AFTER-CARE PROGRAMME FOR JUVENILES — WHERE DOES IT STAND TODAY ?* K....
AFTER-CARE PROGRAMME FOR JUVENILES — WHERE DOES
IT STAND TODAY ?*
K. D. SlKKA
That the ultimate aim of institutional administration is reformation and rehabilitation
of the inmates is widely accepted today. What, however, has not yet been duly appreciated
is the need of after-care services which will be essential if the institutional inputs must be
able to provide commensurate results. Actually, towards achieving the purposes of resociali-
zation and rehabilitation both institutional and after-care services are so much dependent
on each other that without one's effectivity, the other's achievements are adversely affected.
Whereas, we still need very many improvements to be brought about in institutional care
and correctional efforts, after-care services must also be developed side by side,
Mr. K. D. Sikka is a Member of the Faculty, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Deonar,
Bombay 400 088.
A. Introduction
pally to guard against a relapse into anti-
social behaviour, are safeguarded, this
The concept of after-care of care and last responsibility being predominant in case
correctional caseloads of institutions is of statutory after-care (Licence). Statutory
derived from the thought that regards re-
after-care differs from probation in the
formation and rehabilitation as the ulti-
sense that while probation is an alternative
mate aim of institutional administration. to institutionalization, the former is an
And although the term after-care was tradi-
alternative to continued institutionalization.
tionally used to describe specific kinds of Besides, grant of statutory after-care is an
material aids given to the discharged indivi-
administrative function while grant of pro-
duals, the term now is increasingly used to bation is a judicial function.
include all services and programmes desi-
gned to accelerate the reintegration of per-
B. Rationale
sons into the mainstream who have been
through a programme of care and correc-
The substantiation for developing after-
tional training.
care programmes is based on the arguments
After-care, as the last phase of care and that quite often more tension charged is
correctional continuum, is not the prolonga-
the situation when the 'doors' of institution
tion of the treatment programmes begun open for the inmate than when these were
and brought to a certain level at the insti-
closed on him. Whatever may be the mono-
tution but rather an approach designed to tony of institutional life, its sense of secu-
(i) remove gradually the beneficiary's social rity, routine, and its steady supplies of
dependence, (ii) to remove or atleast dilute food, clothing, medical and other services
the stigma that may have come to be at-
make the inmate dependent. And longer
tached to him due to his institutionaliza-
he has been there the greater are going to
tion, and (iii) to help hasten the process of be his difficulties on release, though after
his Vocational and Social' rehabilitation. the initial enthusiasm! Again, unfortunately,
Further, it has to have a constructive vigi-
most of institutional boys return to the
lance over the conduct of the supervisee surroundings which fostered their pre-com-
so that the interests of the society, princi-
mitment activities and the appropriate pre-
* Paper presented at the seminar on "New Challenges of Juvenile Delinquency in India"
organised by the Children's Aid Society, Bombay and sponsored by the National Institute
of Social Defence, New Delhi, April 17-19, 1982.

158
K. D. SlKKA
paration of the family for the return of the voluntary organisation aided by the State
young person is seldom done. By virtue Government. It operates the service directly
of his stay in the institution, his status and by its independent officers in Bombay City,
prestige among his delinquent friends is through the staff of Certified Schools
enhanced; in the eyes of his relations and in Poona for their own inmates, and
community in general it is diminished. through its affiliated District and Regional
Accepting that he has matured chronologi-
Probation and After-care Associations in
cally and the institutional programmes other situations (I.C.S.W., 1969: 15). In the
would have made positive impact on him, last mentioned case, the Officer-in-Charge
still he will need reasonable support for of the Observation Home has been assigned
bridging the gap between the inside and the this additional duty. However, the Bombay
outside.
Children Act, 1948, under section 92(1)
Experience in after-care work has well states: "Subject to prescribed conditions,
indicated that majority of the supervisees the Director (Child Welfare) may at any time
face difficulties which are of personal and/ after the expiration of six months from the
or domestic nature and quite frequently commencement of the detention of a child
they experience problems in securing and in an Approved Centre or Approved insti-
retaining employment. Material aid, advice, tution* and on the recommendation of the
referrals, emotional support of a steadying visitors or managers of the Approved
hand — these, when promptly provided, Centre or Approved Institution or on appli-
have very often swung the balance away cation by a parent, other relation or guar-
from recidivism. When society has consi-
dian, reinforced by local enquiries made
dered desirable to expend significant resour-
through the Maharashtra State Probation
ces on care and treatment through institu-
and After-care Association, or otherwise,
tional efforts, to make these efforts more release such child from the Centre or
fruitful in terms of ensuring that the indivi-
Institution and grant a written licence in
duals on return to society will settle down the prescribed form and on prescribed con-
as law-abiding citizens and contribute to ditions permitting him to live under the
community life should require no stronger supervision of such responsible person or
argument to convince anyone about the society willing to take charge of the child
vital necessity of a well organised after-
and approved by the Director". Through
care service.
Administrative Rules, the ex-licencees are
expected to be followed up for one and
C. Organisation
a half years — the minimum contacts to
be after every six months. There is no ser-
Lei us accept that presently we have vice available to dischargees of institutions
available very limited after-care services, after completion of the commitment period
statutory or voluntary, in the country, even though some institutions do provide peri-
quantitatively speaking. And wherever they pheral help informally.
exist the information about them is unavai-
Whether the after-care service would be
lable or is very scanty. However, in Maha-
better effective if organised as an extension
rashtra the responsibility for juvenile after-
of the institutional work is a much dis-
care work rests with the Maharashtra State cussed topic. It is believed by many correc-
Probation and After-care Association, a tional administrators that no other agency
* Known as Certified School and Fit Person Institution respectively before the amendment
of the Act in 1975. '

AFTER-CARE PROGRAMME FOR JUVENILES — WHERE DOES IT STAND TODAY?
159
will know about the individual's after-care and 5 Union Territories in 1975) although
problems and possible solutions as inti-
coverage was not in all districts of the state
mately as the one which has nursed and in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, U.P. and
bestowed care on him and atleast where West Bengal. Almost all of them have legal
the licencee is going to stay in the same provisions for statutory after-care, some
area or there about the need for his trans-
with minor differentiations though.
fer to other set of workers should be
While discussing any service the imme-
obviated. This plan may also be helpful diate necessity is to look at the numbers
to dischargees since the institution will be which will have to be catered to. Up-to-
taking special interest in the area of after-
date All India figures are unavailable and
care. Further, since these caseloads will be it is embarrassing to quote statistics of 1971
limited, local people and organisations in the year 1982, and those too for only
around the institution could be more easily four states! Handbook on Social Welfare
got interested than it may be possible for Statistics, 1976, has a section on Social
this work in the whole of the city or dis-
Defence but the data are not sufficiently
trict. On the other hand, it is contended analytical for the present purpose. The
that it may lead to proliferation of after-
National Institute of Social Defence must
care and if the work has to be taken over use its persuasive skills vigorously to collect
by the existing institutional staff, this area national data and publish it periodically.
may get neglected or the institutional work
As will be noticed from Tables I and II
may suffer. Again, larger perspective of the given in the appendix, during 1971, 16 994
after-care work may not get developed, children were handled by 165 institutions
even in the large centres of population where in four states: 4,808 were the new admis-
the bulk of the work lies. Separate arrange-
sions and 4,926 were the discharges of
ments for stay with much more freedom various categories*. Those released on
and individual responsibility (as in after-
licence were only 393 (or 400) while 1,547
care hostel) will be needed in certain in-
were discharged from institutions at the end
stances and that may not be possible for of their commitment period. There seems
individual institutions to provide.
very little chance, if at all, that those 1,547
children received any after-care help! !
D. Statistical Profile
The total after-care load during the year
was 1,298 licencees, 346 terminating suc-
Children Acts were in force in 13 States cessfully. The failures were only 18, the
and 4 Union Territories in 1971 (14 States success-failure** ratio being 19:1. Quite an
* Data of 10 States and 2 Union Territories:
No. of approved/certified/special schools and children homes and fit person
institutions: 1974-75 159
No. of inmates on 1-4-1974 14,449
Admission during the year 1974-75 7,770
Released /discharged during the year 1974-75 7,335
This does not include Maharashtra which had 109 institutions with a capacity for 9,200
children (other details not available).
** The definition of 'success' meaning that revocation of licence was not asked for. This
has many disadvantages: actions by individual supervising officers may weigh heavily in
determining whether the revocation order is asked for or not, and there is an unknown
amount of variation between supervising officers. It would be evidently preferable when
some measure of the actual behaviour of the licencee is used as a criterion. Even better
would be some measure of the supervisee's efforts to play the role of law-abiding citizen,
a measure of the conditions which the supervisee encountered in the free community and
a measure of the therapeutic assistance he received. Since such measures are not applied,
not asking for the issuance of revocation order is to be taken as an approximation to
success in very general terms.

160
K. D. SlKKA
Impact of Institutions on Juvenile Delin-
impressive performance in itself as far as
'official' control of recidivism is concerned quents (1969)
though one remains uncertain about their
(i) Craft training did not equip them
actual qualitative rehabilitation.
adequately to take up a job in those
In case of children released on licence
particular crafts in which they were
from institutions in Maharashtra during the
trained: out of 229, 63 per cent had
four years period 1971-75*, out of total 843
not been able to obtain a single job
cases of licencees closed, 719 were success-
in common with the craft training
ful and 124 failures. Approximately for
learnt in the institution.
every 6 successful, there was one failure.
(ii) Scholastic attainment in the institu-
tion had been, on an average, two
E. Effectivity
grades only.
(iii) Case work services provided were
Accomplishments of after-care service
inadequate in terms of diagnosis,
will need to be understood from two con-
counselling and planning rehabilita-
texts : how efficient the service itself is and
tion.
what quality of material it is required to
(iv) Only 50 per cent of the respondents
deal with. It is a truism that if the person
were happy about their institutional
concerned has not received reasonable care,
stay.
education and training during the period of
(v) 173 of 229 respondents were released
institutionalization, after-care efforts start
on licence. In Bombay and Poona
with a strong handicap, how-so-ever effi-'
where after-care service exists in
ciently these are put forward. And equally,
rather an organised form, almost 50
the results of efficient institutional program-
per cent did not get the benefit. In
mes will be adversely affected if the after-
district places where it is less orga-
care programme is rather weak. To my
nised, a very small number seem to
way of thinking, towards achieving the pur-
have had some contact with the Pro-
poses of resocialization and rehabilitation
bation Officer and almost none was
the services (institutional and after-care)
helped in any way.
are so much interdependent that without
one's effectivity, the other one is much less
than half!
The brighter side was that 82 per cent
There is very little evaluative research were employed though income level per
material available on the basis of which month was upto rupees one hundred only;
one can comment, with any reasonable 63 per cent of them were sharing financial
authenticity, upon the quality of either in-
responsibility of the family.
stitutional or after-care programmes in the
country at large. However, the conclusions Impact of Institutions on 'non-delinquent'
of the few studies and personal experience Children (1973)
in the field do not exhume much confidence.
Recapitulating the main findings of the
(i) Out of 501 respondents, only 61
two I.C.S.W. studies which contacted a
(12.2%) had atleast one job in com-
sample of ex-inmates from Bombay and
mon with the craft training they had
Poona one finds that:
undergone in the institution. Majority
* The Maharashtra State Probation and After-care Association, Poona — Annual Reports
1973-74 and 1974-75: pp. 76 and 79. Data for later years not published.

AFTER-CARE PROGRAMME FOR JUVENILES — WHERE DOES IT STAND TODAY?
161
of the respondents did not try to get
lack of rapport of the concerned
a job in that particular trade either
staff with inmates. In all, only 74 out
due to inadequate training, or they
of 328 inmates had utilised counsell-
were not interested in that type
ing services.
of job owing to poor salary.
(ii) 66 per cent gained 3 to 4 grades
Panji's study of an After-care Hostel in
above the educational level at the Maharashtra "(1979) which contacted 20
time of admission.
(population 24) hostellers released from
(iii) 83 per cent (418) felt that somebody juvenile institutions, found that 2 respon-
(at times more than one person) took dents had studied upto Xlth standard, 9
interest in them in the institution upto 7th and the remaining 9 upto 4th. Pro-
which speaks well for the institutions. ficiency in vocational standards had to be
(iv) There were 177 respondents released evaluated in terms of the duration spent in
on licence as against 324 after final each trade since no certificate was given
date of discharge. Effective help, in as no tests were held to evaluate their pro-
the area of employment, to licencees ficiency in the institution — a stark short-
given by the Probation Officers of coming of the institutional training pro-
the Maharashtra State Probation gramme. Seven respondents had not received
and After-care Association was only any craft training because such facilities
in 38 cases.
did not exist in their institution(s). Out of
the remaining 13, only 6 had spent 1 to
The brighter side was that 54 per cent of 2 years and 2 had spent 3 or more years
the respondents were employed though in-
in one or more trades.
come level per month of little more than
In relation to general satisfaction, except
half of them was upto rupees one hundred. arrangements for food in which 3/4th of
However 186 (out of 268 girls) were marri-
the hostellers were very dissatisfied, satisfac-
ed, 166 happily!
tion was expressed by around 60 to 70 per
Bedi (1978) who studied institutional cent of them in areas like accommodation,
services for socially handicapped children recreation, medical, and help in securing
in Rajasthan found in the main that:
employment, etc. The main problems ex-
pressed by the superintendent in securing
(i) Out of 27 institutions covered, 19 placements were inadequate capabilities
had no arrangement for vocational and unrealistic expectations of his wards.
training, 6 had limited facilities and Rapport between him and his charges was
the remaining 2 were sending their felt to be on a superficial level.
inmates to outside vocational centres.
(ii) Out of 328 respondents, 276 were F. Suggestions
utilizing or had availed of educa-
tional facilities: 217 among them
It must be admitted forthwith that quite
were generally satisfied.
a significant number of juveniles who reach
(iii) Some of the staff members stated institutions bring with them tangled pro-
that counselling services to the in-
blems, emotional and adjustmental, and
mates were adequate. However, there deficiencies like educational backwardness,
were others who felt that counselling inaptitude for learning, history of failures
and family reconciliation services etc. Evidently, it will be expecting too much
were inadequate because there was that institutional and after-care personnel

162
K. D. SIKKA
should be able to achieve 'wonders' with
the most difficult part of the job of
most of them. However, with the provi-
the after-care officer. Both of them
sion of reasonably sufficient resources of
need assistance: the former in
qualified men and money, and little more
securing a suitable one and the
vigour and dedication of administrators the
latter for having appropriate con-
job can be done definitely better. And since
tacts to facilitate the same. And
the institutional and after-care services
besides the general unemployment
need to be developed side by side, both of
conditions prevailing in the com-
these call for serious thoughts. However,
munity, the problem is accentuated
in the meantime, implementation of the
because of little or lack of appro-
following comparatively inexpensive sugges-
priate training in trades which are
tions should be able to enliven to some
marketable. Nonetheless, the Place-
extent the existing after-care services for
ment Committees, on which are
juveniles.
represented influential and genuine-
ly interested persons from trade,
(i) 'After-care starts when the child
industry and service clubs can pro-
comes in'. This is an oft-repeated
vide significant help. Such commit-
phrase but quite difficult in opera-
tees must be organised or rejuve-
tional terms. In practice, the after-
nated where they already exist.
care agency comes to know of the
(iii) Regularity of contacts between the
individual juvenile almost at the
after-care officer and the supervisee
time of his release. It should be
are a sine qua non, especially dur-
feasible that atleast in local cases
ing the initial period, if the transi-
the after-care officer should know
tion from institution to community
reasonably well and be known to
is to be smooth and gradual. Eco-
the inmate before he leaves the insti-
nomic stress for the client and his
tution. These contacts will go a long
family is also more acutely felt
way in understanding the juvenile's
during this period. There should be
needs and capabilities, his family-
administrative provision for liberal
situation, and lend themselves to
reimbursement of travelling cost
suitable planning for his after-care
spent in contacting the supervisor
supervision. There is urgent need of
or somebody else on his instruc-
strengthening the lines of communi-
tions, in deserving cases.
cation between the social worker in
(iv) Every licencee should be issued a
the institution and his colleague in
Supervision Card specifying the
the community: forwarding extracts
conditions of licence. It will become
of institutional case files through
handy to substantiate his status in
post is not quite the same thing.
case of any problems with police or
However, in cases coming from
in any other difficulty and facilitate
other locations, quite detailed infor-
\\ immediate contact with the after-
mation about the licencee should be
care officer through telephone or
demanded by the after-care agency
otherwise. Further, since the date
and duly supplied by the institution.
and time of his next agency ap-
pointment with his supervisor can
(ii) Employment is generally the most
be indicated, the chances of his
pressing need of the licencee and
feigned or genuine forgetfulness

AFTER-CARE PROGRAMME FOR JUVENILES — WHERE DOES IT STAND TODAY?
163
will be considerably reduced. It will
individual after-care officer will not
also be useful for administrative
be expended de novo every time
control so that the contacts are not
the need for such information arises.
allowed to become one-way traffic:
Transfers of the personnel are inevi-
home and community contacts by
table and chances of using the
the after-care officer are equally
details collected by one officer are
important if the family members
lost for others in the absence of
are to be involved and their strains
such compilation.
and stresses understood and suita-
(vii) There is a definite place for volun-
bly handled, in the over-all after-
tary workers as auxiliaries or aids
care plan.
to after-care officers. A very impor-
tant need of many licencees is for
(v) In the districts where the Child
simple encouragement, friendship
Welfare Officer (Probation) is re-
and human understanding which
quired to provide additionally the
could be given in more regular
after-care service, he, in practice,
measure by sincere and warm-heart-
tends to regard it as extraneous to
ed volunteers. This potential we
his normal functions of probation
have not yet seriously tried to take
and gives it insufficient attention.
advantage of. If voluntary workers
No doubt we can plead that proba-
are intelligently chosen and reasona-
tion service should extend its hither-
bly equipped under 'guided prac-
to accepted role of social service to
tice' combined with occasional
the courts, his duties of adminis-
training seminars, the dependence
trative management of the Observa-
on them for simple tasks should be
tion Home are already onerous and
welcomed as also being consonant
he should get help if after-care
with the concern of the community
work must receive its due.
for ex-inmates which we greatly wish
(vi) There should be compiled informa-
to foster. Admittedly, this is not
tion about referral facilities which
going to be an unmixed blessing.
are usually needed by the licencees
In the initial stages it will need
like those about apprenticeship
good bit of serious and continuous
schemes, scholarships, avenues for
efforts on the part of the after-care
further training in crafts/trades etc.
agency. Nonetheless, it has large
This compilation, built up over a
potentialities and the National Ser-
period of time, will prove of im-
vice Scheme of colleges is one such
mense benefit and resources of the
source of attracting volunteers from.



166
K. D. SlKKA
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1978
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1963
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1967
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Explorations in After-Care, Her Majesty's Stationery Office,
1971
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Welfare Board
Usha Printers, Bombay.
1958
Impact of Institutions on Juvenile Delinquents, United Asia
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