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Friday, December 25, 2009

Causative factors of Crime and the Programmes for Crime Preventions/Role of Economic and Environmental Factors in Crime Causation

Friday, December 25, 2009 - 1 Comment

The main causes of crime are-(1) Social (2) Economic (3) Physical and developmental, (4) Geographical and (5) Political.

Please consult the answer to the preceding question for an exposition upon the social and economic causes of crime.

Physical and developmental causes

Physical defects also make a man criminal because due to deformities he lags behind these fellow beings in many activities and it is order to remove this difference that he turns to crime. Criminals have usually been found to be extremely ugly. On examining prisoners in the Parkhurst prison, Charles Goring found most of them to be inferior, from the physical viewpoint to the common individual. Mental defects are just as much causative of crime as are physical defects. Among them feeble-mindedness has particularly been found to be a cause of crime. The percentage of feeble-minded criminals among 948 criminals who had committed crimes of various sorts and were studied by Goring was as follows-

Those who set fire to a heap of wheat 52.9 percent

Those who set fire to other forms of property 16.7 percent

Those who robbed and murdered 15.6 percent

Those who committed unnatural sex crimes 41.3 percent

Those who were dacoits 10.0 percent

Gillin calculated that 12 percent of all prisoners are affected with mental diseases. Besides feeble-mindedness, individuals are also led to crime by epilepsy and emotional disturbances. Of the 1000 young men of Chicago who had repeated their crimes, seven percent were afflicted with epilepsy. The reason why crimes orginate in physical and mental afflictions is that such people are the objects of social derision and mockery because of their impeded and disease-hampered progress and this social degradation spurs them to engage in anti-social activities. A person who, being very ugly, fails to win a woman’s love, tries to gain ascendancy over her by time power of money, which he amasses by illegitimate means or by sheer dint of physical power and rapacious activity.


Heredity, according to some criminologists, is one main cause of crime. This view is no longer regarded as scientific but there can be no doubt that lineage and descent have some influence upon crime. Early sexual maturity, mental defects and nervous instability etc. are abnormalities an individual inherits, which help in making him a criminal. In a study in Chicago; Healy went into the family history of 668 out of 1000 juvenile delinquents and found that in all 245 of the families were afflicted by one or another mental defects. In 125 cases their ancestors were also found to be criminals, 61 percent of 823 families which were sampled were found to be suffering from some affliction. But these statistics show the influence of environment at the same time as they indicate the effect of heredity. Some people become criminals due to the influence of psychoses. In this way people indulge in criminal activity in order to make up for mental and physical shortcomings. Elliot and Merrill express this by saying that his criminal tendency may be the reaction aiming at remedying short comings.

Besides physical defects, factors concerning physical development may also sometimes cause crime. As a general rule it can be said that it is between the ages of 17 to 24 that the greatest number of crimes are committed. In old age rape and other sexual crimes increase in number. Murderous crimes are usually committed by young men. Embezzlement, fraud, vagrancy, alcoholic excesses and murder, etc. are peculiar to middle age. Girls who mature early are more prone to become involved in clandestine affairs. In adolescence the aggressive tendency grows.

Geographical Causes

Many Geographical causes also stimulate crime. According to criminologists the geographical factors influence crime indirectly. Lombroso has collected evidence and shown that crimes of rape are more common in plains than in the mountains or plateaus. In Italy where malaria is to be found in excess of every other disease the crimes most common are those that are against the individual. According to some criminologists, in hot countries there are more crimes against the person while in cold countries more crimes are committed against property. Lacassagne had formulated a calendar on the basis of seasonal fluctuations in crime. According to this the greatest numbers of cases of infanticide take place in January, February, March and April, of homicide and fatal assaults in July, of patricide in January and October, of rape upon minors in May, in July, August and most of all December, of rape upon young women in June and January. All criminologists do not agree to such a view of the influences of seasons and climates upon criminal activity but the least that can be said that crimes are susceptible to climatic and seasonal variations in the same degree in which human relationships and tendencies are influenced by them.

Political Causes

Many political causes also encourage crime. Now-a-days many criminals go scot free with prepared legal advice because there is opportunity to prove truth false and falsehood true. This encourages them to engage in further criminal activity. On the other hand, the innocents, who are prosecuted and convicted in their place, also become criminals as a reaction. The ill treatment to which the prison inmates are subjected also hardens the softest of criminal. Crimes are further encouraged by the inefficiency, immorality and corruption of the police department. People connected with political groups also unobtrusively assist criminals and make use of them to inflict injury upon and to defame members of opposing groups.

Means to Prevent Crime

Roughly speaking the way to prevent crime is to counteract the various causes that have been mentioned above. Even new suggestions are being made in this connection. Some important means are-

1. Probation – Probation is the postponement, on certain conditions laid down by the prosecuting authority, of punishment due to a criminal by law. These individuals are kept in the guardianship of some one instead of being imprisoned. According to the Probation Act 1938 of U.P., first offenders below the age of 24 who have committed crimes not punishable by death or life imprisonment may be placed on probation. The decision to place a criminal on probation is taken after due consideration of such factors as his age, his way of life, his conduct, physical and mental condition and others. All criminals placed on probation live under the probation officer’s care. Mostly, it is the minor offender or the juvenile delinquent who is released on probation.

The probation officer performs the following activities for curing the criminal-

1. To keep criminals in his own care.

2. To try to improve and reform criminals.

3. To compile the life histories of criminals and to try to trace their tendencies through them.

4. To send relevant information to courts regarding the criminals.

5. To render assistance to criminals in getting employment.

6. Solution of family problems of criminals such as solving domestic strife and contracting marriage of their daughters, etc.

7. To make efforts to make them good citizens by every conceivable method.

8. To send the criminals to prison once again if they show no signs of improvement.

In this way, the probation officer is both the assistant as well as the saviour of the criminals and tries to put them on the right track by convincing and cautioning them.

2. Parole – Parole is also a means of reforming criminals. Under probation the criminal is given over to the protection of the probation officer without being punished but criminals is placed on parole after he has served a short prison sentence. He is also placed under the parole officer. The parole officer maintains contact with the criminal, keeps an eye on him and tries to reform him. Probation is more popular than parole.

3. Reformatory – In 1876 the Elmira Reformatory was established in New York, U.S.A. Since then this method of reforming criminals has been gaining favour in all civilized countries. Reformatories are of two kinds-

(i) Juvenile Reformatories – The oldest of this kind of reformatory is in India. In this efforts are made to reform criminals, to educate them and to make them successful citizens. Previously, only those who had been given a life sentence were confined in them but now criminals serving shorter prison sentences are also allowed.

(ii) Adult Reformatories – Only adults who commit some specific kinds of common crimes are confined to the reformatories. They receive education in military discipline, physical exercise, religions, the principles of citizenship etc. There are very few reformatories of this kind in India at present. Their success depends mainly on those who run them.

4. Borstal Schools – Another means of reforming juvenile’s offenders is the Borstal schools. Only criminals between the ages of 16 and 21 are kept in these schools. There are many institutions of this kind in different states of India. Here the juvenile delinquentic are educated and efforts are made to turn them into good citizens by providing adequate care.

5. Prison – Prison is a universally accepted means of preventing crime but now-a-day efforts are made to reform rather than to punish criminals in jail. A model prison has been constructed at Lucknow, U.P. where the inmates are provided with all the opportunities to develop their personalities and provision is made to make them able citizens. An important experiment has been made in this direction in U.P. The name of this experiment is Sampurananad Camp. In 1954, 2000 criminals were employed to build a dam across the river Chandraprabha in Banaras district. There was no police to look after them. The warden of the prison was their guide. The criminals lived in tents on open ground like ordinary labourers. All arrangements and facilities such as canteen, hospital, reading room, radio, library, cinema, etc. were provided for them. Teachers and welfare officers educated them. They were paid wages, a part of which was retained to be given to them on release in order to enable them to start business. This experiment was a complete success and it shed new light on the problem of preventing crimes.

Actually, these means are to reform criminals and to prevent them from subsequent criminal activity. These cannot prevent all those factors which must be eliminated from the social, economic and political life of the community in which crimes originate.

Causes and Consequences of Crime/Role of Social Organisation as a Contributing Factor to Crime

Crime is anti-social behaviour which a group rejects and to which it attaches penalties. In this way all those activities for which society lays down attached may be sinful but they would not be criminal. But some thinkers have deemed it comprehensively. In the words of C. Darrow, “Crime is an act forbidden by the law of the land and for which penalty is prescribed”. This constitutes a definition of crime from the social viewpoint. From the legal viewpoint, violation of law constitutes crime. In the words of Barnes and Teeters, “The term “Crime” technically means a form of anti-social behaviour that has violated public sentiment to such an extent as to be forbidden by statute”. This definition does not include those anti-social activities which are not prohibited by law. Actually, criminality should attach both to anti social activities and to activities forbidden by law. Though no punishment is prescribed for anti-social activities, the public opinion always condemns them. According to Garofalo even the actions contradictory to the prevalent conceptions of pity and truth should be considered criminal. To quote Elliott and Merrill, “A crime ipso facto implies a disturbance in a social relationship and a social definition as to what such a disturbance is”.

Causes of Crime
The main causes of crime are – (1) Social, (2) Economic, (3) Physical and developmental (4) Geographical (5) Political.

Social Causes of Crime
The main social causes of crime are as follows:
1. Family and Crime – The family is the most dominant factor in the social causes of crime in India. Now-a-days family disorganisation is to be seen in India. The control previously exercised by the family over the individual is now lacking. In urban areas, all the members of a family are to be seen pursuing their individual paths. With the lifting of family control there are no restrictions to the criminal tendencies of children. Now that the natural relations between parents and children are devoid of love both young boys and girls are prone to criminal activity. Even in the villages the adolescents and young men and women do not respect their elders, and they want to lead a carefree; unrestricted, individual life. Due to all these causes, sex crimes are increasing. One main cause of adultery, abortion, miscarriage, prostitution and juvenile delinquency is the undesirable domestic conditions.
2. Absence of Social Control – A second social cause of crime in India is absence of social control. Previously, the caste panchayats in the village kept control over the behaviour and conduct of the members of the caste. It was extremely difficult to conceal crime in the village and when any crime was revealed the caste panchayats meted out very stern punishments, going to the limit of exterminating the guilty persons from the caste. This tended to control and check crime effectively. Today, these social organisations no longer exist. They have been derived of all their authority. Secondly, with better facilities of transport being available the criminal can commit the crime and abscond from the village to the town of to the village from the town. In urban areas no one is troubled about caste organisation. Now-a-days in big cities, even doing favour to neighbourers is a defunct practices because few have intimacy with their neighbourers and social relationships have been impersonal. Any individual can commit a crime and conceal his identity in the city mob. In this way, the disappearance of the control of caste organisations is another cause of crime in India.
3. Defective Education – Modern education in India is very defective. It does not develop the character of students in right directions. Instead it has led to an increase in selfishness, disorderliness and impertinence. Ethical and religious education has no place in the modern education system. Besides this, even after completing his education an individual does not become capable of earning his livelihood and many well educated people remain unemployed for many years. Late employment leads to late marriage. All these causes tend to aggravate criminal activity.
4. Cinema – Cinema has helped in the increase of crime in India. According to Blumen and Hansen, cinemas indirectly influence the male criminals. The cinema arouses criminal tendencies in men by teaching crime techniques, by exhibiting many kinds of crimes, by stimulating the desire for wealth and comforts, by showing ways and means of appropriating them illegally, by arousing the feelings of bravado, toughness and adventure, by arousing profound sexual urges, by stimulating day dreams of criminal jobs. In much the same way it directs or urges many young and inexperienced women to illegitimate relations and crimes by setting alight the sexual desire, the desire for exhibition, love making, independence and variety.
5. Newspapers – Besides cinemas, newspapers also have a hand in increasing criminal activity. Newspapers increase criminal activity by publishing methods of crime through news items, by printing many news items relating to crime, by making crime a general subject, by printing news of major crimes and showing their advantages, circulating the names of criminals, by highlighting causes which tend to increase crime in the name of studies of crime sand by warning and alerting criminals by publishing police methods. The recent wave of dacoities in India was to some extent indirectly assisted by newspapers.
6. Use of Alcohol – The consumption of alcohol also is one of the major causes of crime in India. Drinking is more prevalent among those who have low standard of life and it is also from among them that the greatest numbers of criminals are coming. There are large numbers of crimes committed under the influence of alcoholic stimulants. Drinking affects not only the drinker and makes him a criminal but it also has a deleterious influence on his entire family and inclines men, women and children towards crime. In this way, drinking increases crime both apparently as well as indirectly.
7. Prohibition of Widow Remarriage – In India widow remarriage is now legally accepted as valid but it is still looked down upon in society. Consequently many young widows do not remarry for the rest of their lives but such a decision does not annihilate their sexual passion and these rather lie dormant in a corner of the mind and wait for a suitable opportunity. Even if the widow is religious and saintly she is pursued by men and is lured to the path of evil and sin by many threats and coaxes. In this way, there is an increase in adultery, miscarriages, abortions, infanticides, etc. When their sinful practices are made public many women commit suicide.
8. Defects of the Marriage and Dowry System – In India the dowry system also is among the social causes of crime. On the one hand the dowry system urges the fathers of girls to earn money through illegitimate means for their daughter’s marriage, it on the other hand, leads to suicide by many young girls who can not bear to see the degraded condition of their parents, the dowry system as further encouraged late marriages, both in girls and in boys. In extreme cases, the lack of wealth compels a girl to remain unmarried throughout her life or at most she is married to an old man or to an unsuitable partner. All these also tend to increase sex crimes in society. Very often the parents do not care to ask the girl or boy for opinion and sometimes even proceed against it. This also results in suicide and other crimes.
9. Religion – Religion has also been one of the causes of crime in India. This doe not mean that religion itself encouraged crimes but the encouragement has come from the different sects who originated in the differences of opinion between people on matter of religion and in the hatred for other religions. In a general way, of course, communal riots and crimes such as looting, murder and so on, perpetrated in order to increase the followers of one’s own religion and to injure another religion have always been happening in India, but the crimes committed during communal riots in the name of religion, when the country was partitioned in 1947 were unequalled in the history of the world. Helpless women were denuded and taken in procession through the main roads all the time being whipped. Their breasts were cut off; they were violated and mutilated, their children’s hearts were cut out in front of their eyes. The most heinous crimes that can be discovered in the history of criminal activity have been perpetrated in India.
10. Changes in Social Values – There has been a tremendous change in social values in recent times in India. Now-a-days, new notions such as materialism, individualism, rationalism, the respect for wealth, absence of sex restriction etc, are becoming very popular in the country. This has led to a disregard of ancient social values and new values have been reinstated in their stead. There is no one common opinion of any kind in them. This disordered state of values also inspires crime because and individual can manage to produce an argument to justify even that which is improper.
The preceding exposition on the social causes of crime in India will have brought to light the extent to which the defects of such social organizations as family, caste, religion, marriage etc, have no geographical, economic, political and other causes but it is intended merely show the important part played by social organization in crime.

Economic Causes
The main economic causes of crimes are the following:
1. Poverty – In India one sees extreme poverty. Poverty is a major cause of crime, since a hungry man can do literally anything in order to appease his hunger. One comes across instances where a criminal commits a crime immediately on his release from prison in order that he may be imprisoned again where he is assured of a square meal. Outside the prison he ahs no such assurance. Dr. Haikerwal has investigated that in the period 1917 – 1927 thefts increased in number when the prices of wheat went up, decreased when wheat prices fell. In this way; a close relation is found to exist between the number of crimes and the prices of food-grains in India. It was found in the course of a study conducted upon the prostitutes of Kanpur that one major cause of prostitution is poverty. Poor girls are easily enticed by men who violate them, take away their virginity and put them on the market. One even comes across news of suicides and murders of families due to poverty.
2. Unemployment – Unemployment, much like poverty is a major cause of crime in India. Many young men commit suicides when they are frustrated by extreme poverty and continued unemployment. Many others turn to thieving, picking pockets, robbery etc. Among the people who are seen creating disturbances, causing violence, etc; the majority are the unemployed. Most gangsters do not work, Gangsterism is their only occupation.
3. Industrialisation – Industrialisation is also an important cause of crime in India. It has destroyed the family life of millions of labourers. They work very hard for eight to ten hours in the day during which they have to suffer many indecencies and for this they have to live in towns far away from their families. Continued existence of this type leads them to indulge in drinking alcohol and in prostitution and this encourages other crime. In India, the most prospering centres of prostitution are important industrial towns which, at the same time, foster crimes such as murder, assault, disturbance, robbery, etc. Industrialisation has encouraged crime also due to another reason. Housing becomes a problem in an industrial town when the population increases beyond limits in some towns thousands of families live in houses having no more than one room each. In such conditions the married women have no privacy and children and unmarried members witness happenings which they should not see. This had a bad influence upon them and sex crimes increase among them. Sex crimes increase tendencies to other crimes which then take place. In industrial towns many thousands of labourers and men otherwise are compelled to live alone and this tends to split the ration of men to women, which consequently encourages sex crimes. Many girls from rural areas are deceived with promises of employment and brought to towns where they are forced to adopt prostitution.
4. Urbanization – Urbanization is the result of industrialization and other causes. Hence all those crimes caused by industrialization are also caused by urbanization. In cities the society fails to exercise control over the individual who loses his identity in the mob after having committed a crime. There is no such facility, however redoubtable in the village. In towns there are better opportunities for picking pockets and practising deception in a crowd. There is absence of healthy recreation in the town and hence the crimes are committed. Gambling dens, indecent theatres and wine shops provide means of spurious recreation. This encourages crime.
It is evident from the foregoing account of the socio-economic causes of crime in India that there the main causes of crime is social and economic. Absence of reliable statistics makes it difficult to say definitely that the causes of crime here are hardly psychological. But what can be said is that since life in India still lacks some of the velocity and crowdedness of Western life, the psychological causes of crime in India do not compare favourably with their counterparts in America and other Western countries.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

White-Collar Crime

Sunday, December 13, 2009 - 0 Comments

White-Collar Crime
Edwin Sutherland noted that certain crimes are committed by the affluent, “respectable” people in the course of their daily business activities. Sutherland likened these crimes to organized crimes because they are often perpetuated through the role of one’s occupation. Sutherland referred to such crimes as white-collar crimes. More recently, the term white-collar crime has been broadened to include offences by business and corporations as well as by individuals. A wide variety of crimes are now classified as white-collar crimes such as income tax evasion, stock manipulation, consumer fraud, bribery, and extraction of “kickbacks”, embezzlement, and misrepresentation of corporate information.
A new type of white-collar crime has emerged since Sutherland first wrote on this topic: computer crime or “hacking”. The use of such high technology allows one to carry out embezzlement or electronic fraud without leaving a trace, or to gain access to a company’s inventory without leaving one’s home.
In addition to the financial costs of this form of crime, that run into billions of rupees per year (stuck-up loans, for example), white-collar crimes have distinctive social costs, including a decline in the quality of life, inflation for general public, and weakening of the social order. If those at the top of the nation’s economic, power and social structure feel free to violate the law, less privileged citizens can certainly by expected to follow suit.
Given the economic and social costs of white-collar crimes; one might expect this problem to be taken quite seriously by the criminal justice system of Pakistan. Yet white –collar offenders are more likely to be very leniently treated than any other class of criminals. They are not arrested because bails-before-arrest are granted to them quite readily, hearings against them proceed with much delays in the courts, and eventually only financial penalties are imposed upon them. Moreover, convictions for such illegal acts do not generally harm a person’s reputation and career aspirations nearly so much as conviction for a petty everyday crime would. Thus, if an offender holds a position of status and influence in Pakistani society, his or her crime is treated as less serious and the sanction is much more lenient.

Victimless Crimes
In white-collar or common crimes, people’s economic or personal wellbeing is endangered against their will (or without their direct knowledge). By contract, sociologists use the term victimless crimes to describe the willing exchange among adults of widely desired, but illegal, goods and services. Despite the social costs to families and friends of those engaged in such behaviour, may people in Pakistan continue to indulge in gambling, prostitution, alcoholism, and use of drugs and victimless crimes in which there is no “victim” other than the offender himself. As a result, there are pressure form Islamic Fundamentalists’ organizations on the government to enforce Islamic Sharia in the country.

Crime and its Types

Crime is a violation of criminal law for which formal penalties are applied by some governmental authority. It represents some type of deviation form formal social norms administered by the state. Crimes are divided by law into various categories, depending on the severity of the offence, the age of the offender, the potential punishment that can be levied, and the court that holds jurisdiction over the case.

Types of Crime
Rather than relying solely on legal categories, sociologists classify crimes in terms of how they are committed and how the offences are viewed by the society. In this section, we will examine four types of crime as differentiated by sociologists: professional crime, organized crime, white-collar crime, and “victimless crimes”.

Professional Crime
Although the adage “crime doesn’t pay” is familiar, many people do make a career of illegal activities. A professional criminal is a person who pursues crime as day-to-day occupation, developing skilled techniques and enjoying a certain degree of status among other criminals. Some professional criminals specialize is burglary, safecracking, hijacking or cargo, pick pocketing, and shoplifting. Such people can reduce the likelihood of arrest, conviction, and imprisonment through their skill. As a result, they may have long careers in their chosen “professions”.

Organized Crime
The term organized crime has many meanings. For our purposes, we will consider organized crime to be the work of a group that regulates relations between various criminal enterprises involved in smuggling and sale of drugs, prostitution, gambling, and other activities. Organized crime dominates the world of illegal business just as large corporations dominate the conventional business world. It allocates territory, sets prices for illegal goods and services, and acts as an arbitrator in internal disputes.
Organized crime is a secret, conspirational activity that generally evades law enforcement. Organized crime takes over legitimate business; gains influence over labour unions, corrupt public officials, intimidate witnesses in criminal trials and even take “taxes (bhatta)” from merchants in exchange for “protection”. Through its success, organized crime has served as a means of mobility for groups of people struggling to escape poverty.

Suggestions for Solution of Juvenile Delinquency in Pakistan

Suggestions as well as Remedies

1. We can control over population by increasing our income and popularizing population planning in our society. It is very much unfortunate that inspire of our best efforts we have not been able to have substantial results of population planning. This system is unique and it can work very well as it has very successfully been executed in our brother Muslim country Indonesia so fault is in between the lines. We should try to find out the weak point of this system. I am sure that must be in the implementation and not in the system by itself. Once the trend is set then the problems of over-population can be solved easily.

2. Politics and especially party-politics in educational institutions have given a great damage to all of us. Students instead of seeking knowledge turn to the vested interests of politicians and ruin themselves. Students must be kept away from the active politics. This would enable us to keep them on right track.

3. Films, TV, VCR, Radio, Magazines, Journals and Press can play a dominating role in revolutionizing the society and easily bring about a very healthy change soon. These are very powerful Medias and have a far reaching influence over the public.

4. Child-labour must be prohibited by the state very strictly. Child-labour is one of the factors which ultimately lead them to juvenile delinquency. State should take the responsibility of loading and boarding of the orphans so that they may not indulge in this evil.

5. Such customs, traditions which are in no way useful for the society must be discouraged and cut-down. It should also be the prime duty of the parents that they should not impose their will on their children unnecessarily. Rather the will of the children if correct must be respected.

6. Play and play-grounds must be increased in almost all the big cities of Pakistan so as to make our youth sound and healthy. Today in the whole of world games have taken a shape of modern science and no country can thin of avoiding it.

7. Psychology is that branch of science which deals with mental problems of human beings. Both here in Pakistan we have not given this subject its proper place. Thus we are unable to understand the inner problems of a child. Children at various stages need psychotherapy. We can learn all this when we study psychology in detail.

8. In our country there is a lack of marital adjustment. It will not be out of point here that at least 50% marriages which take place are without mutual consent or even mutual understanding. With the result they fail very soon and create many problems for their innocent children. There is no doubt in it that it all happens due to the lack of information and un-education. Moreover, the people of the rural areas are still under the yoke of old customs and traditions which add more to their problems.

9. It is the utmost duty of the government to provide basic facilities of life to the “Karachi Abadis” so as to make their living convenient for them. This would certainly curtail the rapid growth of juvenile delinquents in such areas.

10. Finally I may request those parents, who for the sake of earning more money leave their families behind in lurch and go abroad while doing so they actually loose their families permanently. Their children feel unprotected and unchecked. They become an easy prey to the evils of society. Our younger generation is our future. Are we ready to sacrifice our future just for the sake of few chips? This question needs your attention.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Juvenile Delinquency as a Social Problem in Pakistan

Monday, December 7, 2009 - 0 Comments

Juvenile delinquency is that behaviour on the part of children which may, under the law subject those children to the juvenile court. As such, it is a relatively new and legal term of a very old phenomenon.
The term has both precise and diffuse referents. When a child is designated a juvenile delinquent by the court. This is a precise definition of his legal status. He is by this act a ward of the court subject to its discretion. By contrast except in a strictly legal sense, the term refers only vaguely to actual behaviour. Since what is delinquent varies greatly over time and from one part of the world to another.
Many youngster part in activities defined by the statutes as delinquent but are not detected or if detected are not brought to the attention of legal authorities and some of these youngsters who have not been legally designated as delinquent are define as delinquent by others significant to the community and to themselves. For purposes of scientific inquiry delinquency may be defined as behaviours that are specified by law as grounds for an adjudication of delinquency and delinquents as those young people who engage in such behaviour.

The Data of Delinquency
Official courts of delinquents or “offences known” are limited in the extent to which they can contribute to knowledge concerning the extent and nature of delinquency or of the processes involved in becoming delinquent. They represent the activities of the officials rather than of young people and legal rather than scientific concepts of behaviours. They provide little information about the characteristics of offenders of their behaviour.
The very flexibility of legal processes concerned with juveniles call into question the comparability of official data from one jurisdiction to another. Despite these limitations for some purposes official data are useful, and they are in any case the only data available for describing certain characteristics of the phenomenon. They are particularly useful as reflection of official concern with juvenile delinquency over time within and between societies. Certainly variations in official handling of offenders by age, sex, and other theoretically meaningful categories reflected varying degrees of social concern with the behaviour of young people. In addition they may provide crude indexes of the behaviour of children which are reliable perhaps only with respect to the most serious types of behaviour for these will most consistently be officially recorded.
Because of limited usefulness of official data of treatment and illogical purposes agencies and projects devoted to these ends also generate large bodies of data concerning delinquents. These take thee principal forms in clinical reports. Public attention on juvenile delinquency and provided additional impetus for large scale social action and research programme directed at the acquisition of new knowledged concerning J. D. and its control.

Age and Sex Differences
Throughout the world juvenile court cases tend to be in older age categories specified by law official cases of delinquency thus tend to be a phenomenon of adolescence and young adulthood rather than of childhood. In countries that have experienced increases in delinquency however the average age of court appearance has tended to decrease.
Boys and girls are not equally involved in delinquency and sex ratios are not the same for all types of delinquency. The ratio of boys to girls appearing before juvenile courts is very much related to the over all social structure of a society as well as to variations within it. As the social status of woman approaches that of men and women again greater freedom to participate in the affairs of the larger society socialization patterns in the family and other.

Salient Features of Juvenile Justice System Ordinance in Pakistan

Salient Features of Juvenile Justice System Ordinance 2000

A child is defined as a person who, at the time of commission of an offence, is below the age of 18 years.

Arrest and Detention
The guardian of an arrested juvenile shall be informed as early as possible after the arrest.
The concerned probation officer has to be similarly informed.
A child arrested for a non-bailable offence must be produced before juvenile court within 24 hours, while a child arrested for a bailable offence must be released on bail even without surety.
It provides for children to be detained in Borstal institutions (which are defined in the JJSO as places where a child may be ‘detained and given education and training for their mental, moral and psychological development’). It also provides for resources and funding for the construction of these Borstal institutions around the country.
It prohibits any child from being handcuffed or put in fetters while he or she is in custody.
It prohibits any child from being forced to suffer corporal punishment / hard labour during custody or detention.
It prohibits keeping children in police stations for bailable offences.

Trial and Sentencing
It provides the child with free legal representation, free medical treatment and appeal against a conviction within a 30 day period.
It prohibits any joint trial of a child with an adult.
Unnecessary delay in proceedings should be avoided by the authorities.
Offences carrying ten years punishment are made bailable for children less than 15 years of age and it is prohibited to publish proceedings.
It prohibits any child from being sentenced to the death penalty.

Role of Pakistan to Prevent the Crimes in Pakistan as well as International Crime

Pakistan’s role in the prevention of international crime has been praised by the United Kingdom Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) at the launch of its first annual report on Friday. Speaking at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Director-General, SOCA, Bill Hughes said Pakistan has been actively assisting his organisation in different aspects of trafficking Mr. Hughes said SOCA has liaison officers stationed in Pakistan and are working very closely with the country’s law enforcing agencies in the prevention of international crimes. “The cooperation and help from Pakistani authorities had been excellent and SOCA is pleased with the support being provided by Pakistan agencies,” he said. He said SOCA is tackling serious, organised crime in new ways to reduce harm and make UK a hostile environment for dangerous criminals. SOCA in its first year of establishment has stored a number of successes. These include the seizure of 73 tonnes represent 20 percent of Europe’s estimated 350 tonnes supply annually, has prevented 35 potential murders while working with police forces around the world and due to hi-tech surveillance. Mr. Hughes further said SOCA has compiled initial target list of 1600 most harmful criminals to UK by sifting huge amounts of intelligence identify the most harmful some of whose danger had not been fully realised. He also noted SOCA’s 95 percent success rate in the courts, thanks to the agency’s criminal justice skills and a new approach of involving prosecutors from the start. Regarding its work in Afghanistan, Mr. Hughes said the work in that country to tackle the heroin trade has been done under very challenging conditions. He said in October last year, in the first raid of its type, three local banks were raided.” A very large amount of paperwork relating to movements of suspected drug trafficking money was seized. This has identified some 80 people SOCA are now targeting and significantly disrupted financing work in the region.” Mr. Hughes also spoke about Dubai as a major money laundering network in the region, adding that SOCA has a fantastic working relationship with the UAE authorities. He said the struggle against drug dealing, illegal immigration, fraud and other organised crimes is a marathon and not a sprint but working with others, SOCA has made a good start in its first year of operation since being launched on April 1, 2006 and is ambitious for what can be achieved in the years ahead. SOCA has been working closely with agencies in the UK, the UAE, Italy, Spain, Australia, USA, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey, Bulgaria, Albania, and in South America.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Juvenile Delinquency and its Causes

Tuesday, December 1, 2009 - 0 Comments

Juvenile Justice in Pakistan
Most of the laws having to do with protection of children’s rights in Pakistan date from well before the development of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990. Although most of these statutes were legally superceded by the introduction of the Juvenile Justice System Ordinance in 2000, it is worth looking back at the older laws as many of them are still enforced in the Tribal Areas excluded by the JJSO and in areas where it has not yet been fully implemented. Many of them also put forward different ages of criminal responsibility, leading to children of the same age being subject to considerably different treatment depending on where they live and what gender they are.

The Age of Criminal Responsibility
Pakistan’s Penal Code sets the age of criminal responsibility at twelve, with children between the ages of seven and twelve deemed criminally responsible if they have “attained sufficient maturity of understanding to judge…the nature and consequences” of their “conduct on that occasion.” Children aged seven and older are therefore potentially eligible for the full range of penalties provided for in the Code, including death and life imprisonment.
The Zina Ordinance defines the age of majority as sixteen for females and eighteen for males, or the attainment of puberty for either. Because the promulgation of the Zina Ordinance entailed the abolition of Pakistan’s statutory rape law, girls as young as twelve have been prosecuted for having extra-marital intercourse under circumstances that would previously have mandated statutory rape charges against there assailant (see below).

Juvenile Courts and Law
Prior to July 2000, juvenile laws existed in only two of Pakistan’s provinces. The first of these was Sindh, where a Children’s Act was passed in 1955 and eventually implemented 19 years later when it was made applicable to the Hyderabad and Sukkur divisions in 1974. It was intended to replace the Bombay Children’s Act of 1924, and contained similar provisions, including:
Delegating powers of a juvenile court to a District Magistrate;
Defining a youthful offender as any person below 16 years of age (at the time of commission of the offence);
Providing that not person under 16 could be sentenced to death, transportation or imprisonment;
Giving other courts the power to try a child if a juvenile court did not exists;
Prohibiting the joint trial of adults and children;
Empowering a police officer to release a child arrested on charge of a non-bailable offence provided that releasing the child would not place him/her in any danger or bring him in contact with adult criminals.
Although the Sindh Children’s Act was legally superceded by the Juvenile Justice System Ordinance (JJSO) in 2000 (see below), it continues to be applied by judges who lack up-to-date awareness of the new laws.

The Hadood Laws of 1979

These laws were introduced to Pakistan as part of President Zia-ul-Haq’s move to Islamize national law with an extra layer of concepts and judicial structures. Under this policy, sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) substituted with Islamic provisions, a parallel Islamic court structure was set up, and a constitutional amendment was introduced stipulating that all laws in Pakistan have to conform to Islamic injunctions.
Most of the Hadood laws relate to the offences of armed robbery, theft, rape, fornication, false accusation of fornication, drinking, and drug-taking, with strict fixed punishments for certain crimes once adequate evidence if obtained. These fixed punishments – known as hadd – include stoning to death for fornication, judicial amputation for theft and armed robbery and flogging for consumption of intoxicants, all of which are of particular concern to street children and street girls in particular.
Over the years, there have been many attempts to repeal the Hadood laws, most prominently by the Commission of Inquire for Women in 1997 and by the Special Committee of the National Commission on the Status of Women (which had been set up to review the Hadood Ordinances in 2002), in August 2003. However, both attempts were unsuccessful. Although the hadd punishments may not actually be imposed on individuals convicted of crimes as children, it is important to note that the definition of a child in Hadood law is simply ‘a person who has not attained puberty’. Thus, a girl of 12 who has attained puberty is legally adult, and could be sentenced to hadd punishment under the Hadood laws. This is a matter for concern, as the JJSO does not legally override the Hadood Laws.

The Zina Ordinance
The most far-reaching of the Hadood Ordinances is that governing zina, which in addition to criminalizing extra-marital sex, establishes separate ages of majority for men and women and dramatically narrows the definition of rape. The promulgation of the Zina Ordinance was followed by a sharp increase in the number of women in prison. While the number of female children in Pakistan’s prison remains low, those accused of zina account for a grossly disproportionate share of the cases. Of the fourteen girls in Punjab prisons who remained under trial at the end of February 1998, according to official statistics, eleven were charged under the Zina Ordinance.
The Zina Ordinance defines the age of majority as sixteen for females and eighteen for males, or the attainment of puberty for either. Because the promulgation of the Zina Ordinance entailed the abolition of Pakistan’s statutory rape law, girls as young as twelve have been prosecuted for having extra-marital intercourse under circumstances that would previously have mandated statutory rape charges against their assailant. In addition, attaining majority at puberty exposes young children to the prospect of hadd (Quranic) punishments, including whipping, amputation, and death by stoning. For minors, the maximum punishment for zina offences is either imprisonment for up to five years, a fine, or both. Children may additionally be sentenced to receive up to thirty lashes of a whip. It should be noted, however, that sentences to hadd punishments must be confirmed by an appellate court, and that no hadd punishments have yet been carried out up to the time of writing.

The Punjab Youthful Offenders Ordinance 1983
The Punjab Youthful Offenders Ordinance was very similar to the Sindh Children’s Act in nature, but introduced to be applied in the Punjab province of Pakistan only. The one notable difference in relation to its Sindh counterpart was that it defined a child as anyone aged 15 or below at the time of commission of the offence. As with the Sindh Act, however, it too was legally superceded by the JJSO of 2000.

The Juvenile Justice System Ordinance (JJSO) 2000
Following the ratification of the CRC in 1990, the government of Pakistan promulgated the “Juvenile Justice System Ordinance – 2000” (JJSO 2000), which provides for the protection of children involved in criminal litigation. It came into force immediately and was a marked step forward in establishing a fairer and more child-friendly justice system in Pakistan. Although the JJSO contains a number of excellent provisions and rules regarding the appropriate treatment of children in conflict with the law (see table and flowchart below), it does not contain any guidance or protection relating to street children in particular. Moreover, a significant problem is that it does not as yet apply to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) or the Provincially Administered Trial Areas (PATA). This is in line with Article 247(3) of the Constitution of Pakistan, which states that no act of Parliament shall apply to any FATA until it is directed as such by the President of Pakistan himself. To date, President Musharraf has made no such declaration, which means that children in these two areas do not have the protection of the JJSO, and can still face the death penalty sentence.
Recent reports from these areas have also raised cause for concern. In March 2003, the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) stated in their monthly newsletter that:
“…normal courts try juvenile offenders in PATA, while in FATA, where there are no normal courts and the superior courts have no jurisdiction, political agents and assistants act as administrative as well as judicial officers.”
The use of political agents in FATA is particularly worrying, as they do not distinguish when sentencing between an adult and a child.

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