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NCJ Number: 229753 Find in a Library
Title: Parents' Involvement in the Youth Justice System: Rhetoric and Reality
Journal: Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice  Volume:52  Issue:1  Dated:January 2010  Pages:1-27
Author(s): Michele Peterson-Badali; Julia Broeking
Date Published: January 2010
Page Count: 27
Sponsoring Agency: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Ottawa, ON K1P 6G4, Canada
Grant Number: 410-2005-2054
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: Using interview results from key groups of individuals involved in the youth justice system in Ontario, Canada, this study examined whether changes in how parental involvement is conceptualized under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) are reflected in the actions of these participants.
Abstract: The Youth Criminal Justice Act views parents as playing a critical role in both preventing and addressing youths' criminal behaviour. However, the lack of specifically defined goals for parental involvement, in combination with potentially conflicting messages regarding parents' roles, may result in confusion for parents, youth, and those who work in the system, confusion that may, in turn, reduce the efficacy of parents' involvement. Through in-depth, semi-structured interviews with justice system officials (N = 41) who work with parents and young people, supplemented by direct courtroom observation of parents, we explored the reality behind the rhetoric of parental involvement. Results indicated that, despite the fact that parental involvement can have an important impact on legal outcomes for young people, and while there may be some improvement in parental involvement post-arrest under the YCJA, parents are often not involved in ways that are seen as effective and meaningful. Two kinds of conflict are seen as contributing significantly to the gap between policy and practice: interpersonal conflict between youth and their parents and conflict between the two roles that parents are expected to play - simultaneously socializing youth and promoting their legal interests in an adversarial system. Recommendations for addressing the barriers to effective parental involvement are discussed. Tables, notes, and references (Published Abstract)
Main Term(s): Youthful offenders
Index Term(s): Canada; Juvenile courts; Juvenile delinquency prevention; Parent-Child Relations; Parental attitudes; Parental influence
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