Juvenile delinquency, also known as juvenile offending or youth crime, is participation in illegal behavior by minors. Any act committed by a juvenile against organized law and society is called juvenile delinquency. A juvenile delinquent is a person who normally is under 18 and engages in behavior that would have otherwise resulted in criminal charges if the person had been an adult.
Define Juvenile Delinquency
According to Criminologist A.D. John, “Juvenile delinquency is the act of violation of prevailing laws and social customs of the country by the people of the prescribed age limit.”
Generally, 7 to 16 years old boys and girls who are engaged in different criminal activities are considered juvenile delinquents in Bangladesh. To criminologists, juvenile delinquency encompasses all public wrongs committed by young people between the ages of 12 and 20.
Causes of the rise of juvenile delinquency
The tendency of juvenile delinquency is increasing day by day in Bangladesh. If this tendency is not arrested, the ruination of society is inevitable. Various causes of juvenile delinquency are discussed below:
- Geographical cause: The tendency of juvenile delinquency in Bangladesh is directly linked to the geographical location and seasonal cycle. Juvenile delinquency increases during the harvesting time but decreases in the rainy season.
- Physical cause: Teenagers become criminals due to various handicaps, such as disabled people, physical deformities, ill health, etc.
- Defective mental development: Under the socio-economic environment in Bangladesh, most children hardly get chances for healthy mental development, which layer drives them to delinquency.
- Poverty: Poverty is one of the important causes of the rise of juvenile delinquency. Poor juveniles who fail to meet their basic needs are involved in various criminal activities.
- Mal-adjustment between parents: Teenagers become criminals due to marital conflict between parents, family disorganization, personality conflict, etc. Besides, this is almost certain that those deprived of parental affection tend to become delinquent later.
- Industrialization and Urbanization: Due to the impact of industrialization and urbanization, values, customs, and traditions are breaking down. As a result, juveniles become free of family control and get involved in criminal activities.
- Absence of recreational facilities: Due to the lack of proper recreational facilities for healthy mental development, juveniles are attracted to and influenced by offensive foreign entertainment materials, leading to delinquency.
- Impact of imitation and company: Understand the impact of social influences on juvenile delinquency in Bangladesh with the Bengali adage, “Good company is like living in heaven; bad company leads astray.” Mixing with good friends promotes positive behavior while associating with unruly companions increases the risk of becoming a juvenile delinquent.
The following measures need to be adopted to contain juvenile delinquency in Bangladesh.
- Arrangements must be made for children’s planned personality development by creating a healthy family environment.
- Arrangements have to be made so that every child can get an education. Besides, it is necessary to improve the environment of the educational institute.
- Family members must eradicate poverty. School authorities should greatly expand food for education programs to prevent school dropouts among children due to poverty.
- Recreational facilities must be greatly expanded so that teenagers get ample opportunities for proper mental development.
- Children are very fond of imitating; parents must ensure they keep good company and avoid the bad ones.
- Government must ban child labor.
- Arrangements have to be made for the good treatment of children who are physically disabled and developmentally disabled.
- “National Child Policy” should be formulated so that the Juveniles are groomed as fit citizens.
To summarize, adolescent delinquency is a major societal problem that impacts people, families, and communities. Knowing the definition, causes, and solutions of juvenile delinquency is critical for avoiding and eliminating adolescent delinquency.