Essay: Juvenile Crime in the US and India

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  • Juvenile Crime in the US and India
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Juvenile Justice System US (Hinako)


◦basically it depends on the laws of each state.


◦all the states decide to have the special courts that only handle juvenile delinquencies


◦minimum age

◾In 1997, 22 states had provisions for transferring juveniles to criminal court which did not specify.

◾For those that did specify, the most common (16 states) was age 14.

◾Two states, Kansas and Vermont, set it as low as 10.

◾In many states, once a juvenile is tried and convicted as an adult, he or she must be prosecuted in criminal court for any subsequent offenses.

◦maximum age

◾In 45 states, it is age 17.

◾ Five states– Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, Texas and Wisconsin–now draw the juvenile/adult line at age 16.

◾However, all states have transfer laws that allow or require young offenders to be prosecuted as adults for more serious offenses, regardless of their age.

•Protection of Privacy (open/close to the public)

◦Different between each state

◦Public/ Private of the juvenile court

◾In 1920’s, did not prohibit any publication.

◾However, by around 1950, many states started to restrict to publicize the informations.

◾In the 1980’s, the serious incidents of juvenile started to increase, so many states begin to publicize the delinquency hearing.

◾On the other hand, there are some states that decide to privatize the delinquency hearing, in order to juveniles to rehabilitate.

◾According to the research from 2004, 15 states privatize, 14 states publicize, and 21 states publicize it depends on the situation.


◾15 states allow media to access the informations of juveniles if that case was publicized and if the media attended trials.

◾30 states allow media or citizens to access the information of juveniles depends on if he/she had arrested before.

◾4 states, the courts make decisions each time whether or not to publicate.

◾2 states decide prrivatize every case to the media

•Results of juvenile court cases

◦From the report of the United States Department of Justice in 2003, from all the juveniles who were arrested,

◾20% – released

◾70% – goes to the juvenile court

◾others – transferred to the criminal court or other facilities

Juvenile Justice System India (Juli)


◦Juvenile justice board 2014

◾ (i) heinous offences minimum punishment of 7 years or more under IPC or any other law

◾ (ii) serious offences three to seven years of imprisonment

◾ (iii) petty offences (Below 3 years of imprisonment)

◦these laws are only enforced to juveniles between 16-18

◾juveniles below 16, there maximum punishment is 3years

◦a juvenile cannot be given life time imprisonment without possibility release or death penalty(死刑囚はなし、100年とかはあり)

• court

◦Juvenile justice board(JJB)

◾Two social workers, at least one of whom should be a woman

◾All the decisions shall be taken unanimously

◾JJB inquiry – 1 whether or not the child knew the nature, circumstances, consequence, of the crime age

◦Juvenile justice board gives an order

◾1. counceling community survice

◾2. obsevaton center, rehab center

◾3. refer to childrens cort

◦Childrens cort

◾1. counceling community survice

◾2. obsevaton center, rehab center

◾3. 7 years or more imprisonment

•minimum age

◦nothing is an offensive crime which is done by a child less than 7 years of age (Indian penal court)

◦ nothing is an offensive crime between 7-12 if they do not know the nature of the crime (if one is mature of intellect is liable)

•maximum age

◦In 1986 (juvenile justice act) 16 for boys, 18 for girls

◦In 2000 (Juvenile justice act) changed to 18years for boys and girls

◦2012-14 he juvenile crime rate had increased

•70% of the juveniles accused of crimes are in the age 16-18 (adult crime)

•December 16 2012 gangrape (one of the offenders was juvenile)

◦ In 2014 (The juvenile justice bill) Replaces the juvenile justice act 2000

◾Permits juveniles between 16-18 to be tried as adults for heinous offences

• Protection of Privacy (open/close to the public)



◾According to the 2000 act, juveniles are not exposed to the media as magazines, newspapers are not permitted. (pictures revealing of identity)

Categories of crime!1509&ithint=file%2cxlsx&app=Excel&authkey=!AJ7LB0fbwuHHJeY

US (Leo)

(LP1) Now me and Waka are going to talk about the different kind of crimes and the reasons behind youth committing crimes. When we talk about juvenile crimes, children can be divided into two types of criminals. Status offenders and delinquent offenders.

•Status Offenders

(LP2) This is when one’s act is only illegal because of their age. They are offenders because they are young. Status offenders are breaking the laws that protect them from making the wrong choices or from harming their immature bodies. These belong to status offences. In the bar graph that shows the most common juvenile arrests, curfew and loitering, liquor laws and runaways are examples of acts by status offences.

Curfew(門限) is when a child is not back home on time while loitering(徘徊) is when someone is standing or waiting around without apparent purpose. But in this case, the law applies to specific time of the day when youth should not be hanging around in public. For example, the laws in Texas states that

“It shall be unlawful for a minor to purposefully remain, walk, run, stand, drive or ride about in or upon any public place in the city between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.”

“It shall be unlawful for a minor to purposefully remain, walk, run, stand, drive or ride about in or upon any public place in the city between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday on school days only.”

Runaways(家出) are when a child literally runs away from their home and gets caught. This is actually a crime in many states.

“9 states ( Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wyoming)” in the US, “it is considered a ‘status offense’, which means it is against the law only when someone under 18 years old does it.”

(LP3) Additionally, laws about smoking, driving, gambling and buying guns are also there to protect the youth.

Guns(weapons) The minimum age of buying a handgun in the US is 18 but there is no law that restricts youth from using a firearm. This makes easier for them to murder someone or to kill themselves.

“The national minimum age to buy a handgun is 18 and some states require people to be 21. Some states also have laws on the minimum age to possess a firearm, but may make exceptions for activities such as hunting and target practice.”

“Guns are involved in 83% of murders committed by youth and 45% of suicides, according to CDC data.”

•Delinquent Offenders

(LP4) This one is when the act is illegal for anyone. The word delinquent(非行) is the term to say that the offender is young. Delinquent offenders are more harmful in the sense that they affect or heart others. In the bar graph, Larceny-theft, drugs abuse violations, disorderly conduct and vandalism are examples of acts by delinquent offences.

Larceny-theft(窃盗) is stealing withought being noticed.

Disorderly conduct(治安紊乱) is violating peace in the town.

Vandalism(公共物等の損壊) is damaging or breaking public property. This includes damaging the appearance by painting graffiti on it.


Arson(放火) Is putting fire on one’s property.

Delinquent offenders can be treated as a grown up depending on the situation

(LP6) This graph shows the most common juvenile crimes in the US. You can see that there are quite a lot of status offences. This shows that the there are many laws in the US to protect the youth and they are rejecting it.

Crime rates

(LP7) For the past few years, the juvenile crime rates are decreasing little by little. This seems to be the effect of the juvenile justice reform at the beginning of the 21st century when many states introduced execution for juveniles and they changed their policies on juvenile crimes.

Especially the non index crimes have dropped to half in 6 years. (still searching for the reasons but it seems like they changed their sentencing laws and other policies on juvenile crimes around 2002)

•Violent Crime Index: Murder/nonneg. mans, Rape, Robbery, Aggravated assault

•Property Crime Index: Burglary, Larceny-theft, Motor vehicle theft, Arson

•Non index juvenile arrests: Forgery and counterfeiting, Fraud, Embezzlement, Stolen property, Vandalism, Weapons, Prostitution/commercialized vice, Sex offenses (other), Drug abuse violations, Gambling, Offenses against family, Driving under influence, Liquor laws, Drunkenness, Disorderly conduct, Vagrancy, Curfew and loitering, Runaways

Repeat offenders

It is easy to see that for under 18’s (the red line) the rate of repeating a crime after release is very high in the US compared to the other age groups. Nearly half of them are caught again with in 3 weeks.

Reasons – Individual factors

The rates between boy and girl offenders have been fairly constant around 7:3 for the past few years. Since the gender ratio of the population does not change so much either, it can be said that boys are twice more likely to be arrested than girls in the United States. Research has shown that boys around the age of 15 suddenly becomes boys compared to girls. This could be because of their body becoming mature – becoming bigger and stronger with a lot of energy to waste.

Reasons – House income

(LP8) You may think that crimes in general are related to poverty but that is not true. Although violent crimes are conducted proportionally to the house income, youth from high income families are involved in drug related crimes more than the others. Because drugs are dealt at a high cost, youth with more money have better access to it.

Reasons – Education

You can see from the graph that the education level is almost directly proportional to the house income in the US so it is hard to differentiate that two.

Reasons – Ethnic groups

(LP9) Looking at the graphs, it is obvious that there is a racial bias on crimes. Although the largest race population is white and the smallest is american indian, there crime rates about the same. Instead, black juvenile crime rates are nearly double of them.

Reasons – Other

Neighborhood environment seems to affect children psychologically, increasing their crime rates but this also connects to the low house income of the family.

Games are not proved to have relation with juvenile crime. For some, it increases their aggressiveness and for others, it acts as a good stress relief.


(LP10) Most juvenile crimes I have introduced so far can be related to the Gang in the US. Looking at the graph, half of its members are juveniles which suggests a strong relationship between the gang and juvenile crimes. Also, the rate of race within the gang links to the racial difference of juvenile crimes and why they are more likely to be treated unfairly.


Categories of crimes

Theft ,burglary(不法侵入),snatching(強盗、ひったくり),dacoity (強奪),murder and rape.

✳︎All types of these crime has being committed by children under 18 years old.


2015, 1,695cases were registered against juvenile in Delhi (デリー).

Among that,64…Murder




•Parents don’t have time for their children

•Increasingly twisted media(They show violence or sex in idealized , glamorized way)


Juvenile crime statistics (India)

Crime data in India

Rehabs&facilities US (Keiko)

Aims of rehabilitation

Rehabilitation is to avoid juvenile offenders going against law and become an actual criminal after they grow up. Juvenile offenders need to be treated differently than adults because of intellectual, emotional, and physical differences. The primary goal should be rehabilitation so youths can become productive and law-abiding adult members of society

History of juvenile courts and rehabs

Until 19th century

Children over 7 years old were sentenced to prison or even to death. Many youth were confined for status offends simply because there were no other options


 the House of Refuge Movement, a movement that has been called the first great event in child welfare, was launched. The movement began with the Society for Prevention of Pauperism, which believed that poverty was a cause, if not the primary cause, of crime committed by children.

→ in 1825

the New York House of Refuge was founded. It was the first institution designed to keep poor youth who were considered by authorities to be on the path towards delinquency.

By 1860s

16 Houses of Refuge were opened in the United States.


With the emerging public school movement and compulsory education, social reformers began arguing for a new type of institution that placed greater emphasis on education. Through this movement, the reform school, also called training and industrial schools, became an important part of America’s juvenile justice system.

→in 1859

San Francisco Industrial School was established.


there was scandals regarding physical abuse to managerial incompetence.

So, “Child Saving movement” occurred.

During 1890s to 1910s, children’s right were becoming to be recognized. Reformers believed that treating children and adolescents as adult criminals was unnecessarily harsh and resulted in their corruption.


The first juvenile court in the United States was founded in Cook County(Chicago), Illinois. The Juvenile Court was further based on the theory that the judge’s role was not only to decide on the guilt or innocence of a child, but also to examine each child’s life as a whole in order to both protect public safety and guide the child to be a good citizen as an adult.

The development of the first juvenile court in Chicago was followed shortly by one in Denver.

by 1945 all states had juvenile courts

in 1980s 

In response to public perceptions that serious juvenile crime was increasing and that the system was too lenient with offenders, many state legislators responded by passing more punitive laws. BUT systems and practices of detention center HAVE NOT CHANGED to today. The name of rehabilitation facilities for juveniles has changed to ”detention center”.

Current system

All states have each law so that there is no one single unified system. But in ordinally, they are decided whether they will…

1 released with supervision or 2 go to juvenile courts

It often depends on whether they are status offenders or delinquent offenders.

・ Status Offenders

Counselled, released with supervision

・ Delinquent Offenders

Go to juvenile courts. They are often sent to rehabilitation facilities

(I would like to focus on rehabilitation facilities and its history of improvement)

In detention centers today, the juveniles

About the reintegration

New, unique attempt

1”Scared Straight”(a program for youngsters not to commit a crime by telling and

showing them how the life in prison is horrible)

→ It was on air and gained popularity as documentary series

Many young offenders realized how horrible the life in prison is and try not to go there, so that their behavior get better after this program.

2 Teen Courts

in teen court, prosecuters, lawyers, judges are all teenagers.

Usually, the offenders are required to do volunteer work (max 45 hours), mandatory jury jobs (max 5 times), or apology letters to victims

the difference from juvenile court are not only the age of judges.

the offenders will get some punishment whereas they often don’t in juvenile courts. Also, the record will remain in Juvenile court whereas they don’t in teen courts.

→ It lowered the second offense rate.

For example, in Oakland, 10 % of offenders committed crime again whereas 30%of juvenile courts committed again. In Oregon, 95%of teen court never committed again until 18.

Overall Results

Positive; Juvenile arrest rate for all offenses reached its highest level in the last two decades in 1996, and then declined 68% by 2015 rate is decreasing Ex)homicide decreased to 68% since 90s

Negative: It doesn’t offer necessary support for juvenile with poor families and/or learning disability. In 2013 30% of youth in system have a learning disability and nearly 50% test below grade level. Critics argue that the juvenile justice system should be restructured to more effectively lower the chances of future crime among youth, and advocate for increased educational programs for incarcerated youth as the most important method to reduce recidivism. Critics also point out that basic practice in detention center has not changed since 80s and it is out of date.

Rehabs&facilities India (Kaho)

•rehabilitation means restoration of reputation and character, but this term has many definitions depending on the use. For this presentation, I will use this term as the process of improving the inmate’s character so he/she will become a productive member of the society (→this term is used in a trial)

•many opinions on the justice system saying that they must make sure the rehabilitation process is strong enough to prevent juvenile delinquents from coming into conflict with law again

•History of Reform School Acts

① 1897, The Reformatory Schools Act

1.Courts can direct youthful offenders to be sent to Reformatory Schools.

2.Magistrates can direct boys under 15 years sentenced to imprisonment to be sent to Reformatory Schools.

3.Government can determine which Reformatory Schools such offenders shall be sent.

② 1958, The probation of Offenders Act

1.Power of court to release certain offenders after admonition (warning)

2.Power of court to release certain offenders on probation of good conduct.

3.Restrictions on imprisonment of offenders under 20.

③ 1959, The West Bengal Children Act consolidate and amend law relating to custody, protection, treatment and rehabilitation of juvenile delinquents and of children in need of care.

2.establish after-care organizations for the welfare, training and social and economic rehabilitation of juvenile delinquents and other children discharge from reformatory.

④ 2000, The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act

1.allow the juvenile to go home after admonition or advice following appropriate inquiry against and counselling to the parent or the guardian and the juvenile. the juvenile to participate in group counselling and similar activities. the juvenile to be released on probation of good conduct and placed under the care of any fit institution for the good behavior of the juvenile for any period not exceeding 3 years.

4.make an order directing the juvenile to be sent to a Special Home.

•2016, Juvenile Justice Amendment Act

◦11 Children Homes have been established by the government for the care and protection of the children during pendency of inquiry and subsequently for their care, protection, education, development, rehabilitation

•currently, there are 292 Observation Homes in India.


1.Maharashtra, 53. (accounted for around 18% of the whole country)

2.Rajasthan, 36. (12.33%)

3.Uttar Pradesh, 30. (10.27%)

4.Madhya Pradesh, 18. (6%)

5.Karnataka, 16. (5%)

→just these 5 states add up to around 50% of the total number of OHs.

•after coming out of Special Homes, they sometimes get exploited where child trafficking is a form for their exploitation. (Child Trafficking… includes minimum exploitation of prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery, removal of organs)

•education, training, and recreation of children who are in OHs have not been provided. → basic school education must be considered

•introduce the 4 levels of programming (framework proposed for rehabilitation in juvenile justice)

Discussion Questions

1.Is it better to report the names of young criminals? To what extent should the media reveal the convict’s information?

2.There’s a difference in the ages when they’re treated as adults in courts. What age do you think is the line between child and adult? From when should children be responsible of their acts?

3. In Japan, schools encourage students to do after school activities like clubs and student committees to prevent juvenile crimes. Do you think this is an effective solution? What are the problems?

4.How much do you think you can blame on the children’s parents who committed a crime ?

5.Do you think Japan should also introduce death penalty to youth, since there are some heinous crimes committed by juveniles.

Links that might be useful (Need proper citings later)

The Annie E. Casey Foundation | Reducing Youth Incarceration (US)

OFFDP: Juvenile Arrest Rates (USA)

Easy Access to FBI Arrest Statistics: 1994-2014 (USA)

What’s Behind the Recent Drop in Juvenile Violent Crime?

Juvenile incarceration rate has dropped in half. Is trend sustainable? (USA)

Patterns and Trends in Juvenile Crime and Juvenile Justice (USA)

Factors Affecting Recidivism Rates (USA)


Is it Against the Law to Run Away from Home? (USA)

Study: Stricter state gun laws keep firearms out of hands of youth – CNN (USA)

Girls Are the Fastest-Growing Group in the Juvenile Justice System(USA)

Girls Are the Fastest-Growing Group in the Juvenile Justice System

SlideShare | Juvenile Justice in India Policy and Implementation Dilemmas (India) | Juvenile crimes in India

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