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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 164783 Find in a Library
Title: Who Pays for Crime? Punishing Young People and Their Families
Journal: Youth Studies Australia  Volume:15  Issue:4  Dated:(December 1996)  Pages:23-27
Author(s): R Hil
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 5
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This article reviews current Australian State and territory legislation regarding parental responsibility for the offenses of their children and considers some of the criticisms of this legislation.
Abstract: Recent measures proposed by States and territories regarding parental restitution for the crimes of their children are not new legislative concepts; they build on principles already established in the criminal laws of States and territories. By focusing on "willful default" on the part of parents, it is possible to confirm the popular belief that the origins of crime reside in the dysfunctional or crime-prone family. The failure of parents to exercise "proper" care and supervision of their children is essentially defined as a moral aberration that is punishable by law. The renewed focus on parental restitution in juvenile justice has drawn considerable criticism from youth and community organizations throughout Australia, however. These critics essentially argue that the imposition of financial penalties on parents of delinquent youth is most likely to affect disproportionate numbers of those with low incomes, who are thus least able to pay fines. This further aggravates the financial stress borne by the parents while doing nothing to provide the family services required to remedy the problems in the family that are contributing to the delinquency of the children. To make matters worse, the breaching of court orders and the possible criminalization of parents may ensure that growing numbers of people are drawn into the ever-expanding net of crime control. 22 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile codes
Index Term(s): Foreign laws; Legislative impact; Parental influence; Parental liability; Restitution
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