Background of the Study
Theft is the unlawful taking of belongings of others, it comprises of burglary, shoplifting, and break-ins. Theft is an indecent activity which shows how unethical the person is, but unfortunately its presence has been there in our society for a long time. Even the younger generations of our society are occupied in stealing which signifies a terrifying future for our country in the coming years, there are so many television news regarding teenagers being engaged in theft which shows how widespread this trend has become in our society. (Myers, 2008) Researchers interviewed almost 2,000 14 and 15-year-olds about their experiences of crime, and found evidence of huge numbers of violent assaults and cases of theft and arson which are ignored by official figures.
In 2012, a nationwide survey found high levels of stealing by high school students. It said that 30% of high school students have stolen from a store. This survey found 35% of boys and 26% of girls acknowledged stealing from a store in the past year. 25% confessed to stealing from friends, and others confessed to stealing from a parent or relative. (T. Kelly, 2012)
In the Philippines, a report from the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) shows that more than 52,000 children from 1995 to 2000 were reported to be in conflict with the law. Separate data from the DSWD show that from 2001 to 2010, there were close to 64,000 CICLs served by the government. The presence of CICLs was highest in Region VI or Western Visayas, the National Capital Region, and Region XI or the Davao Region throughout the period (Cordero, 2009).
The City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) Center is one of the rehabilitation and intervention of children in conflict with the law is made. Like all other centers in the Philippines, majority of the child offenders were charged with theft.
In our study the main problems are dysfunctional family, low educational attainment, peer pressure and poverty. This results to children in conflict with the law. Even though, the centers provide them enough counseling they still can't adapt to the behavior expected to them. Despite the activities and wholesome environment that the centers provide they still feel the loneliness and distrust among the group. Moreover, they did not want to live in the confines of the centers with all its rules. They wanted to be free and that they abided the rules only because they had to. A pre-survey conducted among the charges of these centers revealed that while the children were longing for their family, the center has taught positive coping mechanism about respect for elders, faith in God, being helpful and responsible as well as having remorse on what they have done. On the other hand a boy practices negative coping by starting a fight among the children in the center and tried to escape. The researchers conducted a pre-survey last May 9,2013. First participant aging 12 years old had shared his experience before and after ending up in the center. He stated that he learned stealing starting the day he left his home because his aunt is maltreating him. When he was at home, he doesn’t eat meals three times a day and not able to go to school to learn. Since he left home he felt hopeless and as well as homeless. He started living on the streets and be expose to different kinds of people. Because he wanted to relieve hunger, he to steal something from others to buy something to eat but he ended up at the police station and he was brought to the center. He said that being at the center was like living in a cell that he cannot do things he wanted and things he usually do outside the center and he's not free to go anywhere. He don’t like staying at the center because he has no friends at all so he tries to escape by jumping over the terrace, but he failed. But he also recognize that being at the center, he was given an opportunity to start a new and a better life. He said that...
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