Juvenile Delinquency and Justice in Lagos State, Nigeria: A Sociological Appraisal
Juvenile Delinquency refers to the antisocial and criminal behaviour involving individuals below the age of 18. Juvenile Delinquency has consistently been a problem in the world, Nigeria inclusive. In Nigeria, juvenile offenders are treated differently from adults, although this has not always been the case. This paper discussed the emergence of the Child’s Right act in Nigeria in 2003 which was designed to ameliorate the plight of children and young persons who found themselves on the justice corridor. This paper analysed the major content of the CRA as it relates to Juvenile delinquency, from arrest to committal procedures. This paper revealed that the important first step of legislative reform has been successfully achieved and some machinery has also been put in place at the Federal level and in a few States of Federation (Lagos State in particular), to adequately implement and restore the dignity of young offenders to become good ambassadors of the society. The paper therefore concluded that there is likely to be gaps between the laws on the books and the law in practice in juvenile justice system. There is need for government to set up Monitoring and evaluation apparatus to ensure compliance to the law.
Keywords: Juvenile, Child Rights Act, dignity, offender, justice.