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Blaming parents for juvenile crimes common in some areas

In an effort to lower juvenile crime rates and keep violent criminals off the streets in Wisconsin, lawmakers and advocates may try many different tactics to ensure that consequences lie with the person most likely to fix the behavior. Juvenile crimes such as drug possession and simple battery may be a sign that the person has a future of run-ins with the law if the right consequences are not enforced. Regardless of the intention behind the policy or law, it may be important that law enforcement officials focus their efforts to punish criminals on the right person.

Some experts consider a small town in Oregon as a role model for the rest of the country regarding how to handle juvenile offenders. Since 1995, parents in this small town have been forced to pay a fine for several offenses their children may have committed.

One particular expert claims that parents should be held accountable to some point but that they should not be required to serve jail time. In most places, parents are held legally responsible for a child missing too much school or even for allowing underage children to drink when an accident occurs following the event.

It may be beneficial to consider each situation individually rather than setting up a rule for how to handle juvenile offenses in regards to their parents. Regardless of the laws in the particular area, any juvenile offender may benefit from consulting with an attorney to determine the best way to create a positive course for the future, and parents may benefit from being involved in the meeting.

Source: FOX, “Juvenile criminals, should parents face consequences,” August 7, 2013

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