Parental Responsibility, a Deterrent to Juvenile Crime Essay example

836 Words Nov 7th, 2005 4 Pages
Parental Responsibility, a Deterrent to Juvenile Crime

Growing up in a family where both parents have thirty years experience working in the juvenile justice system, I have learned to value and respect parental responsibility for their children and their children's behavior. In 1995, a small community in the Willamette Valley, passed an ordinance which held parents responsible in just this way. The ordinance (No. 94-132) that was adopted in Silverton OR, in 1995 charged parents with the misdemeanor of "failing to supervise a minor" when a child under the age of 18 years violates any provision of the Silverton Municipal Code, under provisions of the ordinance, if a juvenile commits a violation of law, his or her parent(s) is served
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The Oregon law, allows Courts to order parents into education or counseling programs with the purpose being to improve parenting skills and the ability of parents to supervise the youth offender. (ORS 419C.573) An additionally law "holds parents responsible for no minors being upon any street, highway, park, alley or other public place between the hours of 12 midnight and 4a.m.of the following morning."(ORS 419C.682) At least 36 states have enacted similar parental responsibility laws. Caught somewhere between prevention and punishment for both children and parents, these laws attempt to involve parents in the lives of their children by holding them civilly and/or criminally liable for their children's actions. According to the journal article, Juvenile Justice Reform Initiatives in the States 1994-96, penalties for violation of these laws include increased participation by parents in juvenile proceedings; financial responsibility for restitution payments and court costs; financial responsibility for detention, treatment, and supervisory costs; participation in treatment, counseling, or other diversion programs; and criminal responsibility and possible jail time for parents found negligent in their supervision.(18) "Of course there have always been rotten parents with rotten kids and good parents with difficult kids and terrific kids with lousy parents" says the author Carol Sternhell. (71)
It appears these parental responsibility laws

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