Private-Public Sector Partnership in Juvenile Delinquency Prevention among the Urban Poor: a Study on Poverty Alleviation.
The study determined the partnership of the private and public sector in the prevention of juvenile delinquency among the urban poor along the following dimensions: (1) informational; (2) transformational, and (3) detection and counseling. It also explored the effects of controlled delinquency on poverty alleviation among the urban poor. The descriptive research was used utilizing interview and observation for data gathering. The study was conducted in eight (8) Villages in Cagayan de Oro City with 45 respondents composed of police officers, village guards, and NGO personnel. Ranking was used for data analysis. Along informational role, the respondents gave much emphasis to informing the community of the recent laws that govern juvenile delinquency. Less effort was given to conducting house-to-house visitation to families with identified delinquent member. Along transformational role, the respondents prioritized the enforcement of the laws, policies, regulations or ordinances with due respect to children's rights. Less effort was given to aiding in the implementation of special project for the betterment of children in remote areas or belonging to cultural minorities or out of school. Along detection and counseling role, the respondents prioritized discovering a child's misbehavior. Less emphasis was given to reporting juvenile delinquents to persons in authority or to their parents, guardians or immediate relatives or school authorities for prompt interventions. Overall, the partnership between the public and the private sector has turned minors into helpful individual. Those who have grown up now occupy positions in the local government, becoming of great help to their parents financially.
Keywords - Collaborative Partnership; Informational Role, Detecting and Counseling Role, Juvenile Delinquency Prevention, Poverty Alleviation.
To those who are involved in litigating criminal cases in court, it has become their common knowledge that offenders of today are usually of the younger generation, even to include those who are minors. In the conventional legal lingo, minors who have violated the laws are called juvenile delinquents. More recent laws termed such offenders as "Children in Conflict with the Law" (CICL). One full proof that a crime in the Philippines today is mostly involving minors is the enactment by the legislature of Republic Act No. 9344 otherwise known as "Juvenile Justice Welfare Act of 2006". The said law established a comprehensive criminal justice and welfare system embracing the different stages in processing minors or children in conflict with the law.
The criminal justice system is an aggregate of agencies and mechanisms that the government and the society employ in the treatment of criminals, in the prevention and control of crimes, and, in general, as a means of social control. The system operates through the use of its law enforcement agencies, prosecution services, criminal courts, and correctional agencies, which are basically responsible for preventing and suppressing crimes; protecting an individual's life, property and rights; segregating and deterring those dangerous individuals; investigating, apprehending, prosecuting, and sentencing those who cannot be deterred from violating the laws; putting them to correctional institutions; and merging them back to the mainstream of society.
The criminal justice system of the Philippines consists of five pillars, namely law enforcement (police force), prosecution, courts, corrections, and community (Sooriya, 2007). The community is the fifth pillar of the criminal justice system and the basic element outside the formal organizations, without its support the system by itself cannot succeed. Public entities, individuals, and private groups are part of the community having an important role in the justice system of the country. Also, part of the system is the legislative agency that makes laws purposely to improve enforcement and correctional methods of the justice system. According to Seigel et al. (2011), any executive agency of the government such as education, welfare, labor, health, community development, or any public office becomes part of the system while engaging in activities directly or indirectly contributing to the prevention of crimes. Moreover, private associations or unions, neighborhood action groups, and individual citizen become important functionaries of a system if involved in such type of activity.
The formal criminal justice system including the public and private agencies and citizens, in totality, makes up the criminal justice system. It is primarily responsible for the prevention and reduction of crimes, especially those which are committed by minors or children. The prevention of crime requires the coordination and teamwork among police, prosecutors, courts, correction agencies and community or the larger populace (Philippine Yearbook, 1994).
This study assumed that the public and the private sector in Cagayan de Oro City have established collaboration for the prevention and control of juvenile delinquency.
This study was anchored on the concept that juvenile delinquency is a multi-causal phenomenon. Chapter 1, Title III of Republic Act No. 9344 or the "Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006", mandates the role of different sectors in the community in the prevention of juvenile delinquency. Juvenile delinquency begins from the family to the immediate community and to the society at large. According to Regoli (2013), juvenile delinquency is closely tied to those social groupings or institutions where children spend most of their time--e.g. within the family, with their friends, and in school. These social units have contributed directly or indirectly to minor's learning on delinquent behaviors. The family is the basic unit of society where basic learning of different behaviors begins. It is the first social world where children learn ways so that they can function within the community. Parents, as inherent in the family, serve as the first teachers from whom children may pattern delinquency or desirable behaviors. When delinquent behaviors are learned by children, the actions may later increase to commission of crimes or felonies.
In a study in Africa, African American youths have significantly related their delinquent behaviors to parental supervision and the kind of community surrounding them. The study further noted that poverty and single parenting have no significant bearing on delinquency. The community has been found to be one of the influencing factors in addressing behaviors of American African youths (Peeples et al., 1994).
Most of the European countries like England and Wales, Poland, Sweden, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Australia, France, Denmark and Switzerland manifest of an increased of youth crimes. Delinquent youth commonly victimized male youth and young adults. This was attributed to the shifting of a "winner-loser culture" where majority of the unfortunate youth destined to be loser. The abovementioned countries had implemented different approaches in their prevention strategies of juvenile crime and violence. (Pfeiffer, 1998)
The roles both the private and the public sectors play are informational, transformational, and detection and counseling. Informational role is aimed at informing the community and families regarding general and specific juvenile delinquency prevention strategies. It is the role of the private and the public sectors to receive, collect, and circulate information relating to juvenile delinquency, its prevention and control. It involves broadcasting of different information to the community to keep a high level of awareness regarding delinquency.
Transformational role refers to one that strives to bring back to the fold of law children who have violated the laws or on the verge of violating the laws. It is the role of the private and the public sectors to change minors who have shown delinquent behaviors in the community, injecting in their minds that they are being controlled, sanctioned, and disciplined authoritatively but with consideration of their individual rights. It involves nurturing and rearing of children who are at risk of being infected of a multi-causal juvenile delinquency. Parents, foster parents, guardians, or immediate family members also play this role.
Detection and counseling roles seek to pry open surreptitious delinquent activities of children and then encourage them to undergo counseling. It is the role of the private and the public sectors to determine and counsel minors within their immediate communities who are at risk of or already merged with juvenile delinquent culture. Counseling may include letting the minors feel of their self-worth, dignity, the positive effects of displaying pro-social behavior as well as the negative effects of being juvenile delinquents. The implications of these roles to poverty alleviation are explored in the study.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The study determined the partnership of the private and the public sectors in the prevention of juvenile delinquency among the urban poor along the following dimensions: (1) informational; (2) transformational, and (3) detection and counseling. It also explored the effects of controlled delinquency on poverty alleviation among the urban poor.
The descriptive research was used in the conduct of the study, utilizing interview and observation for data gathering. The study, conducted in Cagayan de Oro City, had respondents 15 PNPs, 15 village guards, and 15 NGO personnel involved in juvenile prevention among the urban poor villages in the city. The villages covered in the study were Carmen, Kauswagan, Bulua, Lumbia, Puntod, Macabalan, Consolacion, and Macasandig. Ranking was used for data analysis.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS
Objective 1. To determine the partnership of the private and the public sectors in the prevention of juvenile delinquency among the urban poor along the following dimensions: (1) informational (2) transformational and (3) detection and counseling.
Table 1 presents the matrix respondents' responses, along informational role, the function that ranked first (33 responses or 66%) was "informing the community of the recent laws that govern juvenile delinquency". This finding means that the respondents give emphasis to making the juveniles, parents and the community fully aware of the recent laws that govern juvenile delinquency. The finding is relevant to Krisberg's (2005) assertion that information dissemination is one of the most important elements in the partnership for the prevention and suppression of juvenile delinquency. The youth should be informed about the do's and don'ts in the community while they are still at their younger age. The laws and other regulations should warn them earlier of inappropriate actions. This result likewise strengthens the assertion that awareness of prohibited and regulated acts among minors and their parents helps to prevent juvenile delinquency.
The function that ranked second (32 responses or 64%) was "participating in community-based activities related to the improvement of the community and prevention and control of juvenile delinquency. Such function geared towards preventing juvenile delinquency is called "team policing" where stakeholders do not only do their routine functions but also help in formulating plans and in giving moral and legal support to the community. Similarly, according to Seigel et. al. (2011), in America, a comprehensive community-based program are created for the prevention of juvenile delinquency. The programs involve planning with diverse communities and government agencies concerned with juvenile delinquency.
The function that ranked third (29 responses or 58%) was "informing children of their importance in the future and community building". This function is related to the function ranked second. The respondent representing the NGOs revealed that they have conducted "different sessions during which morality was taught to the juveniles. According to one juvenile who has been in the custody of the NGO respondent, "maayo ra nga magtigum mi ug tudloan dayon mi sa among tatay ug nanay (foster parents) sa mga mayo nga butang". This revelation was validated by the researchers during their visits to the respondents' institution.
The function that ranked fourth (27 responses or 57%) was "knowing who are the potential or actual delinquents so as to recognize who are the victims of neglect and abuses and to teach the community of preventive measures or courses of actions to address juvenile delinquency". This function allows the respondents to identify the delinquent minors in their respective areas, which could also be a means of warning other minors. By identifying the delinquent minors, the respondents could determine who are victims of neglect or abuse. According Drowns and Hess (2000), delinquency has long been correlated with different types of abuses; two thirds of male felons were victims of abuse and neglect when they were children as discussed by the National Institute of Justice.
Ranked 5 (25 responses or 50%) was "conducting community activities for children's recreations". This function is done in order to divert the attention of minors. According to one respondent from an NGO, they want the minors to be occupied with different activities or tasks so that they will not get bored, which is one of the causes why minors indulge in delinquent acts. In Arizona, the police department has tied up with other agencies like schools and community in developing recreational programs. It created G.R.E.A.T or Gang Resistance Education and Training. The program includes little league baseball, athletic clubs, camping, outing, and police athletic and scouting programs (Seigel et al., 2011).
Ranked 6 (22 responses or 44%) was "holding seminars or symposia on delinquency prevention at the community level. To carry out the function, the respondents mobilize the private and public sector for a collaborative effort. This function is related to the function ranked second in which all community sectors work as a team. The police has done its part through its Police Community Relations Group (PCRG) tasked to hold seminars and symposia, targeting those vulnerable minors in the community. A police respondent said that the "gathering of the youth together for a seminar or symposium produces great results in combating juvenile delinquency. Since they are very young, they are highly vulnerable; hence, authority must be imposed on them that they may not be enticed to join a delinquent group.
Ranked 7 (21 responses or 42%) was "conducting house-to-house visitation to families identified to have a juvenile delinquent member. To these families, the role of parents in rearing their children is reintroduced. While this function is important, the respondents said that they could perform it hardly because they have other routine functions to perform.
Along transformational role, the function that ranked 1 (34 responses or 68%) was "enforcing the laws, policies, regulations or ordinances, giving due respect to the children's rights and understanding juvenile delinquents and letting them feel that they are not outcasts but important members in the community. Since the care, custody and supervision of minors are entrusted to the respondents, they are very particular with the enforcement of the full force of law while respecting the rights of the minors. Their tasks are geared towards the prevention of juvenile delinquency and treatment of delinquents. During the interview, they said that they have gradually abandoned the traditional way or the "harsh way" of disciplining minors because the minors of today are different from those in the past. Hence, they are more considerate with the juvenile delinquents.
Ranked 2 (31 responses or 62%) was "treating the juvenile with consideration and giving sanctions or penalty to emphasize that such behaviors are not tolerated". This function is given much emphasis by the NGO respondents since the children are in their custody. Part of their routine is the enforcement of the house rules. Every infraction of the rules has corresponding punishment. In an interview, they disclosed giving minimal sanctions and explaining the infraction to the children in a language they could understand.
Ranked 3 (with 29 responses or 58%) were "teaching the youth positive values such as honesty and respect for others and cooperating with private or public child welfare agencies in providing care, training and protection for destitute, abandoned, neglected, abused, handicapped, and disturbed children". The former function allows the respondents to align the values of the juvenile with the norms and standards of the community. One thing that they do, as claimed by an NGO respondent, is positive reinforcement in which appropriate behavior is rewarded and acknowledged. The society considers values worthwhile. Teens who have been indoctrinated of the value of having values could do much to their community by reaching beyond themselves.
Ranked 4 (28 responses or 56%) was "trying to gain the juvenile's respect and confidence by firmly appealing to the intelligence and emotion of the juvenile". This finding reveals that the respondents are very considerate with the juveniles to win their respect. As stated in the United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (The Riyadh Guidelines), "successful prevention of juvenile delinquency requires efforts on the part of the entire society to ensure the harmonious development of adolescents, with respect for and promotion of their personality from early childhood" (Riyadh Guidelines, 1990).
Ranked 5 (23 responses or 46%) was "teaching the youth to participate in community activities". This result reveals that the respondents teach the juveniles the importance of youth's involvement in the community as part of their responsibilities. The United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (The Riyadh Guidelines) states that "young persons should have an active role and partnership within society and should not be considered as mere objects of socialization or control" (Riyadh Guidelines, 1990).
Ranked 6 (22 responses or 44%) was "aiding the implementation of special projects for the betterment of children in remote areas or belonging to cultural minorities or those who are out of school". The finding implies that the respondents do not give much importance to establishing or carrying out special projects for children in remote areas, out- of- school youth or children belonging to cultural minorities because most of them belong to an institution with budgetary limitations. According to some of the respondents, they find it hard to secure budget. Since they belong to an NGO, the monthly budget per head is very small. This holds true to village guards who have no definite budget for juvenile delinquency prevention.
Along detection and counseling role, ranked 1 (34 responses or 68%) was "discovering the child's misbehavior and giving it appropriate intervention". Most of the respondents were police officers and village guards whose functions involved discovering misbehavior of constituents in their respective areas of responsibility. Such function is necessary in counseling the juvenile delinquents.
Ranked 2 (30 responses or 60%) were "providing counseling to the parents who neglected their duties and responsibilities to their children and organizing or encouraging movements and activities that promote the interest of the children or youth". As emphasized in a study (Hawkin 1987; Reid 1993; Yoshukawa 1994), parents should be trained and counseled on how to manage their children. Each community must establish training centers for parents to be trained of different strategies aimed at early prevention of juvenile delinquency. The training cited in the study included 1-2 hours meetings with children, meeting through house visitation with mothers who took part of the program, and monthly session among parents to monitor the success of the program. The home visitors counseled the mothers. Such activities help to improve communication and negotiations skills (Omoniyi, 2011).
Ranked 3 (28 responses or 56%) were "observation of places and conditions regarded as breeding places for crimes and delinquency; providing overall effective law enforcement operation, which reduces the desire on the part of the child to commit delinquent acts; and acting in a better position than others to discover the existence of harmful influence on children". As police officers and village guards, part of their functions is to be visible in strategic locations to create a deterrent effect on delinquents or potential delinquents. Section 3, Rule 12 of the PNP Operational Procedures (2010) requires patrol officers to keep under close observations of juvenile's actions, trouble makers/agitators and mentally ill/retarded persons, to observe the practice of "shaking doors" of an unguarded business establishment during a night patrol, and to check for signs of intrusions.
Ranked 4 (19 responses or 38%) was "reporting juvenile delinquents to persons in authority or to their parents, guardians or immediate relatives or school authorities for prompt interventions". In a follow-up interview, one respondent stated "all they need to do is to summon parents to the police station whenever they apprehend children in conflict with the law. Under Republic Act No. 9344 or the "Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006", when it has been determined that a child taken into custody is a minor, law enforcers or anyone having custody of the child has the legal obligation to release immediately the child to his parents or guardian or nearest relative. As reported by a respondent, children who only display inappropriate behaviors are only stopped and warned. They find it very hard to enforce actions. Such situation explains the presence of some children begging or loitering along the streets in urban poor areas.
Objective 2. To determine the effects of controlled delinquency on poverty alleviation among the urban poor.
Among the identified effects of controlled delinquency, ranked 1 (44 responses or 88%) was "minors in the area have become of help in the different house works, letting their parents do livelihood activities". This finding means that in an urban poor community where actual delinquency is controlled, the delinquents tend to be of help to their respective families, such that their parents will have time for livelihood activities. However, when delinquent minors are not controlled, they tend to have no time for their families; thus, their parents will find less time to look for livelihood.
Ranked 2 (40 responses or 80%) was "the minors in the area have focused their attention on studies and have obtained scholarship, thus helping their parents with school expenses. This means that in an urban poor community where delinquent children or potentially delinquents are controlled, they tend to have more focus on their studies, enabling them to obtain scholarship grants and to help their parents financially. As an old-age saying goes, "a well-disciplined child is always loyal and abiding to his parents". The City Government of Cagayan de Oro spends P23 million to fund its college scholars every year. This has been running in the last 10 years and has produced 438 graduates. This program is mandated by the City Ordinance No. 5386-96, "Creating a Village College Scholarship Program", to provide financial assistance to the education of the poor but deserving high school graduates of the city (Cagayan de Oro City Government, 2013).
The effect that ranked third (37 responses or 74%) was "the minors in the area have established some livelihoods that help to increase their family income. As observed by the researchers, some children help their parents by selling snacks or street foods using pushcarts. A village guards disclosed "he always emphasizes to his children need to help them (parents) in their livelihood. Hence, every Saturday and Sunday and during their vacant time in school, his kids help them in their livelihood.
Ranked 4 (35 responses or 70%) was "the minors in the area have grown up and have found good works, holding positions in the local government and helping their parents financially. This result means that when juvenile delinquency in an urban poor community is controlled, the juveniles tend to succeed in their professional endeavors and thus become of help to their parents financially. In an interview, one respondent said that his neighbor's child, after his high school graduation, was elected as SK Chairman in their village and now has become a city councilor. Another respondent claimed "poor children who have been closely monitored by their instructors and authorities have become obedient and have easily obtained assistance when looking for a work.
In the partnership between the public and the private sector, along informational role, given much emphasis is informing the community of the recent laws that govern juvenile delinquency. Less effort is given to conducting house-to-house visitation to families with identified delinquent member. Along transformational role, the partnership prioritizes the enforcement of the laws, policies, regulations or ordinances with due respect to children's rights. Less effort is given to aiding in the implementation of special project for the betterment of children in remote areas or belonging to cultural minorities or out of school. Along detection and counseling role, the partnership prioritizes discovering the child's misbehavior. Less emphasized is reporting juvenile delinquents to persons in authority or to their parents, guardians or immediate relatives or school authorities for prompt interventions. Overall, the partnership between the public and the private sector has the effect of turning minors in the urban poor villages to be of help to their parents both in house works and livelihood. Also, those who have grown up now occupy positions in the local government, becoming of great help to their parents financially.
The following recommendations are presented based on the findings of the study:
1. A continuing partnership between the public and the private sectors should be pursued in preventing juvenile delinquency in urban poor areas. Such partnership should emphasize paying a visit to a household with identified juvenile delinquent as part of its informational role. Also, the partnership should make the conduct of seminars or symposia concerning parental obligations and rights of children a continuing activity among parents in urban poor areas.
2. Concerned offices or centers should have a manual for standard operating procedure to direct appropriately any course of action in the prevention and control of juvenile delinquency.
3. The local government should create more job opportunities for the poor but deserving individuals coming from urban poor areas.
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Cagayan de Oro City spends P23M for its Scholars/ Sun. star. Retrieved on April 4, 2013 from (http://www.sunstar.com.ph/cagayan-de-oro/local-news/2013/04/19/city-spends-p23m-scholars-278361)
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LEMUEL C. EDROLIN
ORCID NO. 0000-0001-7994-5813
Liceo de Cagayan University Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines
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|Author:||Edrolin, Lemuel C.|
|Publication:||Liceo Journal of Higher Education Research|
|Date:||Dec 1, 2013|
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