Mehmet CAKICI, Emel PASA* and ANil GORKEM***
*Assoc. Prof., Near East University, Department of Psychology
**Msc., Clinical Psychologist, Marmaris State Hospital
***Msc., Psychological Counselor, Lefke European University, Psychological Counseling and
Problem Statement: Juvenile delinquency is a growing problem worldwide. Studies about the prevalence and causes of juvenile delinquency is important to define this problem and is the first step to find prevention strategies, and establish rehabilitation programs for delinquent children. Juvenile delinquency is an important legal and social problem also for Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) as it is in all over the world. To prepare prevention programs for juvenile delinquency in TRNC, it is important to understand the dimensions of this problem in TRNC and the related risk factors.
Purpose of Study: The goal of this study is to determine the prevalence of juvenile delinquency in TRNC and to investigate related risk factors.
Method: In this archival study, complete records of the all 5 courts in TRNC from 2000 to 2010 are reviewed. The files of 1520 children who were under 18, and who appeared in court were analyzed. Children’s socio- demographic features like age, sex, academic background, and job availability, and features related to crime are recorded on a information form which was prepared by the writers in advance by analyzing the court files. The raw data that were obtained from the files was loaded into the SPSS program and descriptive statistics methods were used in the data analysis.
Findings and Results: When the profile of the children who are claimed to commit a crime is evaluated, it’s found that %61.3 of the cases are at the age of 17-18, 34.1% of them are primary school graduate, 54% of them are in a bad socio-economic condition. 54.4% of the juvenile offenders were born in Cyprus, 42.1% of them in Turkey. Most of the families are found to have low socioeconomic level, to be immigrant and unemployed. Most of the fathers are graduates of elementary or secondary school and mothers are uneducated or graduate of elementary school. It attracts attention that neither fathers nor the mothers of delinquent children are graduates of university and this points importance of education. Considering the crime types, theft is the highest one with the rate of 33.2%.
Conclusion and Recommendations: Results of our study show the presence of juvenile delinquency in TRNC and its importance. It’s been determined that the juvenile delinquency is related to the child’s family structure, education level, social environment, socio-economical level and immigration closely, and it’s a problem that is needed to be prevented.
Keywords: Juvenile delinquency, Prevalence, TRNC.