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Juvenile justice system in Jammu and Kashmir

As the well-known situation of the state of J&K is not something to avoid in the present day world, the law relating to juveniles is of the same condition in the state.

The J&K Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2013 is not followed in letter and spirit.

For example;
Section 6of the Act clearly specifies the Procedure in relation to boards and juvenile courts[A]; still we see such incidents whereby the police department of the state is reluctant to abide by these rules and regulations. They treat those juveniles as any other adult in the state. [B]

That’s why there is a need on the part of the police authorities to follow the provisions of this Act in letter and spirit [C]. This Act is just a piece of paper; for the sake of law for the time being. The juveniles are treated as any other adult in the state, by the authorities responsible for maintaining law and order in the state. Due to which there was an intervention by J&K high court into this matter, whereby the J&K high court has asked allJudicial Magistrates to ensure transfer of cases against juveniles in conflict with law, mostly underage stone throwers, to the newly created Juvenile Justice Boards in every district i.e., in 22 districts of the state. [D]

The purpose of this Act must not only be to safeguard the juveniles who are in conflict with law but rehabbing those juveniles, who in actual sense are the violators of law;

As for any state or country, its future rests in the hands of its young generation. So there is a need for correcting and rehabbing these juveniles so that they won’t become offenders or violators of law in future. And for that matter this Act requires such amendments which shall work for rehabilitation and recreation of character or personality and by introducing new innovations and new ideas which may help to mold these juveniles in those directions which will not only be for their betterment rather would be for the betterment of the society as well. There can be new developments by the legislators or by the courts.(For that matter take a look on some Statutes governing Juveniles) [E][F][G].

No Separate Executive Agency for this particular issue;

There is no Separate Executive Agency for dealings with juveniles in the state. There must be a Separate Executive Agency who would have jurisdiction under this Act, and will have power to take action against any offence committed by juvenile, execution of orders, arrest etc. for example CPS or Child Protective Services in America.[H]

If we take a look at the stats we seethe incidents of crime involving juveniles have witnessed a rise of 94 per cent in the state in the past three years. The percentage of juveniles held guilty is 84.7 per cent, as many as 253 were sent home after advice or admonition. There were 109 cases of rioting in 2016. Juveniles were involved in murder or attempt to murder cases in eight incidents, a report said. Even after the government has announced amnesty to first-time stone throwers in Kashmir under its healing touch policy, we saw that these incidents didn’t stop.[I]
(For American CPS stats see[J][K][L])

The Statute needs to introduce some innovative methods to rehab the juveniles;

American system;
If we study TheAmerican juvenile justice system [M], its primary system is used to handle youth who are convicted of criminal offenses. The system is composed of a federal and many separate state, territorial, and local jurisdictions, with states and the federal government sharing sovereign police power under the common authority of theUnited States Constitution. The juvenile justice system intervenes in delinquent behaviour through police, court, and correctional involvement, with the goal of rehabilitation. Youth and their guardians can face a variety of consequences includingprobation,community service,youth court,youth incarcerationandalternative schooling [N]. The juvenile justice system, similar to the adult system, operates from a belief that intervening early in delinquent behaviour will deter adolescents from engaging in criminal behaviour as adults. [O]

The moulding or correcting of one's character i.e., juveniles, can be done by these methods:
1.Foster family system;
2.Foster care system [P];
4.Free legal assistance;
5.Community services [Q];
6.Alternative school [R];
7.Group home;
8.Therapy sessions;
9.Separate agency for dealing with juveniles.
Taking some help from the United States juvenile justice system, we can introduce these methods (points 1-6) in our statute and follow it with the letter and spirit so that we will be able to curb the rampant increase of juvenile delinquency in the state.

[E] Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA)
[F] Multi-Ethnic Placement Act (MEPA)
[G] Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA)
[J] Fluke, J. D.; Shusterman, G. R.; Hollinshead, D. M.; Yuan, Y.-Y. (2008). "Longitudinal analysis of repeated child abuse reporting and victimization: multistate analysis of associated factors". Child Maltreatment: 76–88.
[K] "The AFCARS Report Preliminary FY 2010 Estimates as of June 2011". Archived from the original on 2011-09-26. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
[L] American Humane Association. "Emotional Abuse". Stop Child Abuse. Archived from the original on 2013-01-26.
[M] Finley, Laura L. (2007). Juvenile Justice. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
[N] Bakalar, Nicholas (2010-10-11). "Doubts Rise Over Child Protective Service Inquiries". The New York Times.
[O] Campbell KA, Cook LJ, LaFleur BJ, Keenan HT (October 2010). "Household, family, and child risk factors after an investigation for suspected child maltreatment: a missed opportunity for prevention". Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 164 (10): 943–9. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2010.166. PMC 3955838. PMID 20921352.
[P] Chin, Richard. "'Orphan Train' Riders Share Common Bond: Until 1929, Children Abandoned on New York Streets were Sent West to Begin New Lives with New Families. Few Orphan Train Riders Survive, but for those Who do, their 'Bond is Forever.'." McClatchy – Tribune Business News: 0. Sep 19 2007. ProQuest. Web. 7 Oct. 2013.
[Q] Eyler, Janet (1999). Where's the Learning in Service-Learning?. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. p. 10. ISBN 978-0-7879-4483-4.
[R] Alternative Schools Adapt, by Fannie Weinstein. The New York Times, June 8, 1986, section A page 14.

Written by: Tawkeer Hussain Dar
BALLB 9th, Roll No 101, School of Law, UOK, Srinagar, J&K

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