Juvenile Justice Systems in United States and India: Modern Scenario and Much Needed Modifications
Dr. Shivani Goswami, Dr. Neelu Mehra

A criminal activity committed by adult which is in violation of law is considered as a crime and is punishable in law but if the same activity is committed by a child below a particular age, it is not considered a crime and is referred as juvenile delinquency no matter that a child with full understanding has committed a very serious, grave, grim and a heinous crime. How long it will be treated as justified and defensible? Seeing the nature of crime, presently, in United States of America States are shifting from rehabilitation model and are getting tougher on these so called juveniles but it is a misfortune that the same pattern is not followed in India, this in spite the fact that the most brutal, the most nasty, the most vicious , the most unruly of all the accusers in Delhi gang rape case held on December 16, 2012 was a juvenile. Undoubtedly the number of serious, monstrous and odious crimes committed by juveniles are mounting up every day as these young offenders very well know that they can easily get free even after committing such ferocious, heart piercing acts. The question here which really requires pond ration is can these persons be seriously called as innocent, blameless and naive persons? The answer is perhaps “No”. When these persons can hatch a plot, churn their ideas to commit sinister, ominous offences like rape, murder, dacoity etc they can no more be called as innocent, guiltless persons and this rehabilitation model which has been till ages followed in so many countries should no more be applicable on such juveniles no matter what their age. Many countries have now after seeing the nature of crime committed by the young offenders changed their policy and are now moving towards tough reforms but in India, presently, it is seen that much importance is given to the age factor, rather, it will not be wrong to say that the only factor which is taken into consideration is the age factor of the juvenile. It is submitted that apart from the age , the severity of crime, the intention, the degree of atrocity etc should also be taken into consideration. The said paper focuses on the juvenile system in United States and India, the lacuna in the system, should age factor of a person play an important role in determining his culpability, his blameworthiness and what can be done to sort out this most menacing, most reprehensible and most appalling problem.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jlcj.v2n2a14