A delinquent is a person who has been assigned a certain legal status as a result of a certain type of contact with a specialized legal agency with specialized jurisdiction on persons of a certain age group. It presents a specific pattern of behavior. It is a wrongdoing on the part of a minor child or adolescent as specified by the law of the place.
A person can become a delinquent for reasons as diverse as committing an armed robbery or making their parents, teachers or neighbors suffer to the point where they feel unable to control them without mobilizing official agencies of coercion or guidance. As regards the offenses of delinquents, there are variations from one country to another. In almost every city in the world where delinquency exists, juvenile gangs, innocent or evil, are also important parts of the general pattern of juvenile delinquency. Mr. William C. Kvaracous observes: –
A widespread form of delinquency in Cairo is the collection of cigarette butts on the streets.
A person who is a minor as specified by the law of the place, if commit any offense, is called a juvenile delinquent. This includes padding, begging, disorderly conduct, malicious mischief, and ungovernable behavior. Some of the important definitions of juvenile delinquency are as follows: –
- According to Gillin and Gillin: – Sociologically, a criminal or juvenile delinquent is one who is guilty of an act, considered by a group which has the power to enforce his belief, to be detrimental to society and therefore prohibited.
- According to Albert Cohan: – Delinquency can be defined as that which is linked to the behavior in question to a set of rules. Sociologically, juvenile delinquency is that type of behavior of children which is detrimental to society and therefore prohibited.
Therefore, juvenile delinquency is anti social behavior on the part of a minor below a specified age.