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Becoming a criminal: socialized conduct disorder and the involvement of authorities

Autor: Isabela Nițică Cristian Puşcaş Elena Pantiș Viorel Lupu
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SUMMARY
Introduction. Statistics show that fi ve minors are being sued in Romania each year for committing theft and two for robbery, respectively a minor who commits a simple or serious injury comes to the court every day and every three days a minor is brought in front of the judge for having committed a sexual off ense with another minor or for having committed a rape. Methods. Patient aged 16 years and 7 months old, in the evidence of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Addiction Clinic Cluj, with the diagnoses: Socialized conduct disorder. Mental and behavioral disorders due to the use of psychoactive substances. Personality under structuring with disharmonic notes. Epilepsy with a generalized tonic-clonic crisis. Atypical family situation. Social case. School Abandon, has numerous admissions to the clinic and has followed various therapeutic schemes without relieving symptoms. We also mention that the adolescent has been in the custody of the Child Protection Department for many years, is in the father’s care on the basis of power of an attorney, but lives on the streets since May 2018 and is in the police record for various antisocial acts. Results. Even though complaints have been submitted to the Department for Social Assistance and Child Protection Cluj and other institutions, the adolescent’s situation is unchanged. Th e risk factors involved in this case persisted and further aggravated the symptoms until a juvenile delinquency occurred. Conclusions. Our case report highlights some system defi ciencies and paves the way for discussion and why not of some initiatives regarding the implementing of some programs to prevent juvenile delinquency as well as the possibility of supplementing the number of re-education centers. Key words: conduct disorder, juvenile deliquency, social assistance, child protection

INTRODUCTION
Statistics show that five minors are being sued in Romania each year for committing theft and two for robbery, respectively one minor who commits a simple or serious injury comes to the court every day and every three days a minor is brought in front of the judge for having committed a sexual offense with another minor or for having committed a rape.

MATERIALS AND METHODS
We want to present the case of a 16 years and 7 months old patient, in the evidence of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Addiction Clinic Cluj from the age of 7 years old, with the diagnoses: Socialized conduct disorder. Mental and behavioral disorders due to the use of psychoactive substances. Personality under structuring with disharmonic notes. Epilepsy with a generalized tonic-clonic crisis. Atypical family situation. Social case. School Abandon, who was admitted numerous times in the clinic and who followed different therapeutic schemes without the relief of the symptoms. From his first admission in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Addiction Clinic until he was 12 years old the patient was brought intermittent by his mother to be evaluated, without a rigorous treatment compliance and without following the doctor’s recommendations. At the age of 12 (2014) the patient had two clinical admissions for the following psychopathological symptoms: psychomotor agitation, distortion of the truth, low tolerance level to frustration, physical and verbal hetero-aggression, irritable behavior, impulsiveness, disobedience to rules, repeated theft, school miss-behavior. In that year the child was under the evidence of the Child Protection Direction Cluj and in his mother’s care. At the age of 13 (2015) the patient was brought in June by the ambulance from the ER after using psychoactive substances – ethnobotanic drugs, with a psychopathologic tableau to which the following were added: home absence, lack of guilt after an act of violence towards other people, tendencies towards manipulation, antisocial acts – theft, lies, begging, substance abuse for several months, school absentteism. Taking into account the social difficulties of the family he comes from and the wish of his mother to get her son institutionalized, actions were taken to involve the Social Care Department inside the Child Protection Services Cluj-Napoca. In October 2015, the patient was institutionalized in a homeless child center in Cluj-Napoca.
In 2016, at the age of 14, the patient was hospitalized for three months in the clinic. In January the patient is brought in and hospitalized for behavioral disorders related to the consumption of psychoactive substances and post-traffic accident status in this context. Uninhibited sexual behavior, physical and verbal hetero-aggressiveness towards other children at the center and the staff, repeated escape from the center (from a few hours to several days), and from the previous home without school attendance that year were added to the psychopathological tableau already existent. In May, the patient, along his mother, comes to the clinic after a substance consumption (ethnobotanical drugs) soliciting hospitalization in a rehabilitation program and describes a symptomatology corresponding to addiction. In September the patient is brought back by an employee of the center where he was institutionalized at the time because of an aggressive outburst towards his educator early in the morning followed by clastic manifestation towards the center employees and the other children. Because the staff of the center refused to get involved anymore and the patient’s mother did not agree to his discharge, there was a high risk of abandonment in the clinic.
In 2017 the patient had five hospitalizations for the same psychopathological tableau. Problems regarding the risk of abandonment in the clinic persist because the mother of the patience, the sole custodian, leaves the country and refuses to be present for the child’s discharge. She contacts the Police and the Child Protection services to give the patient to them. The patient is taken into a care shelter along his mother, but he leaves the center due to the strict rules and he turns to his friends for a home. In November the mother leaves the country for good, and the custody of the child is passed to his father which he meets for the first time. The child stayed with his aunt for a little while but was thrown out of the house due to his behavior (most of his time was spent using the mobile phone, not helping around and he often came home under the influence of psychostimulants). In 2018 the teenager was admitted seven times into the clinic. Two criminal files were opened against him by the Police for being an accomplice to theft and theft. In September he was presented in front of the probation services. The discharges on the last times he was admitted in the clinic were made by a person named by his mother, but the teenager went back on the streets every time along with his inappropriate entourage. In the last year, during his hospitalization, the patient has often presented an inappropriate behavior manifested through physical and verbal aggression towards the medical staff, destroyed various items of the clinic (broken doors, windows, a TV, bicycle wheels), threw the food on the floor and has repeatedly asked for money to buy what he wants. Over the years, the patient has had various treatment regimens with antiepileptics, benzodiazepines, sedative neuroleptics, stabilizers and hypnotic sedatives with reduced compliance and no improvement in symptomatology.

Risk factors
Deviant behavior in children is influenced by several risk factors including:
– The personality of the child. This begins to shape after the age of 2. If the child grows and develops in improper living conditions (split family, parents with behavioral problems, inappropriate entourage), an environment conducive to delinquent behavior is created. Our patient grew up in a family with a disorganized structure, coming from a concubinage relationship, eventually the child being raised by his mother in an lackluster environment.
– Behavioral disorders. They are one of the biopsychic causes of juvenile delinquency and can be manifested by anti-social behaviors (aggression, vagabondage etc.).
– Run away from home and vagabondage. The two types of behavior are usually associated with school abandonment and with other types of negative behaviors, victims of vagabondage often being children raised in social protection services, but also those in legally constituted families.
– Age. It has come to the conclusion that most offenses are committed by adolescents and young people. – Affectivity deficiencies. The majority of child offenders come from disorganized families or foster care centers. Often, they may have a personality in the process of developing with disharmonic notes, due to a lack of family affection. The child will not know how to give affection and will be portrayed as an egocentric personality and with primary instinctive reactions.
– Causes of social nature. Families’ dysfunctions, school failure, negative patterns of behavior of the group of friends and inappropriate modes of entertainment are other causes of social nature (the transition from one type of life to another, from the way of rural existence to the urban one, deficiencies in the activity of social control institutions and educational guidance) [2].
Romanian Penal Code
Regarding the consequences of juvenile behavior, the Romanian Penal Code sets the age of criminal liability as follows:
Article 113 – The limits of criminal liability are:
1. Minors under the age of 14 have no criminal liability.
2. A minor between 14 and 16 years of age shall be liable only if it is proved that he committed the offense knowingly so.
3. The juvenile who has reached the age of 16 shall be liable according to the law [3]. Until the age of 14, juveniles are considered to be deprived of their criminal capacities and consequently only protective measures can be implement. For minors aged between 14 and 16, if they are aware of what they do at the time of the act, they will be treated as juveniles over 16 years of age with absolute criminal capacities, and there is no difference in terms of criminal capacity between them and major offenders in legal treatment. National projects for the prevention of juvenile delinquency In 2011, the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police in collaboration with the National Authority for the Protection of Child’s Rights and Adoption of the Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Protection and the Elderly with the support of the Czech and Bulgarian Ministries of the Internal affairs carried out the project “Childhood without delinquency” in order to increase the effectiveness of measures meant to prevent juvenile delinquency in children under the age of 14. The objectives of the project were: to develop a common tool for Romanian institution specialists responsible for the prevention of juvenile delinquency in children under the age of 14, to improve the capacity of Romanian institutions to manage the problems related to children with predelinquent and delinquent behavior , increasing the awareness of beneficiaries about the prevention of antisocial behavior in children under the age of 14, the dissemination of best practices on the prevention of juvenile delinquency at EU level [2]. RESULTS Even though several notices have been submitted to the Department of Social Assistance and Child Protection Cluj and other institutions over time, the situation of the teenager is unchanged. The risk factors involved in this case persisted and further aggravated the symptoms until a case of juvenile delinquency occurred.
CONCLUSIONS
Our case study highlights some shortcomings in the work of social control institutions and educational guidance: judicial entities, representatives of educational institutions, social assistance services, etc. and pave the way for discussions and why not initiatives on the implementation of programs to prevent juvenile delinquency, as well as the possibility of supplementing the number of re-education centers. The lack of operability, the non-registration of all situations requiring special protection measures, create favorable conditions for the behavioral deviance of the child. Thus, in cases where the family proves to be a harmful environment for raising and educating the child, social assistance services should act to remove him from this area and entrust a specialized protection institution.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
1. https://cristidanilet.wordpress.com/2016/03/27/statistici-20112015- delincventa-juvenila/
2. ”Prevenirea delincvenței juvenile și acordarea de servicii specifi ce minorilor care săvârșesc infracțiuni și nu răspund penal” – Editura Ministerului Afacerilor Interne – Proiectul HOME /2012/ISEC/ FP/C1 ”Copilărie fără delincvență”
3. Noul Cod Penal al României