Police plan to rehabilitate first-time juvenile offenders

Some seek skills training, others want loans to start business

March 16, 2020 01:35 am | Updated 01:35 am IST - CHENNAI

Ramesh* was nabbed by the Tiruvallur police two years ago in connection with a bike theft case. Suresh* was picked up by the police, with two of his friends, in connection with a burglary.

Both were first-time juvenile offenders when they were nabbed. Now, both of them want to turn a new leaf.

To help such first-time juvenile offenders, the Tiruvallur district police, along with the Integrated Rural Community Development Society (IRCDS ), has initiated a rehabilitation programme.

“I used to hang out with the wrong people. Hence, I was picked up in the case. Now I don’t roam with the old gang. It was a great shame for my family. I shudder every time a police vehicle passes through our village. I just want to finish studying Class X and join some diploma course and get a job to help my family,” said Suresh.

Ramesh wants to get a job in the cargo-handling section at the airport and lead a peaceful life. It is to help such youngsters, that the police and the NGO have initiated the programme. A total of 35 first-time offenders were selected for the study.

Most of them were involved in theft cases and some in assault. Of them, 17 are living with their families, four have gone back to the world of crime, one has passed away, five have migrated to other towns and the remaining are not traceable.

Peer pressure

“We wanted to prevent them from getting into the world of crime again. We interacted with them to understand why they committed the crimes and what they would need to lead a proper life. Most of them commit the crime under the influence of drugs or due to peer pressure, and some due to unemployment,” said P. Aravindan, SP, Tiruvallur.

While some juveniles wanted skill training, most of them wanted loans to start a business.

“We will be submitting the study to the district legal services authority,” said P. Stephen, programme manager, IRCDS.

(*Names of persons have been changed)

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