Before having a look at Juvenile Delinquency in Pakistan, lets see what is Juvenile Delinquency. Juvenile delinquency literary means Minors Deviancy. It is participation of youngsters in illegal behavior. According the the definition by Friedlander, “it is juvenile misconduct that might be dealt with under the law.” Juvenile Delinquency is actually a deviancy from the normal code of conduct. It can be regarded as an opposition to the conformity. Indulgence of young age group in those activities which are illegal and not fit according to their role in society come under the umbrella of juvenile delinquency.
Categories of Juvenile Delinquency in Pakistan
It encompasses vast range of crimes from underage smoking to murder which are classified into three sectors. These sectors are given below.
Status Offenses: It is the action that is prohibited only to a certain class of people. It is most often applied only to offenses committed by minors includes underage smoking, consumption of alcohol, run away from homes etc.
Property Crimes: Crimes related to property include theft, stealing property and motor vehicle theft.
Violent Crimes: Those crimes which are more intense includes murders, kidnapping and rape.
Causes of Juvenile Delinquency
There are multi-faceted causes of Juvenile Delinquency in Pakistan. The causes behind it are many which are categorized into Social causes and Individual causes.
Social Causes of Juvenile Delinquency:
Social causes are those factors which are related to society effecting an individual embedded in society. These are divided into the following kinds.
Weak socialization agencies: Family, Peer group, School, Workplace, Mass Media. Family has both biological and psychological effects in this problem. Biologically prenatal environment affects baby and psychologically deviant adults in family affect youngsters. Peer group rejection and deviant peer in school and workplace have pressure on youngsters and create stress over their minds which lead youngsters to delinquency. Mass Media shows hero figures in bad characters, and highlight violence. Broken homes also contribute to this menace. Weak socialization agencies are not very common in place in comparison with other countries. But still contributes to juvenile delinquency in Pakistan.
Poverty: Poverty is wide spread in Pakistan. Large proportion of people live below poverty line. The youngsters from such social background engage in beggary. Most of the times low socioeconomic status, leads to problems of juvenile delinquency. Poverty by far remains a main cause of juvenile delinquency in Pakistan.
Parenting styles: Defects in parenting styles include neglectfulness, authoritarian approach and harshness.
Neglectful: Parents having no attention towards their children. Authoritarian: Parents who dictate their children to do whatever they want. Harsh: Parents those who are much strict towards their children. They do physical violence to their children.
Urbanization and Industrialism: Lifestyles of people have become complex with Urbanization and Industrialization. This has resulted in more deviant behaviors in children. This is also a main cause of juvenile delinquency in Pakistan.
Individual causes of juvenile delinquency
There are many characteristics in an individual which can contribute to juvenile delinquency. These are low intelligence, restlessness, aggression, Emotionally or Psychologically disturbed, Stress and frustration.
Nature and Nurture both plays important role in it. Nature wise Males are more prone to it than females in every society. And nurture vise Black are more prone. Similarly, Urban areas like Lahore in Pakistan is main area of this social problem due to amalgam of all social classes its due to urbanization.
Control of juvenile delinquency:
Juvenile delinquency can be rectified by Preventive and Rehabilitative measures. The mode of formal and In formal control through Primary and Secondary groups can be applied.
Preventive Measures: In these kind of measures, one can include all those effective steps which restrain the juvenile delinquency. For example: Proper Education of socialization agencies, Training of Parenting style to parents, Move persons from anti-social to Pro-social areas.
Rehabilitative measures: It includes all those steps which make delinquent youngsters back to their normal life. For example: Medicinal treatment to Psychological disorder i.e. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder etc. Orphan homes for youngsters having no parents should be built. Sanctions for fear and strict Laws should be formed about it.
Three systems can cure the three types of juvenile delinquency in Pakistan categorically. Status offenses can be controlled by strong Family system. Property crimes should be dealt by Tribunal system and Violent crimes should have strict punishments by Justice system.
This is a evil having tentacles in all directions. According to survey in Pakistan Dec 2011, total cases in all provinces are as follow.
Under trial:1267 and Convicted: 165.
Juvenile delinquency is the basic wrong step which leads to higher level crimes. It is first rung of ladder leading to extreme level of social evils. Fortunately, UNICEF and Laws & Justice Commission of Pakistan (LJCP) launched Juvenile Justice System Ordinance. It is a roadmap to prosperity. Being optimistic, it will be cured by individual efforts and these kind of steps by Government.