Juvenile Delinquency In Children Essay

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Juvenile delinquency as a concept did not always exist as we know it today, nor did the concept of childhood. During the Middle Ages (500-1500 AD) children were merely depicted as miniature adults and were faced with severe physical punishment for offences. As most children entered the adult world of labour at a very young age through apprenticeship, discipline was severe as their Master was held accountable for any sign of disobedience. Apprenticeship was realised as an effective form of control over children and it unknowingly became the first form of “detention” for delinquent children. These children were put to work in agriculture, domestic services or trading and it became a means of keeping them out of trouble. The apprenticeship also marked the beginning stages of the awareness of children as a separate part of society and subsequently involuntary apprentices were only released after turning 21 years of age. Children who disobeyed their Masters came before the law (the King) and were subsequently incarcerated. However, these children were treated different to other prisoners as a means of protecting the Master’s interests.

After the fifteenth century the concept of Parens Patriae (The King as
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A rights-based approach to children accused of committing offences with a procedure-based framework was represented after the implementation of the Act effective form 1 April 2010 (NPF 2010). The Child Justice Act No 75 of 2008 is still in the foundation phase with regards to infrastructural responses. Although some existing prison facilities were converted to cater to the needs of children, the nature of the building complex and character thereof leaves a bitter reminder of the dark past of our nation. Some new facilities have been developed in recent years but much is still to be learned in the successful handling of children in conflict with the

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