The Society has strongly pleaded for the revision of the criminal laws and the law of evidence to conform to the modern corrective methods of treatment. There is greater emphasis on probation service for the guidance and supervision of released offenders.
This society has further suggested that adequate employment opportunities should be provided to ex-convicts and they should be allowed suitable age-relaxation in matters of recruitment to public services. Another significant point raised by the Crime Prevention Society for reducing juvenile delinquency is the need for greater police-public co-operation. The police should actively assist the social agencies which are engaged in the reformation of offenders. The establishment of Special Juvenile Police Unit in each police station and deployment of more women in the police force is certainly a welcome step in this direction. Empirical researches in juvenile delinquency have suggested that the only alternative to suppress criminality among children and adolescents is to provide them proper education and training in schools and homes. A well planned scheme of education will intellectually prepare them to accept social responsibility. Active co-operation between the teacher and delinquent’s parents is also necessary to solve the problems of teenagers and reduce the incidence of juvenile delinquency.
Setting up of Guardians Guide may prove useful for this purpose. The educational institutions may perhaps serve best to intensify preventive programmes and suppress juvenile delinquency Community programme through public-police participation in rehabilitative techniques for juveniles and young offenders may also help considerably in reducing the incidence of juvenile delinquency. It may be stated that the problem of juvenile delinquency is intimately related to other social problems and therefore, it can be effectively tackled by devising measures to secure community cooperation and public support through voluntary service organisations. Needless to say that the institution of ‘family’ has a significant role to play in resolving this socio-legal problem. It has been generally accepted that children become delinquent by force of circumstances and not by choice. It is possible to reform the anti-social attitudes of children by improving the unfavourable surroundings and giving them suitable training.
Therefore, there is need to adopt a ‘social therapy’ approach towards juvenile delinquents and this should constitute the basic philosophy underlying administration of juvenile justice in India and elsewhere. Ultimately, it may be reiterated that there is need for effective control, supervision and assistance of the offender in the whole juvenile correctional process. It is desirable to establish at various levels people’s committee to tackle the problem of juvenile delinquency right from the time of apprehension of the offender to his final rehabilitation in the community. That apart, monitoring of the working of the Juvenile Justice Act and the functionaries working there under is also equally important. For this purpose, it has been suggested that an Ombudsman for juvenile justice with statutory powers to watch, report, inspect and audit the institutions functioning under the Act should set up to give it a more democratic dimension and at the same time exercise effective control on bureaucracy in performance of this social task. The working of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 has shown that the pattern of implementation of the Act reflects a quantitative approach by increasing the number of Juvenile Justice Boards, Child Welfare Committees, and juvenile institutions so as to cover a larger area.
The time has now come when greater attention needs be focused on qualitative aspect of the working of the Act. For example, only those magistrates should be selected for Juvenile Justice Board who have special background or training in child psychology and welfare work. The appointment of the panel of two social workers to assist Juvenile Justice Board will be more helpful. There is need to activate the Advisory Boards mandated in Section 62 which would ensure better coordination between the various segments of the juvenile justice system. It would be worthwhile to appoint visitors for each Juvenile Home who may act as a spokesperson for the inmates. The selection and training of right kind of personnel will also prove useful in solving the problems associated with the smooth functioning of the juvenile justice system in India. It hardly needs to be emphasised that the Juvenile Justice Act is a beneficial statute which aims at fulfilling the constitutional mandate contained in Article 39(f) by ensuring care and protection of neglected children and juveniles who are in conflict with law.
It is therefore, the bounden duty of the State to initiate adequate measures to safeguard children and juveniles against exploitation, deprivation and criminalisation as they are a valuable national asset, besides being the future citizens of India. The Act as modelled and amended has the potential to achieve this end provided it is implemented in a right earnest manner by the enforcement agencies. The amendment of the Act in 2006 has taken note of some of the lacunae which were left unaddressed in the original Juvenile Justice (Protection & Care of Children) Act of 2000.