JUVENILE RECIDIVISM IN INDIA

Abstract:

In India, there has been an increase in juvenile crime and recidivism. Recidivism refers to the act of committing a crime again and again, whereas juvenile crime refers to the involvement of minors in illegal activity. Juvenile crime has increased dramatically, while juvenile recidivism has decreased, while the total recidivism rate has increased from 7.2 percent in 2013 to 7.8 percent in 2014.

Convicts are unable to recover the confidence of the public, and the government does not have any special services for them, bringing them back to the dark road of crime. Recidivism is a worldwide problem. Different countries deal with it in different ways, but India seems to be unaware of any special schemes available to them.

Key-words

Juvenile delinquency, Recidivism, Crime, Public policy, incapacitation

Introduction

Since recidivism is a central phenomenon of criminal justice, it is important to consider how the criminal justice system works in terms of incapacitation, deterrence, and rehabilitation. Recidivism is the part of a criminal’s behavior that proves that once a criminal, always a criminal. Though measures are taken to rehabilitate and re-socialize offenders in order to discourage them from being delinquents in the future. While these offenders receive proper care in the juvenile detention facility, international studies indicate that they rarely change their ways.

The concept helps in determining the needs for the developments of agencies to keep a strict control over the delinquents and also on the legislators to make appropriate laws.[1] Although the National Crime Records Bureau, which is the nodal agency under the Ministry of Home Affairs, collects data on crime and recidivism, it takes a long time to keep track of juvenile recidivists in India. Even for those who have committed serious crimes, the Juvenile Justice Act in India gives various entitlements to juveniles. The goals are to provide adequate care, safety, and treatment for the juvenile’s positive growth. Even today, India’s criminal justice system is not as mature as America’s. Early in 1850, India enacted a number of laws to protect these minors, with a particular emphasis on the apprenticeship programme. Several activities have been established to help these juvenile delinquents re-establish themselves and live in society with dignity: If a juvenile has committed a non-violent and minor offence, they were given training by a specialist (such as a tailor, blacksmith, or farmer) in order to rehabilitate themselves.[2] Instead of punishing and confining such juveniles, the government claimed that if they were given the opportunity to work, they would be able to live a better life.

The Children Act of 1960, enacted after independence, created juvenile courts. In the year 2000, the Act was called the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act. It was revised in 2006, and the definition of vocational programmes and apprenticeships was reintroduced. In 2015, legislation was passed that allowed teenagers aged 16 to 18 to be charged as adults if they committed a serious crime.

Perspective under Indian Scenario:

The competitive natures of culture have resulted in a significant shift in a child’s growth. Every child is subjected to unwelcome stress that is unnecessarily induced by society. When looking at why adolescents commit crime, the first and most important factor to consider is social pressure, which is the root cause of any situational behavior that a child picks up from their environment. Excessive violence, mental illness, drug abuse, educational failure, failed parenting, and a criminal record are all factors of juvenile delinquency. There are also socioeconomic variables at play, such as the offender’s financial situation and age.[3]

Usually, children from low-income households or from child welfare facilities are involved in illegal activity. Children that have experienced maltreatment and have participated in delinquency are referred to as “crossover kids.” They have a greater chance of returning to the detention centers. When a juvenile has committed a felony, the odds of him not committing another are slim. Furthermore, studies show that male juveniles are much more likely than females to engage in recidivism.

The reasons for this are backed up by the child’s emotional state. Most certainly, these children have been abused and have undergone abuse, rendering them delinquents. Furthermore, the truth of correctional facilities is debatable. Just a few states are able to keep their jails and inmates running. The delinquents involved in violent crimes have taken over the welfare homes and correctional facilities. Newcomers in the cities are likely to join the gangs of these criminals in order to form a large group.[4]

Perspective under International Scenario:

After being disciplined or stopping a certain action, recidivism is described as doing something bad or illegal again. A petty thief, for example, who is released from prison the next day steals something else. In the United States, it is a big problem. More than four out of ten inmates who are released from prison reoffend, according to the Pew Center on the States. The second type of recidivism typically refers to addicts who clean up their act by whatever means possible before resuming their previous conduct pattern or resuming use of their drug of choice for some purpose. A problem gambler who quits and then buys a lottery ticket is an example.

The problem is complicated, but one of the main reasons recidivism is high in the United States is that a significant portion of the prison system needs it to be. In the United States, much of the prison system is for benefit, and the benefits would be higher as more people are incarcerated. According to the advocacy organization, In the Public Interest, 716 people out of 100,000 are imprisoned, which is by far the highest rate in the world.

Owners of private prisons exacerbate recidivism by offering fewer facilities, encouraging more abuse during detention, and purposefully imprisoning people far away from their families, in addition to simply trying to make more money off of the inmates they incarcerate.

Legal Perspective:

Under fundamental rights and directive principles of state policy, the Indian constitution includes several provisions for the welfare of students. These laws preserve the protection of minors.

  • Article 21 of the constitution mandates free and compulsory education for all children between the ages of 6 and 14.
  • Article 24 prohibits children under the age of fourteen from working in dangerous environments.
  • Article 39 protects children from sex trafficking and forced labour.
  • Article 39(e) protects children from adult exploitation of any kind.
  • Article 47 provides all children a balanced diet and a fair standard of life.

Conclusion

The rule is lenient against these minors since the majority of these children are victims. They were either coerced into crime or were in such a mental condition that they couldn’t tell the difference. The majority of juvenile delinquents come from low-income families or is the result of other forms of child violence. It is unfair on our part to despise or punish them harshly. The strategy of reformation is gradual and very experimental, but these adolescents must be given a chance for progress, considering the fact that the rate of recidivism is growing according to the records.

Suggestions:

The Juvenile Justice Act of 2015 also protects these protections. The Act focuses on the rehabilitation, reformation, and reintegration of juvenile offenders. These steps have been taken in order to rehabilitate these delinquents so that they can make a living and live a normal life. Punishments for juvenile crimes are determined by taking into account a number of factors such as the child’s age, family history, and current circumstance. These citizens are not punished unfairly by the court. Since they believe that if a person is given a chance, they will change.


[1]GocheTegeng, Exploring Factors Contributing to Recidivism: The case of Dessie and Woldiya, correctional centres, Arts and Social Sciences Journal, https://www.hilarispublisher.com/open-access/exploring-factors-contributing-to-recidivism-the-case-of-dessie-and-woldiya-correctional-centres-2151-6200-1000384.pdf

[2]Ariene Manoharan, The Juvenile Justice System in India and Children who commit serious offences – Reflections on the way forward, Centre for Child and the Law, National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore, http://www.oijj.org/sites/default/files/the_juvenile_justice_system_in_india_and_children_who_commit_seriou_offences.pdf

[3]Max Schlenker, SOCHUM II: Juvenile Deliquency Around the World, https://social.shorthand.com/ymuntaiwan/3yJT67aWhT/sochum_ii_juvenile_deliquency_around_the_world

[4]Rise for India, http://www.riseforindia.com/increasing-recidivism-and-juvenile-crime-in-india/, (last visited Apr. 12, 2021)

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