The current study aims at evaluating the recent lowering of age of Juveniles (from 18 years to 16 years), who will be tried as adults in the Juvenile Justice System of India, from a developmental and mental health perspective. Based on the study, recommendations to promote mental health of adolescents have been presented. This research draws upon secondary sources including published articles and books on child and adolescent development and best practices in the field, Juvenile crime records of the country and newspaper articles. From a developmental perspective, adolescents are in a transition state and are coping with biological changes at this stage which makes them a vulnerable group. While cognitively they are capable of making more rational decisions, unless they are guided appropriately, they may take wrong decisions and may turn towards risk taking behaviors. The environment including parents and society plays a major role in the positive integration and development of adolescents. It is the interaction of experiences that the adolescent faces and personal factors, which determine the adjustment of adolescents in their society. Therefore, in order to reduce juvenile crimes, the country needs to urgently develop a preventive model which would reach the vulnerable group of adolescents in the country. Hence, while reducing the age may act as a deterrent, the long term solution is prevention.
Priyanka Konsam, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University of Social Sciences, India
Stream: Mental Health
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