
to the cost benefits of the previously mentioned state-run Blueprints for Violence
Prevention programs. A study conducted by the Washington State Institute of Public
Policy showed that for each dollar spent on Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care,
Multisystemic Therapy, and Functional Family Therapy the estimated benefits to
taxpayers and crime victims were $22.58, $13.45, and $11, respectively (Models for
Change 2005, 30). In comparison, MIMIC saves $14.36 for every dollar spent.

Is MIMIC a Replicable Model?


MIMIC has powerful implications for both re-entries of ex-offenders and for shifting
juvenile prevention to a more client-centered approach. Any attempt at replicating the
MIMIC model must keep the who of the relationship central to the implementation. Each
volunteer holds strong personal convictions about giving back to his own community, and
each has experienced the same challenges that the youth are facing. Another unique
strength is that all the youth are involved because they want to be, not because they have
to be. Personal choice must be kept central to participation levels for replicability to
succeed. Lastly, the group has a tremendous amount of support from people and
organizations in the community who believe in what they do and wants to ensure their
success. As a result, MIMIC’s unique innovation is the ability to reach the most extreme
at-risk youth who are not responding well to traditional prevention programs.

MIMIC is not intended to replace state-run programs; rather, it can augment institutional
services very effectively. Addressing large societal problems like rising incarceration
rates requires that a variety of methodologies be employed. Currently, not enough
programs provide the full range of prevention and intervention strategies needed to
effectively tackle the problem of juvenile justice. MIMIC cheaply and effectively reaches
youth who do not respond to traditional institutional prevention programs. In addition,
there is anecdotal evidence that MIMIC’s methodologies may have better long-term
outcomes than other institutional models because of the program’s comprehensive
approach.

The MIMIC model is a truly transformational force and is a great option for addressing
rising incarceration rates of juvenile offenders. MIMIC is showing the world that ex-
offenders hold vast potential to effect future positive change in our communities.

Amruta Ghanekar is a Chartered Accountant from India. She worked as a tax consultant
with Ernst & Young for three years. She is currently pursuing the M.Sc. in
Nonprofit/NGO Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania. Sara Taveras is a
community activist from northeast Ohio. She spent three years lobbying on economic
justice issues in Washington, D.C., and has worked with various economic development
projects in Central America. She will graduate with an M.Sc. in Nonprofit/NGO
Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010.

Recipients of Goldring Fellowships and candidates for the degree of Master of Science in
Non-profit/NGO Leadership, School of Social Policy and Practice, University of
Pennsylvania.

Effects on the Victims


The most obvious people affected by juvenile delinquency are the victims. Whether the
crime involves theft, vandalism, or violence, the victim always suffers loss. The victim
may incur expenses related to lost wages, health care, or psychological care in addition to
the cost of replacing damaged or destroyed items.
Effects on the Juvenile Delinquent
The juvenile who commits a crime also suffers effects that he or she is probably unable to
predict. He or she may lose his or her freedom while being incarcerated or placed on
probation. The juvenile may lose ground academically as well. Although placement in
residential detention centers for juveniles may be appropriate consequences for the
adolescent's criminal actions, it also puts him or her in relationships with other
delinquents, who may be more sophisticated or influential. This makes recidivism likely
and, in many states, when a juvenile older than 14 becomes a repeat offender, he or she
can be tried and sentenced as an adult. The delinquency may even have future
consequences on the adolescent's college and career choices.
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Effects on the Families


The upheaval and trauma of having a family member who is a juvenile delinquent can
create instability for the other relatives. Not only does the family have to cope with the
needs of the child who is in trouble, but they may also have to raise large amounts of
money to pay for lawyers. In addition, the family has to face the ethical issues of
responsibility to the victims of the child's crime. Families must usually attend group
counseling sessions, which can be disruptive and costly during the time when the child is
in detention or on probation.
Effects on the Community
There is a correlation between juvenile delinquency and drug use, gang involvement,
alcohol abuse, and sexual behavior. All of these issues challenge communities by making
neighborhoods unsafe and costing large amounts of public money to be spent on law
enforcement and school safety.
Effects on Society
Young people who commit serious crimes before they are 18 years old challenge the
future for everyone involved. They may be acting out to protest perceived abuses that
have been perpetrated against them. They may believe that there is no future for them
outside of a life of crime. They may be expressing anger or frustration directed against
another person or group or looking for approval from a gang. Whatever the motive,
juvenile delinquency affects too many American individuals, families, and communities.
It is a serious problem that challenges the efforts of government agencies, politicians,
educators, faith communities, and nonprofit organizations alike.

Read more : http://www.ehow.com/about_5108646_effects-juvenile-delinquency.html

Juvenile Delinquency – its effects and how to solve it


We generally see criminals as gruesome adults, but the increasing numbers of minors
getting involved in this kind of wrongdoings can be considered a disturbing matter that
the government has to take seriously. Misguided and problematic, these minors lurk in the
darkest streets to carry out their unlawful plans. Often associated with gangs, they
actually provide inconvenient way of living in the community. Conversely, the
community they live in unknowingly influenced them to be these so called ‘Juvenile
Delinquents’.

The term juvenile delinquency refers to the criminal acts performed by juveniles or the
youths, thus calling them juvenile delinquents. It is also the legal term for criminal
behavior carried out by minors recognized for having problematic behavior. Juvenile
Delinquency can actually be traced in the early times, where governments all over the
world have these poor laws that gave the youth much freedom, while some began as a
form of youth rebellion. It was just then that authorities became aware and attended to
this issue.

Most of the time, felonious activities are usually done in a group setting, acquiring help
from their own gangs or tribes. In the country, gangs would do illicit acts that would
make their group famous. An example of it is the ‘gang wars’ or a riot, usually done at
late night, two or more groups will fight each other to see who’s the superior gang. They
throw rocks or bottles at their rivals; while some use deadly weapons like knives and ice
picks for the sake of hurting. These riots surely disturb the whole neighborhood in which
the fight is occurring. It is even more dangerous for civilian people who just happened to
be around at that place. The whole community would then be disturbed for the people
there are scared going out at night. A gang called ‘TBS’ made its name infamous by
causing much trouble in major cities and towns over the country.

Not just in riots these juvenile delinquents are known for. Most of them had actually
committed crimes that an adult would do. According to UNICEF, an average of 10, 500
minors are being arrested and detained every year – about 28 children every day, or more
than one child every hour. Report on 2003 stated that seven children were in Death Row,
and 200 children in the Medium Security Unit of the National Bilibid Prisons. It is a sad
fact juveniles are arrested for using or pushing drugs which then breeds to other forms of
crimes such as rape, murder, and homicide. It is even more alarming to know that poverty
has driven most of the minors detained to commit crime. At the Molave Youth Home in
Quezon City 74 children of the 159 detainees are facing trial for crimes against poverty
(39 accused of theft and 34 of robbery). Records dating back to 1990 collected by the
Quezon City government reveal expose that poverty is the common origin of a great
majority of children in jail. Another data show that 7 in every 10 children detained at the
Molave Youth Home in 2002 belonged to families having a monthly income of 2,000-
4,000 pesos.

We might say that this issue is not bigger than the economic crisis we are experiencing
right now, but to think that these delinquents are just disoriented youths, it’s actually
unfair. A youth, for the sake of being a part of something that could protect him will join
a gang and throw chaos to the society that rejects him; a youth, who just wants to prove
something will be a rebel to his family; a youth, who just wants to escape his miserable
life will do foolish crimes; an innocent youth yet dangerous; a naive youth yet matured; a
youth supposed to study at school, expected to be the next leader, an asset turned liability
of our society…it is unfair.

This calls for the help of the whole society to be in charge for the guidance of these future
generations. A range of community based schemes for the diversion of children away
from committing crimes can be conducted. This includes community care, guidance,
counseling foster care and training, social activities, and community development. These
are just few of the possible ways of helping the juveniles. Simple but effective!

The government might also want to amend the law with regards to Comprehensive
Juvenile Justice. It must raise the age of criminal responsibility from nine to twelve years
old, which means that a child 12 years old or under at the time of his offense shall be
exempt from criminal liability. With this, there will be more children that can undergo
into guidance and counseling while also receiving care and protection. It must also
prohibit the detention of children with adults unless a family member to prevent physical,
sexual, and psychological harm. Local government units must also help in developing
and implementing campaigns for delinquency prevention which includes counseling of
families so that parent will be aware on how their children grow and develop. Youth on
the other hand must also know their responsibilities as citizens of the country. This is
where education takes place. Education aids the youth in developing all the aspects in
their lives and with proper education, they will be more likely to be productive members
of the society.

Poverty, which is considered to be the roots of all problems and issues in the country,
may not be eradicated easily. So, I can say that, when there is poverty, there would still be
juvenile delinquents prowling all over the city. The least we can do is to lessen their
increasing population by, of course, implementing those schemes.
“It does take a village to raise a child”. Juvenile Delinquents are misled youths whom has
made wrong choices in their lives which was influenced by the society itself, and the only
way to reverse it is to raise these youths and model them into better persons. This is when
we can see their true potentials.

HISTORY
The video footage was as shocking as it was disturbing: on a busy Metro Manila
thoroughfare with crawling traffic, a gang of very young boys run to a taxi, open the three
passenger doors, spring into the taxi and in a split second, dart out and dash off back into
the highway.
The video captured a case of highway robbery, using juveniles, and was used at the
beginning of this week's episode of Tina Monzon-Palma's "Talkback." The show focused
on Republic Act 9344 or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006, which exempts
those aged 15 and below from criminal liability.
That law is now being blamed for an upsurge of crimes involving minors, ranging from
burglaries and holdups to drug pushing. Sen. Francis Escudero is now proposing a
suspension of that law while Sen. Vicente Sotto has called for lowering the age of
criminal liability down to 12, and says he is willing to bring it down to as low as 9 if
people want that. These proposals have met with popular support from a public that's
understandably fed up with the juvenile offenders, and with feeling helpless.
I have personally been affected by this upsurge on three occasions. The first time was two
years ago, when my house was burglarized by three young boys who were able to get
through the small space on top of our main gate to get into the house. They took off each
with a bike but were caught by the barangay tanod shortly after.
THE PHILIPPINES
Other Asian societies have developed systems of juvenile justice that blend cultural and
economic traditions with the influences of former colonial powers. In the Philippines, for
example, which was a colony of the United States from 1898 to 1946, a juvenile court
system was established with the U.S. system as its model. The first delinquency law was
created in 1930 (as part of Article 80 of the Revised Penal Code), but it was not until
1955 that the first juvenile court was established, in Manila.

This system was rarely used, however, especially in the provinces, largely because of a
lack of funds but also because of cultural traditions and government policies. It was
replaced by a strong and far-reachingbarangay system, legally established in 1978 and
based on principles of reconciliation and informal mediation. Every person in the country
lives within a barangay, which is a political unit headed by an elected official, a captain.
Virtually all minor cases of juvenile misbehaviour (and many serious ones as well) are
handled within this system, which explicitly excludes lawyers and the advocacy approach
to resolving citizen complaints. More serious cases of juvenile offense are officially
handled ... (200 of 4,392 words)

2 Teens At Center Of Juvenile Crime Debate


March 9
By Bryan Robinson

"He's lost … his future is gone."

Fifteen-year-old Charles "Andy" Williams' mother uttered those words after she learned
about her son's arrest for a fatal shooting spree in Santana High School.

Some say those words also apply to Lionel Tate, 14, who has been sentenced to life in
prison without parole in the wrestling death of his 6-year-old playmate. Under Florida
law, Tate faced a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole for his conviction on
first-degree murder charges.

Both Tate, who was 12 when he killed 6-year-old Tiffany Eunick, and Williams, who
faces an adult trial under California's Proposition 21, are being punished under strong
laws designed to deter other juveniles from committing similar crimes.

However, critics find reasons in both these cases to question the appropriateness of such
laws, and whether they have any impact on children.

"There's no question that they don't stop school shootings," said Mark Soler, president of
the Youth Law Center, an advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., that seeks
alternatives to incarceration for underage offenders. "I don't think anybody would agree
that a change in state policy is going to deter an adolescent — a child — from doing
anything. What the laws have done is substitute a broad statement of policy for
individualized justice."

Tate: Case Study Of A Failing System?

Tate was tried as an adult under a 1981 Florida statute that gives prosecutors discretion as
to whether to charge juveniles as adults. Florida is one of 15 states that grant prosecutors
this power.

While a report by the Justice Department last year said that juvenile murder arrests had
reached a 33-year low, falling 68 percent between 1994 and 1999, some critics pointed to
a study by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention that found Florida
still had the second-highest overall violent crime rate among juveniles in the country — a
rate that is 48 percent higher than the rest of the country.
Critics say this, and Tate's imminent sentence, show that laws such as Florida's need to be
reconsidered.

"Lionel Tate is an example of the inappropriateness of the charges a prosecutor can bring
against a juvenile in these situations," said Soler. "No one really believes that he should
have been charged with first-degree murder, as an adult no less."

An adult prison sentence will not likely help Tate, critics argue. Studies published in the
journal Crime & Delinquency have said that juveniles in the adult prison system are
approximately 33 percent more likely to continue committing crimes than those who have
gone through the juvenile system.

One expert says the approach to juvenile justice must change. Despite the seriousness of
school shootings and homicide, juvenile offenders are not little adult criminals.

"The laws presume that juveniles are rational beings who weigh the costs and benefits of
things before doing them," said Jeffrey Fagan, professor of law at Columbia University
and director of its Center for Violence Research and Prevention.

"Well, nothing could be further from the truth. They're kids and that's what makes them
kids. I don't think any of the people in the school shootings weighed costs and benefits
before they did what they did, and they had plenty of time to think about it. I don't think
anything was going to deter them. … they were driven by emotional and psychological
factors."

Adult Time For Adult Crime

2 Teens At Center Of Juvenile Crime Debate


March 9
Page 2 of 2

Still, advocates of California's Proposition 21 and other laws that favor trying and
sentencing juveniles as adults, argue that strong juvenile justice laws are needed because
previous laws were just too lenient. The fact that juveniles are continuing to commit
certain crimes ignores the point of these laws, they say.

"No law will completely eradicate any crime," said Matt Ross, who led a campaign to
pass Proposition 21 last year. "Proposition 21 was designed to deter those who would
commit violent crimes from doing so and set up a just punishment for those who commit
violent crimes. Before, if a juvenile killed someone, the worst punishment he would face
is incarceration in a youth facility until he was 25. After that he could go on with the rest
of his life and his criminal record would remain sealed. Meanwhile, the victim is still
dead … well, we didn't think that was right."

Ross said that contrary to critics' charges, Proposition 21 does not merely throw juveniles
in jail and give up on their future. He said it formalizes the rehabilitation and probation
process, requiring juveniles to participate in rehab programs, giving juvenile probation
the same standards as adult probation. And he noted that Proposition 21 is not a blanket
measure that covers all juvenile offenders — it focuses on violent offenders.

Reaching Out And Not Giving Up

However, some say they are not ready to protect the public by trying the Santana High
School shooting suspect as an adult, despite the charges against him.

"Just from hearing interviews with people who knew this child, those who knew him
back [in his former home] in Maryland, it seems like there were some pretty harsh,
relentless things, some relentless teasing, going on," said Soler. "There are some things
I'd like to know before deciding to try this kid as an adult."

Soler said he still believed Tate and Williams should be punished, but their cases have to
be considered individually. They should not be judged by the same standards as the most
hardened criminals because the circumstances surrounding their alleged crimes are
different.

"Anybody who's a parent of a child in these situations believes their child should be
punished," Soler said. "But they also want every circumstance considered." If not, Soler
argues, no one gets everything they want out of the justice system.

Despite his opposing views on how to combat juvenile crime, Ross pointed out that
something must be done to stop children from getting to the point where they feel the
need to start shooting people at their schools or go on violent crime sprees.

"We have to start reaching out to these kids, talking to them, whether it be at the home or
at school, looking for signs before they even get to that point," said Ross. "We have to
figure out some way to reach these kids."