: A latest survey on the factors which predispose children into being in conflict with law has found that a majority of them hail from families that showed vulnerabilities of various nature.
During the course of the survey, as many as 605 children in detention centres across Delhi, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Kerala were interviewed.
Among the major factors that pushed them into crimes were broken families, frequent fights between members (either between parents or parents fighting with children), and parents being involved in drug abuse or alcoholism. The latter has lasting repercussions as parents then deny their wards of care and in turn facilitate “his or her association with groups that are deviant and have subsequent involvement in offences”.
Criminal involvements of parents were also found to have pushed children into crimes, but the percentage was relatively smaller (15.9 per cent).
“As many as 41.5% hailed from families characterised by disruptions such as single-parent families, step-parent families, divorced parents, living with either relative or non-relative, living on streets; 50% experienced frequent quarrels and fights between parents or children and parents; 15.9% hailed from families of parental criminality; and 62.2%, 64% and 31.6% of their parents were involved in substance abuse like alcoholism, smoking and use of drugs,” stated the survey.
Further, parental habits such as consumption of intoxicants and drugs led to children following suit.
“49.3%, 40% and 10.5% of children reported to have had recourse to the habits of alcoholism, use of tobacco and drugs, respectively,” the survey found.
The data also show that out of the 605 children interviewed, only 166 (27.4 per cent) were studying at the time when they were apprehended.
This means nearly 72 per cent had either dropped out or had never been to school. Forty three out of 182 children surveyed fell in this category.
The survey blames poor academic performance for the dropout rate, but attributes that to poor facilities in schools.
Even in correction homes the facility to bring them back into the fold of education was not found up to the mark.
“It is also quite surprising to observe that none of the observation homes had a systematic programme that showed the pathway to their rehabilitation. Yet, many had initiated rudimentary efforts in the field of education and vocational training. It is observed that while a handful of children were assisted to write their exams privately, a few others were supported to appear for equivalent exams through open schooling,” stated the survey.
Survey says parental habits such as consumption of drugs leads to children following suit