Punishing parents for the crimes of their children

Arthur, Raymond (2005). Punishing parents for the crimes of their children. The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 44(3) pp. 233–253.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2311.2005.00370.x


In recent years there has been a profusion of laws that punish parents for their children's offences. These parental responsibility laws are based on the assumption that parents of children who offend have not accepted their responsibility and that they can be made to do so by the imposition of court orders and financial penalties. In this article I will examine the efficacy of punishing parents for the crimes of their children. I will consider whether parental responsibility laws are an effective means of tackling youth crime; or should policies that strengthen the family and improve parenting skills be pursued as strategies for preventing juvenile offending behaviour.

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