Monday, December 7, 2009
Juvenile Delinquency as a Social Problem in Pakistan
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.
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