Lowering the age is not a solution. Otherwise at some point a kid of 15 years and 11 months will commit a crime and we will start the debate again to lower the age to 12 and then someone will commit a crime at 11. It goes on.
Solution to this issue is- waiver the children who exhibit abnormal criminal tendencies to adult courts.
The way minds of criminal operate is different from the way mind of regular citizens operate. Criminal essentially are dangerous people. Their moral make up is quite different. It is the job of a law enforcement agency to figure out this difference. Till the time, they will fail in this critical part of their work; they will continue to pose threat to the safety of law abiding citizens.
The reformation programs are good but how much research is going on to find out the reasons for criminal activities in India? How will we be able to find a solution of something that we don’t even understand? It is a dangerous naivete to think that criminal mind and non-criminal mind operate in similar way. A cause and effect analysis is important. There are parameters which if we study systematically can give a much clearer picture of who is at higher risk of committing crime.
Criminal activity doesn't take place in vacuum. There are precedents to a criminal accident. Failure to recognize these pitfalls can damage lives. Most of the activists are saying, “Children need protection and care”. I will not debate that. They do need protection and care. My pointed question is what does criminals need? What if we are failing to realize a simple fact that people capable of committing certain crimes do have a different biological, psychological and moral make up. What if they are people who operate differently? What if they are someone who will repeat the offense no matter what?
I will give an example to put my point across. The activists who are not letting criminal come in adult jurisdiction sound as ridiculous to me as a doctor who will not let his cancer patient be given chemotherapy. Simple thing is, if this person needs years of imprisonment and supervision; you can’t let him/her go free in 2 years and feel you have done a good job. That is idiotic.
Activist believes that behavior is impulsive and so if they are given proper reform; the impulse will subside eventually. My question as a psychologist is- from where the impulse to be impulsive came? The impulse to commit crime is so deeply rooted in the personality of the criminal that it might takes years of intensive therapy to bring about a very small change. Do we have that kind of mental health facilities and mental health professionals? In idealistic world, crimes don't happen. In reality they do happen, so the solution has to have a realistic ground and not an idealistic nonsense.