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Crime study

Avinesh Gopal
Monday, July 28, 2014

IT is often thought that only adults commit crimes, especially any serious crime.

But there have been cases where children have also got entrapped in the world of crime and ended up in prisons or correction centres as they are now known.

Delinquent children are said to come from homes frequently characterised by one or more things.

They can be from homes where other members of the family are criminalistics, immoral or alcoholic, says a paper prepared in the 1970s.

Also, these children can be missing one or both parents by reason of death, divorce or separation.

There can be lack of parental control through ignorance, blindness or any other sensory defects or illness, home incongeniality, religious or racial differences, economic pressures like unemployment, insufficient income resulting in mothers working.

In his paper titled Crime and Punishment, Isoa Koroivuki says it will, however, be seen that crime lies primarily in the areas of social interactions and that personal interactions are confined almost entirely to local communities and neighbourhoods.

Mr Koroivuki started working for the HM Prisons Department in 1964 after being promoted there from the HM Customs and Excise Department.

He served as the principal prison officer and resigned from work in 1980 because of personal reasons and worked elsewhere.

During his employment at the prisons department, he also attended courses overseas and one such course was held in the UK.

After completing the course and returning to Fiji, he prepared the paper which, he said, he presented to his boss at that time.

The paper, he said, was primarily designed to study the problems of crime faced by the society during his term at the prisons department and the contributive social and economic forces that gave rise to the criminal's causes.

Mr Koroivuki wrote that the paper should enable the individual and others to gain a deeper insight and broaden outlook into the characteristics which give rise to the behaviour of adults and adolescents, the causes and prevention of crime, the treatment and training of the criminal.

"Man can grow up and live in widely divergent environments because each society or community possesses technique that extend his biological adaptive capacities and indoctrinates its members into institutions evolved over several millions of years for copying with the environment and living together," he says in the paper.

"The family has been society's sole agency in providing for the child's biological needs and simultaneously directive for his development into an integrated person capable of living in a society, maintaining and transmitting its cultures.

"Therefore, a clearer understanding of the functions of the family and what is requisite to fulfil the needs of spouses and promote the harmonious development of offspring can help to preserve the essentials while the family continues to expand and develop in this ever-changing society."

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