Saturday, April 01, 2006

Not so much an essay question, but sort of

Detroit's juvenile crime rate has increased 25% over the last year. This has led some Detroit officials to consider enforcing a parental responsibility statute that's been on the books since 1987. The link takes you to the statute language and the Free Press article about the concept, but I'll run through the basics right quick.

Essentially, enforcing the statute would make parents liable for being repeatedly negligent in their parental responsibilities if their children continually commit law-breaking acts. If found negligent, the parent could be fined up to $500 and/or jailed for up to 90 days. The article notes that Detroit is one of "dozens" of cities that have similar ordinances, such as Chicago and Cincinnati

My question for you is, do you think enforcing this is fair?

1 comment:

Cassie said...

I don't think that enforcing this statute is in the best interest of anyone. How is putting parents in jail going to fix their kids? By the time this happens it's too late. Ineffective parenting is probably to blame for a lot of the crimes minors commit. And the problems started many years before the crimes were committed.
Resources to help with parenting, such as parenting classes, might help. Programs to assist parents that start when the children are young might help. But the programs only work if the parents are willing to participate completely.
This brings us back to what to do when the kids commit the crimes. Maybe law enforcement could work with the parents and programs could be instituted that teach parents how to fix years of bad parenting habits. Now I'm not addressing the issue of where the money is to come from for these programs. Because I don't know.