Early detection of juvenile delinquency ?

As I was designing this blog, I had promissed myself to say my fit of anger regarding a study published in 2005 by our French national medicine research institute (INSERM). « Infants and teenagers with troubled behaviour » / « Trouble des conduites chez l’enfant et l’adolescent » : étude de l’INSERM , Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (INSERM)”

Some of the conclusions worry me. The main idea is to have an early detection (age 3 or 4) of future delinquents.

In 2007 the French National Consultative Committee of Ethics (NCCE) reported that this study was at risk  “to mix risk factor and causality” and that innate factors were considered as more important than acquired knowledge. The NCCE denied the idea that there could be any possible correlation between toddler behavior and juvenile delinquency. It also mentions the possible stigmatization that such an early detection would induce.

This report of the NCCE made a law not to be voted.

And yet, at the end of 2010, a new report ordered by the Home Office again suggests this early detection of future juvenile delinquents (Rapport).

It is indeed always better to prevent than to cure.

…But not so that one ends up thinking that there could be a “gene of delinquency” ?! Indeed, this is not written in such terms. But why think of children in terms of possible future delinquents ? Why not think of them in terms of potentialities which are important not to waste ?

To my eyes, more than the children are the adults surrounding the children who are to be watched closely : as they hold for example, for how violent they can be  (verbal, psychological, physical…).

Statistics highlight the trend, politics implement it  : we have become a society of old persons, who cannot stand anymore neither noise, nor moves, and therefore disruptive children.

Children need marks, calm, some basic rules, much love and comprehension.

In cities where running freely (and secure) is no more realistic, in nomadic and changing societies where marks are moving permanently, where everything/anything can also permanently happen (from divorcing parents to metro bombing), where there are so many sollicitations (colors, sounds, motions); with the tyranny of short (just in) time which leads to put everyone under constant pressure and eases aggressiveness, how can young infants shape their own identity without feeling any anxiety ?

Of course, I cannot but make a link with everything I could identify of what « makes » a gifted person.

Irritability coming from the saturation of the 5 senses.

The permanent quest for  reassurance.

Anxious anticipation and parano which drive to a bad interpretation of how others act. Creativity which ends up in mischief.

Hyperkinetics which increases their frequency.

And the ability to always think outside of the box.

The lack of intellectual nourishment and/or mockeries coming from peers as well as from educators and teachers because a gifted child does not “run” like others. All violences which drive to the temptation of rebellion.

Are these pre-delinquent behaviours, then ?

What did the childhood of the supporters of  these INSERM and Home Office reports look like ?  No « little devil ! », nor  « little monster », nor « little rascal » among them ?

Delinquency .. What does it mean ? Which kind of delinquency ?..

Or maybe should one imagine that some delinquents are more equal than others ?

Let’s refer to Jean de la Fontaine, French poet of the 17th century in his Fable “The Animals sick of the plague

Thus human courts acquit the strong,

And doom the weak, as therefore wrong.”

At that time already, as a matter of fact, a delinquent lamb was pointed out…

I also found this sentence : « It’s obvious that a civilization never tends to make delinquency disappear but more properly makes it evolve” (Achille Dehel , specialist in “criminalistics” – Poison for crime -1946)

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