Female Juvenile: Law and Society

Source : http://www.jmclaw.org
Author : shayan
Published on : March 10, 2013

shayan's Profile and details

A million million spermatozoa; All of them alive:
Out of their cataclysm but one poor Noah
Dare hope to survive; And among that billion minus one
Might have chanced to be, Shakespeare, another Newton, a new Donne
But the one was me


No doubt that when we do plead for children, they should not be categorized but it is a hard fact which we cannot escape of that children who does exists i.e., “home children” and “street children”. The Indian Penal Code, 1860 under Section 82 says that nothing is an offence which is done by a child under seven years of age but Section 83 says that nothing is an offence above seven years of age and under twelve who has not attained sufficient maturity of understanding to judge of the nature and consequence of the conduct of that occasion. The former section is based on the maxim “doli incapax” and the later section is based on “malatia supplet aetatum”. The concept of juvenile justice was derived from a belief that the problems of juvenile delinquency and youth in abnormal situations are not amenable to resolution within the framework of the tradition processes of criminal law. The principal role of the Juvenile justice has been provide specialized and preventive treatment services for children and young person as means of “secondary prevention” rehabilitation and improved socialization. The welfare or parens patriae model considers juvenile justice primarily in terms of interventions that foster the economic and social well-being of young persons in contact with the legal system. The Juvenile justice system in India contemplates the legal response with respect to two categories of children, namely those who are in conflict with law as they have committed a crime and those who are in need of care and protection for the children who are deprived and marginalized sections of society. The primary framework which deals with juvenile justice is The Juvenile Justice Act, 1986, Section 2(h) defines that ‘Juvenile’ means a boy who has not attained the age of sixteen years or a girl who has not attained the age of eighteen years. This act thus provides for a special approach towards the prevention and treatment of juvenile delinquency and provides a framework for protection, treatment and rehabilitation of children in the purview of the juvenile justice system. This system does keep both the male and female child under consideration, equally.

Review of The Literature
One of the most difficult area of Criminal Justice Policy lies in providing appropriate legal mechanisms to reflect the transition from the age of childhood innocence through to maturity and full responsibility under the criminal law” ---------- Adam Graycar

“The juvenile crimes are just few of the reasons which turn the teenagers into criminals there are many more to it like parental neglect, addiction to drugs, unemployment, poverty , love revenges and abundance of alcohol. The issue of juvenile crime should be paid more attention and some solution should be brought to it. Not only the government but even the society should take steps towards reducing juvenile crime. Everyone should come together and fight against this issue. Proper facilities should be provided for the children in the juvenile homes, proper education should be provided for the chidren who are in the juvenile homes. The child should be properly counseled and should be talked to properly and treated like children not like criminals, only then we will be able to bring any change and reduce the juvenile crime in the country. Because if this issue is left untouched the condition would just get worse and there would be no way of improving it.----- Meliza Mateo

* Why there is an inequality and discrimination between male and female juveniles?
* Why there is less research on the field of female juveniles?
* Why there are no specific laws with relation to female juveniles?
* What is the scenario of the female juveniles?

Research in common parlance refers to the search of knowledge. Once can also define research as a scientific and systematic search for pertinent information on a special topic. Infact, research is an art of scientific investigation. “A careful investigation or inquiry specially through search for new facts in any branch of knowledge”. It is also a “systematized effort to gain new knowledge”. The legal research methodology had been followed where the topic was categorized with the legal issues related to the topic. It involves analytical research where the available facts are to be critically evaluated. The qualitative approach subsequently was obtained from relevant materials like books which are present in the library and through electronic media followed by the content and data analysis.

Most juvenile crimes are committed by boys. Crimes committed by girls are less frequent and less serious than those by boys, but the rate of increase of female juvenile arrests has been greater than for boys. There is an increase in the female juvenile crimes over the past few years who are under age of eighteen years for drug-abuse violations, liquor law violation, curfew, larceny, runaway, prostitution and for loitering. Girl’s share of all juvenile arrests remained fairly steady over time ranging from about 15% to 29%. Official measures of juvenile crime underestimate their actual involvement and this is even more for females. Many suggests that girls are arrested disproportionately more than boys for such status offences as running away and curfew violations because of a tendency to sexualize their offences as running away & curfew violations because of a tendency to sexualize their offences and to control their behavior under the patriarchal authority of juvenile justice system. There is evidence that many young women run away to escape sexual victimization at home and once on streets they are vulnerable to further sexual victimization.

Female are engaged in more crimes as they have become more liberated and more are working outside the home, thus they have more opportunities and incentives to commit crimes.

Theories On Juvenile And Delinquency
SOCIAL STRUCTURE THEORISTS – claims that forces such as social disorganization, status frustration and cultural deviance leads to lower class youths to become involved in delinquent behavior. These explanations of delinquency focus on the social and cultural environment in which adolescents grow up and on the sub cultural groups with which they had got involved. Certain quantity of forces are also present for cultural deviances.

Three categories of social structure explanations are –
* SOCIAL DISORGANIZATION THEORY – was developed by Clifford Shaw and Henry Mckay in 1942 who were social anthropologists where social changes cause a breakdown of formal and informal controls for an increase in crimes.
* STRAIN THEORY – thereby explains that delinquency is being caused by the “strain” or frustration of not having an equal opportunities or means to achieve commonly shared goals such as economic or social success. Robert Merton in 1957 formulated this policy around concepts of “anomie” or “normlessness” and where persons who lack the means to attain goals legitimately do so illegally, lower class persons feel strain or frustration trying to meet middle class goals.
* OPPORTUNITY – STRUCTURE THEORIES – was formulated by Cloward and Ohlin in 1960 which promoted the government funded policies such as “head start” and jobs programs for lower class youths as a way to enhance educational and employment opportunities and reduce delinquency.
* CULTURAL DEVIANCE THEORY – which is also known as the sub cultural theory or the third type of social structure theory states that the sub cultural theorists point to observations that values and attitudes of lower class youth differ from mainstream middle class values. It says that the youth violate the law because they follow the values of their lower class community as they were always in poverty.
* SOCIAL PROCESS THEORIES – These theories claim that the explanations of delinquency focuses not on societal structures but on social interactions between individuals and environmental influences that may lead to delinquent behavior.
* DIFFERENTIAL ASSOCIATION THEORY – by Edwin Sutherland and Cressey in 1970 holds that delinquency is a learned behaviour as youth interact closely with other deviant youth.
* CONTROL THEORIES – begins with the premise that the way to understand delinquency is to know the characteristics of persons who conform and do not engage in delinquency. Walter Reckless in 1961 defined the self-control and external factors of control.
* SOCIAL REACTION THEORIES – does focus more on how society and social institutions and governmental officials react to crime and delinquency than on why offenders commit crime. The premise of this theory is the deviance and initial delinquent behavior are perpetuated and made worse by reactions of society and juvenile justice official’s reactions to crime and delinquency.
* LABELLING THEORY – says that the understanding of most youth does engage themselves in deviant acts and it finds reports to study them.
* CONFLICT THEORY – or the critical theory says that social and political institutions are the causes of crime rather than individual characteristics.
* DEVELOPMENTAL LIFE-COURSE THEORIES – studies the differences among youth who begin offending at an early age and continue offending, compared with others who begin in adolescence and grow out of it.
* GENERAL AND INTEGRATED THEORIES – combines the strengths of rational choice, strain, social control and social learning theories to explain delinquency and drug use.

Apparent Increase In Violence Among Girls
* Changes in law enforcement policies such as responses to domestic violence may explain the increased arrests rather than actual increases in assaults by girls.
* Family dynamics may contribute to gender differences in juvenile arrests for assault.
* Research indicates that girls fight with family members or siblings more frequently than boys.
* Policies of mandatory arrest for domestic violence provide parents with a method for controlling their unruly daughters.
* School officials zero tolerance policies toward youth violence may increase the number of girls referred to police for fights at school that previously were handled internally.

Causes For Juvenile Crimes
FAMILY – the family people does rebuke and scold their children for which the child wants to indulge in crimes. They have been to poor socialization skills, totally neglected, the constant quarrel between husband and wife which does leads to broken house and divorce.
CHILD ABUSE – child abuse both physically and mentally takes place with the peers leads to deviance.
PEERS – poor behavior between the cousin and several relatives,
SCHOOLS – class mates does tend to behavior as enemies,
GANGS – children join in vulnerable activities in groups,
ALCOHOL & DRUGS – indulgence does leads to health and mental problems.
POVERTY – poor conditions of living and food tends children to deviate moral behavior and rather from leading palm they snatch their needs.

Legislative Enhancement
* CONSTITUTIONAL MANDATES – ARTICLE 15(3) - Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women and children.

* ARTICLE 39 (E) &(F) – that the health and strength of workers, men and women, and the tender age of children are not abused and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength; and that children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.

* ARTICLE 45 AND 47 - Provision for free and compulsory education for children and it is the duty of the State to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health.

* UN CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD - advocate for the protection of children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential.
* UN STANDARD MINIMUM RULES FOR ADMINISTRATION OF JUVENILE JUSTICE 1985 (BEIJING RULES) – deals with the international human rights instruments pertaining to the rights of young persons.
* JUVENILE JUSTICE ACT 1986 – The JJ Act designed for the care, protection, development and rehabilitation of neglected and delinquent juveniles, as well as for the adjudication of and disposal of certain matters related to them.
* JUVENILE JUSTICE (CARE AND PROTECTION OF CHILDREN) ACT, 2000 – has created for a separate system of justice dispensation for instances where children are accused of committing offences distinct from the criminal justice system for adults,
* JUVENILE JUSTICE (CARE AND PROTECTION OF CHILDREN) RULES, 2007 – RULE 16 has established separate observation home and special home for boys and girls.

Juvenile Justice Board
Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Rules 2007, in Section – 4 has initiated the juvenile justice boards. There shall be one or more Juvenile Justice Boards in every district, which shall be constituted by the State Government as per section 4 of the Act. The Composition of the juvenile justice board is thereby given in Section 5 of this Act where there will be a Principal Magistrate must be of the level of Metropolitan or Judicial Magistrate of first class under whom the members will be working who are the two social workers of whom one shall be a women who will be appointed by the State Government on the recommendation of Selection Committee. The functions of the Board is to ensure that the juvenile has not been subjected to ill treatment, adjudicate cases where juveniles are in conflict of law and solve cases at a speedy trial.

Recommendations And Suggestions
Ø The State shall make a separate legislation for female juveniles where special care will be taken for them,
Ø There must be a board for speedy disposal of juvenile cases,
Ø Organizations should take care of juveniles, not police and education must be imparted to the children who do have to become literate in order to earn livelihood,
Ø Homes must have tailoring and cooking training for girls along with the special care,
Ø Homes must have proper counseling and rehabilitation classes for girls,
Ø Family care and human research development and planning should take place,
Ø Formulation of special standards for girl juveniles where they are discriminated and inequality takes place,
Ø National Commission for Juveniles must be formed.

Discussion Based On Findings
On the findings, the text is well presented and details are given in clarity. It takes the reader from a non-system to considerations for a future in juvenile justice. The work had been done as for giving a view point of unbiased desire between the genders in the thought of provoking introduction to juvenile justice, juvenile delinquency, challenges of reducing juvenile crime and providing equal and fair justice for all juvenile offenders.

Children are all around us. They represent about a quarter of the world’s population. They are not equipped to defend themselves, they must depend on what is given them. They are victims of circumstances. They bring us joy, they bring us tears, they are our reason to hope. They are your children, they are my children. They are the children of the world. “We must get the right service to the right kid at the right time”. The past twenty years have been a tumultuous period for the Indian juvenile justice system. The most recent moral panic over juvenile delinquency and the myths associated with it – such as that an epidemic of youth violence was taking place and that a new breed of juvenile super predators was emerging which led to dramatic changes in juvenile justice policies and practices and their influences are still in evidence. Punitive measures have been very wide and new laws had been framed and thereby girls must be given some extra relief in gender specific regulations.
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# Gaurav Jain v. Union of India.
# Juvenile Justice: Before and After the Onset of Delinquency in Sixth UN Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, Caracas, Venezuela, A/CONF.87/5, 4TH JUNE 1980.
# Australian Institute of Criminology (Nov. 2000).
# The Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English, Oxford, 1952, p.1069.
# Rita Simon(1975).

Authors contact info - articles The  author can be reached at: shayanghosh@legalserviceindia.com