1.1 Background to the Study
In our contemporary, societies, the problem of juvenile delinquency has been one of the malicious, negativistic acts of purposeless violence, which has turned out to be difficult to prevent and control. It has been observed that most delinquent acts which are serious and violent are committed by the juvenile or street gangs. These juveniles are involved in multiple, serious criminal acts. They maintain a criminal life-style; they are known to be repeat or chronic delinquent offenders (Siegel and Senna, 1991:6).
It should be emphasized that the trends of juvenile delinquency is difficult to establish on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly or over a long period in our schools. This is because statistical records are not accurately kept in our schools. This makes it even more difficult to determine exactly, whether juvenile delinquency is on the increase or decrease during a certain period in our schools. Based on the national office of statistics, it is believed that juvenile delinquency rose astronomically at certain times during oil (1970 – 1979) and post – oil (1980 – 1989) era. The records of the Police Bureau also show that there was the greatest risk that students/pupils would be victims of serious offences than minor or simple offences committed by the delinquent students in the schools. Even teachers are not safe from their anti-social behaviour.
Emphatically, the problem of juvenile delinquency is a global phenomenon. Pathetically, on February 12 1993, 2 year old, James Bulger was abducted from a shopping mall in Liverpool, England, dragged half mile away to a construction site, beaten to death, and left on a rail road track to be run over by a train. His abductors were two 10 year – old boys whose actions were captured by mall security cameras (Siegel, 1995). Also, on January 11, 1992, four teenage girls lured 12 – year old Shanda Rence Sharer into there car, drove her down a country road where they tortured, sodomised, slashed and finally covered her with gasoline and burned her to death. One of the girls had accused Sharer of stealing away her girl friend in a homoerotic relationship. The crime occurred in Madison, Indiana, a quiet town of thirteen thousand people. The girls, who later plead guilty, were given the maximum sentence allowed by law (Siegel, 1995).