Juvenile Delinquency

Deborah Warrie

Deborah Warrie

Juvenile delinquency, also known as “juvenile offending”, is the act of participating in unlawful behavior as a minor or individual younger than the statutory age of majority. Like the case of the alleged perpetrators of Sylvester Oromoni’s death. See DORIPOLO v. STATE(2012) LPELR-15415(CA)

“The term juvenile (adjective juvenility), denotes a person who has not reached the age at which he (she) should be treated as an adult by the criminal justice system. In essence, he could be regarded as a juvenile delinquent or offender, youthful offender as the case may be. See BLACK’S LAW DICTIONARY, 6th Edition, 2004 at 884, defining a juvenile delinquent as a- “Minor who is guilty of criminal behavior, usually punishable by special laws not pertaining to adults.” Equally, Section 2 of the Criminal Procedure Law (supra) defines a juvenile offender as – “An offender who has not attained the age of seventeen years.” Per IBRAHIM MOHAMMED MUSA SAULAWA, JCA (Pp 35 – 35 Paras B – E)

In the United States of America, a juvenile delinquent is a person who is typically below 18 (17 in the states of Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Texas, and Wisconsin) years of age and commits an act that otherwise would have been charged as a crime if they were an adult. Juvenile crimes can range from status offenses (such as underage smoking/drinking), to property crimes and violent crimes.

CAN A MINOR BE CHARGED FOR A CRIMINAL OFFENSE ? YES

 

Juvenile detention centers, courts are part of the structures of the juvenile legal system. Juvenile courts are in place to address offenses for minors as civil rather than criminal cases in most instances. Depending on the type and severity of the offense committed, it is possible for people under 18 to be charged and treated as adults.

 

 

PUNISHMENT OF CHILD OFFENDERS IN NIGERIA UNDER THE CHILD RIGHTS ACT.

 

 

Can a child offender, charged for the offence attempted to commit treason, murder, robbery or manslaughter, or wounding another person with intent to do grievous harm be detained? The answer is Yes.  Section 222 of the Act provides for Detention of child offenders in case of certain crimes

 

Section (1) states thus Notwithstanding anything in this Act to the contrary, where a child is found to have attempted to commit treason, murder, robbery or manslaughter, or wounded another person with intent to do grievous harm, the Court may order the child to be detained for such period as may be specified in the order.

 

(2) Where an order is made under subsection (1) of this section, the child shall, during that period, notwithstanding anything in the other provisions of this Act, be liable to be detained in such place and on such conditions as the Court may direct, and the child whilst so detained shall be deemed to be in legal custody.

 

If the Court finds that releasing the juvenile would create a serious risk, before the return date. EFCC v. SULEIMAN & ANOR (2016)

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