This chapter includes the basic definition as to who is considered to be juvenile delinquent and there is an in-depth expression of the different theories together with the assorted causes of juvenile delinquency. Academicians within the subject have regarded juvenile delinquency otherwise. Therefore, there are a multitude theories and factors refering this societal pestilence but non a individual reply as how to control it. Many theories have been propounded and can be classifies as follows:Biological TheoryRational Choice TheoryLabeling TheoryStrain TheorySocial DisorganizationDifferential Association2.1.1 Definition of juvenile delinquencyWhen you input the word “ juvenile delinquency ” in your hunt engine, you will acquire the reply as “ antisocial or condemnable behavior by kids or striplings.

” Juvenile delinquency is a societal phenomenon and may hold the definition of immature kids being involve in criminal and condemnable activities.Delinquent Acts of the Apostless are a particular class of aberrant Acts of the Apostless. Every pervert act involves themisdemeanor of societal regulations that regulate the behavior of participants in a societal system( Cloward and Ohlin, 1960 ) . Worldwide, condemnable Acts of the Apostless of immature individuals are referred toas juvenile delinquency ( Cohen, 1964 ) .In the US, since the 1980s, juvenile delinquency has frequently been referred to as young person offenses.The age at which juveniles lawfully become adults differs from state to state, but inmost provinces, immature people are considered juveniles until the age of 18 old ages( Clements, 1987, cited in Mzinyathi, 1992 ) . In Mauritius people are considered juveniles until the age of 18.

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However, some states set the bound at the age of 16 or 17.2.2 The Biological TheoryThis theory states that the biogenetic factors are the cardinal causes of behavioral alterations in immature people. It draws a nexus between behavior and endocrines.

The presence of testosterone endocrine is a strong forecaster of sexual motive and influences male childs in their behavior. The deficiency of oestrogen in misss can take to depression and to respond in negative tempers. An undeniable fact is that most illegal rebellious Acts of the Apostless are disproportionately carried out by immature work forces. While misss are regarded as soft and stamp, male childs are regarded as strong and aggressive. Attempts in showing one ‘s maleness may be a factor to be involved in illegal activities[ 1 ]. Bing vigorous, powerful and to demo one ‘s art may be a manner for immature male childs to show their maleness.

Acting out these ideals may do immature work forces more likely to prosecute in antisocial and condemnable behavior[ 2 ].Other than biological factors, the manner parents behave with immature male childs may do them more susceptible to piquing. Harmonizing to a survey which appeared in the Journal of Genetic Psychology September 2008, there exists a important association between an affinity for antisocial equal groups and a peculiar fluctuation called the 10-repaet allelomorph of the Dopastat transporter cistrons ( DAT1 ) . Florida State University criminologist M. Kevin Beamer conducted a survey whereby adolescent males who possess a certain type of fluctuation in a specific cistron are more likely to flock to delinquent equals[ 3 ].2.

3 The Rational Choice TheorySing an addition in the recorded rate of juvenile delinquency and the failure of rehabilitation intents, research workers emerged with the Rational Choice Theory[ 4 ]. Harmonizing to this research, wrongdoers are motivated in perpetrating any delinquent act when they decide to go against the regulations and ordinances after sing their personal involvements, i.e, self-interest, learning experiences and personal values. For research workers in this sphere, the causes of offense prevarication within the wrongdoer instead than in their external environment.This theory stresses on the act of prosecuting in delinquent activity instead than on the delinquent act itself. It is believed that earlier taking to perpetrate a non-conforming act, the pervert evaluates the earnestness and the grade of the penalty and the hazard of apprehensiveness.

Furthermore, the value of the criminal act as seen by the equal group and the extent the personal demands of the delinquent is taken into consideration by the latter.It can non be denied that immature people will indulge in aberrant activities if they do non fear penalty and the hazard of being apprehended.2.

4 Labelling TheoryAn act may go delinquent merely if it is perceived and considered as delinquent. It may hold been done for the first clip and is known as a primary aberrance. The individual may be accordingly punished for this misbehavior. He is given an official label and is considered a as a ‘thug ‘ . From so onwards, all his Acts of the Apostless are viewed from a different position.Harmonizing to Labelling Theory, one time immature people have been labelled as condemnable they are more prone to pique.

All those who are labelled as such are expected to act consequently. Once labelled as pervert, a young person may accept that function and be more likely to tie in with others who have been likewise labelled[ 5 ]. The immature individual ends up by accepting the label imposed upon him and develops a aberrant self-image[ 6 ]. Labeling theoreticians say that male kids from hapless households are more likely to be labelled aberrant and that this may partly why there are more low-class immature male wrongdoers[ 7 ].“ The Southern Cross of labelling position lies non in whether 1 ‘s norm go againsting behavior is known but whether others decided to make something about it. ”[ 8 ]Any signifier of societal reaction to delinquency may therefore magnify it instead than cut down it.2.

5 The Strain TheoryRobert Merton ( 1968 ) has carried out an analysis where he felt that there are institutionalised waies to success in society. He came up with two constructs: terminals and agencies.The terminals are the ends that one tries to accomplish when indulging in any sort of societal behavior. The chief terminals are money, ownerships, position, power and an flush criterion of life.

They can be achieved by conforming. Peoples have accepted the terminals and seek to accomplish them by legitimate agencies. The means would mention to the methods used to make the ends.Strain Theory stresses that offense is largely caused by people holding trouble in accomplishing socially valued ends by legitimate agencies, i.e, people who live in poorness.Examples:A conformist agency of obtaining wealth and position is by high educational attainment and procuring good paid occupation.

However, a delinquent means can be used to accomplish the terminals and this could be by robbing a bank, i.e, by flexing the agency he seeks to achieve the coveted terminals.Merton has classified this quandary into five phases:InventionAt this phase, delinquents accept the conforming ends but are unable to accomplish them by the socially approved agencies.

They use aberrant methods which may or may non derive the blessing of the society.RitualismThe perverts are non capable of accomplishing the conformist ends at this phase. They lose sight of the ends but continue to conform to the socially approved agencies.RetreatismThese people reject the society and its values. They do non hold faith in both the agencies and the terminals and give up both. This is due chiefly to failures experienced earlier and in about all quarters- places, school and work. E.g, drug nuts.

ConformityAt this peculiar phase people conform to both the system ‘s agencies and ends.RebellionSome people reject both the approved ends and agencies and replace them by a new system of acceptable terminals and agencies.E.g, the socialist ‘s thought of redistribution of wealth in a capitalist economic system or the activities of a spiritual group like Hare Rama Hare Krishna Mission in an Arab state.The utmost instance may be the terrorists who reject the ‘society ‘ and along with it the establishments and the regulations. They seek to replace them by their ain ‘society ‘ through aberrant ‘means ‘ , normally rebellion.

2.6 Social DisorganizationThis theory by and large focuses on the civilization. Criminological theory attributes fluctuation in offense and delinquency to the absence or dislocation of communal establishments, e.g, household. The personality of the kid is affected due to hapless or faulty relationship with and between parents and being capable to frequent humiliations.Parents have been aggressive, interrupting often, utilizing opprobrious linguistic communication and are populating individually in certain instances. A research carried out by Olweus ( 1995 ) shows the undermentioned factors can impact the development of a kid during the class of his turning up[ 9 ]:Lack of emotional engagement by parents at early ageParents do non put bounds to the grade of aberrance tolerableDiscipline being excessively rigorous by parents who use a stiffly autocratic type of upbringingThere are certain unfastened causes in the household, which encourage behavioral divergences. These can be because of alcohol addiction or drug use, bad illustrations of seniors and an unorganized or asocial place.

There are concealed causes which include some jobs within the household and are hidden from exterior. The symptoms of these jobs are shown by the kid ‘s behaviors. All these lead us to say that there are households, which seem to bring forth kids with behavioral divergences divergences or where the socialization procedure is unnatural.2.7 Differential AssociationWith industrialization, the household has witnessed assorted alterations in its constructions. The procedure has created a batch of instability in the household doing some signifier of decomposition. It can non set into operation many of its cardinal maps as an establishment. In the procedure of modernization it is the immature people who frequently have to bear the cost of the alteration.

The household is incapable of supplying the basic component of security to the immature coevals. The school, excessively, is non in a place to supply that attention. It has become more like an ‘A ‘ bring forthing mill which is in one manner the demand for better occupations. The childs are unsure about their place and seek to happen other shelters for security and stableness. They turn towards the equal group, which plays an of import function in compensation for the household and school.

The delinquents form a common group and seek the support of each other.The theory of Differential Association suggests childs are motivated to perpetrate offenses by delinquent equals and learn condemnable accomplishments from them. The equal group is able to exercise a batch of influence on immature people. It is really powerful ; it helps to bring forth inclinations towards decomposition, which can ensue into assorted signifiers of aberrant Acts of the Apostless.

Young people are unstable, unsure and have jobs of version. They see their future chances less bright, competition going tougher and societal relationships being less stable[ 10 ]. In these conditions, it is most likely that they will come across other immature people who are mentally and socially insecure. It forms a barbarous circle. Altogether they will happen solutions to their jobs by traveling against the normal channel.The Differential Association Theory trades with immature people in a group context and looks at how peer force per unit area and the being of packs could take them into offense.

Aberrance is a agencies of coming to footings with alienated state of affairss and besides represents, if there are no alternate agencies of turn outing oneself, to do clear and inordinate demanding clear and- even if merely briefing- understable in a individual act.Delinquency is hence a reaction by immature people to the procedure of decomposition and anomy in all societal Fieldss.2.8 Causes of Juvenile DelinquencyEvery society has certain manners of behavior to be acceptable or rebellious in nature from the really first civilization. Every pervert act involves the misdemeanor of societal system ( Cloward and Ohlin, 1960 ) . Researchers the universe over have long debated the assorted causes of delinquency.

Yet juvenile delinquency continues to be a outstanding subject and no individual cause has been able to reply as to what leads a juvenile to go delinquent,“ Delinquency should non be seen as a surprising phenomenon but as something all striplings will take part in unless obstructions are placed in their waies by a disapproving society. ”[ 11 ]Glasser ( 1965 ) believes a young person may go aberrant if his life style is based upon systematically run intoing one ‘s demands in such a manner that it deprives others of the ability to run into their demands.Behavioral specializers indicate that socio-economic conditions like poorness hold a cardinal importance in a child ‘s life. Furthermore, peer force per unit area makes immature people more vulnerable to conform to certain values and norms which are non socially acceptable. Other theoreticians believe experience of a childhood injury such as kid maltreatment and household dysfunctioning lead childs to be indulged in condemnable activities. This chapter will turn to some of the factors and their efforts to explicate why some immature people are more susceptible to deviant behavior.

2.8.1 Family construction and delinquencyHarmonizing to Wright and Wright ( 1994 ) the household is the foundation of human society.“ As the household goes, so goes the state and so goes the whole universe we live in, ” said Pope John Paul IINorms, values, theoretical account of behaviour emanate from the household unit and these factors create an internalised “ design ” for the kid ‘s personality, beliefs and attitudes[ 12 ]. Families can learn kids to be aggressive, antisocial and violent ( Wright and Wright 1994 ) .

Family DysfunctioningGorman-Smith and Tolan ( 1998 ) province that parental aggressiveness and parental struggle predict violent offending ; whereas, deficiency of maternal fondness and paternal criminalism predict engagement in belongings offenses[ 13 ]. There is a strong nexus between delinquency and familial antisocial behavior and household struggle. Children are more dead set to violence if there is force between relationships that they portion with their household[ 14 ]. Amato and Sobolewski indicated associations between exposure to parental divorce and matrimonial strife while turning and kids ‘s psychological hurt in maturity[ 15 ].CommunicationCommunication plays a polar function in the operation of household. As stated by Clark and Shields ( 1997 ) effectual communicating is of import for optimum household operation as it can hold major deductions for delinquent behavior[ 16 ]. With uninterrupted household communicating in a compassionate and non-judgemental tones will do kids experience understood and accepted taking to a positive self-image and higher sense of self-pride.Parental MonitoringMonitoring becomes necessary as kids moves into adolescence as the latter pass more clip with equals than under the supervising of parents.

Kim et Al. showed that coercive parental and deficiency of supervising leads straight non merely to antisocial behaviors but besides contributes to increase equal association which is prognostic of higher degrees of delinquency. However, it is besides seen that when parents are excessively rigorous and keep a rough monitoring, striplings are likely to2.8.2 Peer influencePeer force per unit area can act upon a kid ‘s behavior merely as the household can. When youths face deficiency of societal support and response from their households and communities, they turn to their equal groups for support[ 17 ]. The equal group is an stripling ‘s chief beginning of societal interaction.Harmonizing to Agnew ( 1991 ) and Lamson ( 1993 ) juveniles substitute equal groups for parents when they see the latter as uncaring.

Spending clip with aberrant equals exerts much force per unit area on the young person to follow the same behavior[ 18 ]. Weak adhering to conventional equals lead to association with pervert equals which consequences into induction or exasperation of delinquent behavior[ 19 ].2.8.3 Educational experiencesEducation is instrumental in this competitory environment, for case, what we call the “ rat-race ” in Mauritius, to happen a respectable beginning of income and to last.High degree of instruction for survive is responsible for alterations in offenses and delinquency rates[ 20 ]. There is a well-established correlativity between school failure and deviancy[ 21 ]Trouble in the school environment frequently contributed to truancy and more serious offenses[ 22 ]. School environment may determine a young person sense of chance and dignity.

In Mauritius, academic accomplishment is one of the chief stepping rock towards success. Socio-economic and demographic factors besides impact on educational chances and public presentation[ 23 ]. For case, in Mauritius educational environments are non ever the same. It is evident in underclass environment, e.g, outskirts of metropoliss like Roche Bois where instruction is normally non a strong norm of behavior.Furthermore, school dropout and hapless academic winners are more likely to be involved in condemnable Acts of the Apostless.2.8.

4 Socio-economic categoryThe spread between the rich and the hapless is widening. Harmonizing to Merton ( 1968 ) , kids from hapless households do non hold sufficient agencies to accomplish position, employment, etc. hence, they turn to criminal behavior to accomplish the same things, i.e, through ways non being accepted by the society.

Juvenile delinquency is influenced by the negative effects of societal and economic development. Furthermore, unemployment among childs can increase the likeliness of their engagement in illegal activity.2.8.

5 InjuryA inexorable world in our modern universe is that many immature people are abused and traumatized every twenty-four hours. The maltreatment, whatever its nature, may hold a durable and profound consequence on a young person ‘s life.“ Numerous surveies over the past 10 old ages have shown a clear relationship between young person victimization and a assortment of jobs in ulterior life, including mental wellness jobs, substance maltreatment, impaired societal relationships, self-destruction and delinquency. ”[ 24 ]2.9 Juvenile delinquency in MauritiusIn Mauritius, delinquency includes behavior that is antisocial, unsafe, or harmful to the ends or norms of the society. The “ Brigade pour La protection des mineurs ” , a unit at the MPF, is specialized in the sensing and bar of juvenile delinquency.

In 2011, around 700 juvenile wrongdoers were involved in offense and misdemeanors, of whom 300 in assaults and 130 in larcenies. About 800 juveniles were contravened for route traffic offenses.2.9.1 Juvenile wrongdoersThe juvenile delinquency rate ( excepting disputes ) was 5.

8 per 1,000 juvenile population in 2011 compared to 5.2 in 2010. The rate for male childs ( 10.6 ) was much higher than that for misss ( 0.9 ) in 2011. In fact, juvenile delinquency rate has been lifting for the past old ages: from 1.

0 in 2000 to 5.8 per 1,000 juvenile population in 2011. Harmonizing to experts in criminology, this lifting tendency has a direct nexus with the rise in the figure of household issues ( e.g.

divorce, domestic force, etc ) .

Table 1.1 – Juvenile offenses reported, Republic of Mauritius, 2010 & A ; 2011




Juvenile offenses1,3481,518Juvenile wrongdoers1,3951,572Juvenile delinquency rate per 1,000 juvenile population5.25.8( Juvenile delinquency rate excludes disputes )2.9.

2 Juveniles strong beliefs in tribunal( a ) Around 300 strong beliefs involved juveniles in 2011 ; about three one-fourth of the sentences were mulcts.( B ) A important rise was noted in the figure of strong beliefs affecting juveniles, with a quadruple addition since 2007 ( from 75 in 2007 to 300 in 2011 ) .

Juvenile detainees

Overview of juvenile detainment

Low but lifting figure of juveniles being sent on remand

Male juvenile wrongdoers are either admitted to Correctional Youth Centre ( CYC ) or Rehabilitation Youth Centre ( RYC ) harmonizing to the gravitation of the instances and age of the wrongdoer. Those who commit serious offenses are sent to CYC. However, all female juvenile/child wrongdoers are sent to RYC as there is no CYC for female juveniles.

Child/ juveniles beyond control are besides sent to probation places.The strong belief rate ( CYC & A ; RYC ) per 100,000 juveniles was 22 in 2011 compared to 28 in 2010.

Correctional Youth Centre ( CYC )

The CYC is under the auspices of the Mauritius Prisons Services. Male juvenile wrongdoers aged 14 to 17 old ages old are admitted to CYC.

( a ) In 2011, the day-to-day mean population of detainees in CYC was 5 inmates and 20 remands.( B ) More than three one-fourth of the 18 juvenile inmates admitted to CYC in 2011 had committed larceny.

Table 5.3 – Juvenile detainees admitted to CYC, Republic of Mauritius, 2010 & A ; 2011








Assault11Sodomy11Larceny1414Other offenses82







Rehabilitational Youth Centre ( RYC )

The RYC is under the auspices of the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions. Child/ juvenile wrongdoers aged 10 to 17 old ages old are admitted to RYC.( a ) In 2011, the day-to-day mean population of RYC comprised 30 inmates ( 20 misss and 10 male childs ) and 10 remands ( 5 misss and 5 male childs ) .

( B ) The figure of juveniles admitted to RYC in 2011 was 161. Out of them:i‚· 131 were on remand and 30 were inmates,i‚· 23 were admitted as child/juvenile beyond control, of whom 19 were misss and 4 male childs.

Table 5.4 – Juvenile detainees admitted to RYC, Republic of Mauritius, 2010 & A ; 2011


















Sexual offenses101202Larceny112112Other instances491362026of which child/juvenile beyond control491341923















Probation homes/hostels

Juveniles/children beyond control are besides sent to probation homes/hostels under the auspices of the Probation and After-care Services.( a ) In 2011, a day-to-day norm of 9 juveniles/children stayed ( 5 male childs and 4 misss ) in probationhomes/ inns( B ) About 15 juveniles were admitted in probation places in both 2010 and 2011.

Other juvenile condemning

( a ) Some 53 juveniles ( up from 93 in 2010 ) were sentenced with probation orders in 2011, of whom 52 male childs.( B ) The figure of juveniles were committed to community service work was 3 in 2011 compared to 8 in 2010.