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Some are engaged in sadistic activities like throwing stones on the cars, light posts, innocent animals and children.Such activities in strict sense are not illegal and for that matter criminal.Both delinquents and criminals indulge in antisocial activities.
Traditionally crime committed by children and adolescents under statutory age is called delinquency.
Though the maximum age limit and meaning of delinquency varies from country to country, the age limit is always below 18 years.
The nature of conduct in both the cases being same it is perhaps the age which differentiates between a criminal and a juvenile delinquent.
Though both the criminals and juvenile delinquents are mainly distinguished on the basis of age, they also have subtle differences in conduct i.e., in the crime they commit.
Juvenile Delinquency is a commonly used term in the modern age where crime rates have increased alarmingly.
Types of Delinquency and Other Details There has been different views on the definition and age of Juvenile delinquents.According to Reckless (1956) the term juvenile delinquency, applies to the violation of criminal code and/or per suit of certain patterns of behaviour disapproved of for children and young adolescents.Thus both age and antisocial behaviours prohibited in the statutes are important in the concept of juvenile delinquency.The psychological definition of juvenile delinquency appears to be more comprehensive and practical.It explains the characteristics of juvenile delinquency more appropriately.This definition of juvenile delinquency helps in explaining and preventing it.In the opinion of various psychologists an action may be an antisocial act even if the child is not is apprehended like stone throwing on the electric lamp post on the road or a car.Thus juvenile delinquency includes those activities which are misconducts, wrong as well as illegal, which are despised by the social norms.It is definitely an antisocial behaviour which spoils the peace and happiness of the society in the long run.Usually unemployed frustrated youths, beggers, and youths belonging to gangs behave in a delinquent manner and are called juvenile delinquents.Kohen has differentiated juvenile delinquents from criminals on the basis of their characteristics discussed as follows: (a) In the activities of juvenile delinquents utility lacks i.e., they do not show antisocial conducts to gain anything or to be benefitted by that.