It is important to detect the potential delinquents early to treat them before they become problems for the society. Public awareness regarding delinquency had not been fully aroused in India. It is hard to reform a delinquent because his mode of life is extremely satisfying.
It provides him what he wants with least possible delay, it brings him prestige among his fellows, it permits him to punish those who have neglected and rejected him. Still various projects of individual and group-therapy have proved quite successful.
The child guidance clinics can be established for dealing with delinquents. Juvenile Jail at Bareilly (U.P.) is one of the best in India. But prevention is better than cure. Naturally parents and teachers cannot be solely responsible for the prevention of delinquency.
The police, local authorities, the cinema, the newspapers and other literature, all have a part to play. However, parents and teachers can help in many ways.
Following are some of the suggestions in this regard:
1. Affection and Security
Accept a delinquent as a person in his own right. Give the child affection and security.
2. Early Treatment of Maladjustment
Watch for signs of maladjustment. Early treatment may prevent this maladjustment from taking a delinquent trend.
3. Variety of Experience
Provide a child with a variety of experiences, crafts, art, music, athletics, covering a wide range of difficulties and interests can serve the purpose.
4. Stable System of Values
Attempt to build up a stable system of moral and social values.
5. Handle Delinquents Firmly
When an out-burst of delinquent behaviour occurs in class, do not get disturbed, handle it objectively and try to get into the delinquent’s world and see things from his point of view.6. Ignore Minor Incidents. Accept minor instances of bad manners without comment and provide opportunities for normal emotional responses.
7. Reject Delinquent Behaviour and not the Delinquent.
Reject the delinquent behaviour without rejecting the delinquent. A small amount of genuine affection will often do more to help a boy rehabilitate himself than all treatments combined.
8. Improvement of Surroundings
Do what you can to change the conditions of home, school and community that seem to give rise to such behaviour.
9. Encouragement to Admit Faults
Encourage the child to talk about and admit the existence of anti-social tendencies.
10. Give Responsibility
Give a potential delinquent some post of special responsibility such as task of preventing other children from committing delinquent acts.
11. Educate the Child
Once a delinquent act has been detected, never pass it over. Make clear to the child that he has done wrong and, if necessary, punish him in an appropriate manner. But once any punishment has been given, accept the child again as the member of the community.
12. Minimize Temptations
Minimize the chances of a child’s going wrong by putting the smallest possible number of temptations in his way.