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Juvenile Crime - Holding Parents Responsible

law children laws example

For many decades, civil liability laws held parents at least partly responsible for damages caused by their children. Also, child welfare law included actions against those who contributed to the delinquency of a minor. By the 1990s, in response to rising juvenile crime rates, communities and states passed stronger laws about parental responsibility. Several states have enacted laws making parents criminally responsible for their children's crimes.

For example, in California, parents can be prosecuted for "gross negligence"—failing to supervise their children adequately. If convicted, they can receive a sentence of up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. A Louisiana law allows parents to be fined up to $1,000 and imprisoned for up to six months if found guilty of "improper supervision of a minor" (for example, the child is associating with drug dealers, members of a street gang, or convicted felons).

In 1995 Judge Wayne Creech of Family Court in Columbia, South Carolina, ordered a 15-year-old girl chained to her mother for one month. The girl had a history of shoplifting and truancy. In May of 1996 a Michigan jury convicted the parents of a 16-year-old of a criminal misdemeanor for failing to control his behavior. The teenager had broken the law more than once, and his parents claimed that he intimidated them to prevent their interference. Nonetheless the judge fined them $100 each and ordered them to pay court costs of $1,000. Critics of this type of parental liability state that victims are just looking for someone to blame and that U.S. law usually holds people responsible for crimes only if they actively participate. They believe that if standard rules of American FIGURE 5.23
Trend in the handling of delinquency cases, 1985–2000
law are practiced, the prosecutor of a case should have to prove that the parents intended to participate in a crime in order to be found guilty.

Many states require that parents pay for costs or program fees related to juvenile courts or corrections. For example, Idaho, Indiana, and New Hampshire passed laws in 1995 making parents pay for the care of their children confined in juvenile facilities. In Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Virginia, parents are responsible for victim restitution. Some states, such as Rhode Island and Texas, require parents to participate with their children in counseling or education programs and at adjudicatory (court) hearings. Based on preliminary findings, involvement of parents in their child's case processing can be effective in deterring repeat offenses.

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almost 4 years ago

Julia - That is an incredibly simplistic view, akin to ending drug use in America by "just saying no." Both of my children were adopted. My oldest, a 16 year old has increasingly been getting in trouble and has ramped up his self-destructive behavior. He has used drugs and alcohol, is sexually active, has sexted on a number of occasions, has had a ticket for trespessing, and now another one for shoplifting. He steals money from us, is an accomplished liar, ditches school and does poorly when there. None of this is okay with us and he knows it. He was raised knowing it is wrong. We cannot be with him 24/7 to make sure that he stays on the sraight and narrow, nor should we be. He absolutely refuses any therapy and states to us that he wishes that other people adopted him. We have given him a great home, have not spoiled him or neglected any need. He grew up hearing us tell him that we love him every day. His friends think that he's crazy to ever complain about us and that we're great people. He usually says that it's not us, but that he "is the wrong kid for them (us)." He has issues that came with him. We knew that he might before we even knew who he was. There are abandonment issues, attachment issues, and guilt for feeling anger and resentment toward us, his adoptive parents.



Now tell me how I've done wrong? I've loved this boy from the day we picked him up 14 years ago. He hears that from me on the way to school and before he goes to bed. I tell him that on the phone at the end of most phone calls. I've been there for him every single day of his life. What did I do wrong? I cannot love this boy any more than I do.



So how should I be held morally responsible for his self-destructive acts? He knows what is wrong and what is right. He says that he does but that he does the wrong things anyway. He's been grounded, the phone taken away, the computer taken away, and not allowed to see friends. He must come with one of us wherever we go. We are both seasoned teachers, so we do know something about kids.



I just resent attitudes like yours that are so incredibly simplistic and self-righteous. I wonder if you have kids. If you do, great. They can be the greatest joy in life. If yours stay out of trouble then great again. But to state that all of the children's faults and misdeeds should lie at the feet of the parents because of their parental failings is insulting and idiotic.

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over 5 years ago

California charges parents* for the costs of their child's time spent in juvenile hall ($20/day), for them being on probation ($205/mo), for electronic monitoring ($700/mo), for home supervision ($205/mo), and for drug tests ($20/test).

In my case, when my son did not respond to normal behavioral modification techniques over the years, or to medication and to years of counseling, I was charged according to State laws.

There are at least a couple of serious flaws in those laws. One, I DID what a good parent does, have proof of the fact, and still I am held financially responsible. That's adding insult to injury, no two ways about it. Two, the majority of parents who DESERVE to be charged for not being good parents are society deadbeats, who will never have to pay a dime to the State.

Any system that would impose fines only on law abiding, responsible people for the crimes of another human being is NOT JUST, relative or not.

It is an obvious sign of a rotting system, one geared to feed the coffers to make up for the State's other areas of wasted spending.

Justice is simply not offered to parents like myself.

* costs vary by county

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about 4 years ago

To Mike Phillips: Try living in NH. Juvenile incarceration here will cost you ~$15K a month. Yeah, that's $15,000, not a typo. You would have to reimburse the state until your child is 17.



I used to be one of these that would lay the blame at the feet of the parents until I became one myself. We've got two. Number one was no problem. Straight As, Dean's list, well behaved, etc. Number two no A's, Principal's list, Probabtion Officer's List, drug dealer's speed dial, not well behaved, etc.

I think we are partically to blame because we let him get away with more when he was younger just because he was so much stronger willed and stubborn. Trying to enforce any rules with him now just turns into a huge battle. Not pretty. I don't really know what to do.



Are adult prisoners required to reimburse the state after their time is up? No? Then why should I have to pay for the crimes of a youth that refuses to follow any of my rules and has decided that he can do whatever he wants?

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almost 4 years ago

how gaaaaaaaay .

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over 3 years ago

hoe

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over 4 years ago

Parents should be found negligent before being held responsible for their childs crimes. We must remember that children are watching. If we disobey even small laws such as: speeding, talking on the phone while driving, not wearing a seat belt, then we are giving signals to children that laws are made to be broken. It is the parents' responsibility to provide their children with morals. It means being tough, knowing what their children are doing, and who they are hanging out with. There are a few parents that do everything with in their power and still can not control the child, but not very many. Most children act in a way that they observe. If there is no relationship with the child, they are observing someone else.

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almost 4 years ago

How about you rub these nuts Frank?

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almost 4 years ago

how gaaaaaaaay .

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about 3 years ago

Yes How Gay

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over 3 years ago

' where are the answers at on this thing !!!!!!

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over 3 years ago

raw.!!!

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over 3 years ago

gfhdhvjdshsdisdgvdbvsdvhsdifvnsdmfbv

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over 4 years ago

I believe that children are products of their parents and that we as parents should be held responsible to a degree for our children's actions. If we raise our children in a way that they know right from wrong and make them very much aware that there are consequences for their actions I believe that they generally will make smart choices in life. We as parents have a responsibility to know what is going on in our child's life and if we are cramping their style so be it we are supposed to protect our children not allow the to ruin their lives. So if we are doing our jobs as parents then we don't need to worry about our children getting into trouble in the first place

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about 4 years ago

this a good rescource for my progect

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over 5 years ago

Have any of the laws for the parents of juveniles been modified?

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over 4 years ago

I think that parent(s) should be morally held responsible because, lets say a child a did a crime, but before he did it, he was told he couldn't get something when he has gotten everything before, so the parent(s)did nothing, except tell him no. But if the parent(s) are gang members, drug addicts, or abusive, then the parents drove him/her to it. It all depends on what type of parent(s) the child has.

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about 3 years ago

Please i am doing a debate about juvenile delinquency...please i need points to back my stuff.The topic parents are to be blamed for their children juvenile delinquency....
Any body wit idea send it to my mail;choco_milo@ymail.com or wesleybobmanuel@ymail.com...THANKS

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about 3 years ago

this is a good thought for our Parliamentary Debate in English

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almost 4 years ago

For report

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about 4 years ago

reserch

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about 5 years ago

well some of the parents in this world today do deserve some on these. Because of the way the children are acting. parents should care about thier children. we are the future and its going to get worse if the parents dont get thier shxt str8.

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over 6 years ago

Has a parent ever successfully petitioned the courts to have their child's death penalty or life sentence assigned to them?

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over 2 years ago

Please people, stop using the word "Gay" to mean absolutely everything you think is wrong or strange or unjust, or just dont agree with or understand. The word Gay used to mean happy and without a care. Now it can mean anything from homosexual to out of fashion. Just grow up and stop it!