Parental Responsibility Legislation and the Cycle of Juvenile Justice

Simon I. Singer, Northeastern University

Possible sources and effects of the cycle of juvenile justice are explored in the context of parental responsibility legislation. Juvenile justice began with the concept of parental responsibility, and the juvenile court was initially presented in the form of a substitute parental authority. This paper traces how recent attempts to increase parental participation and responsibility have become part of the cycle of juvenile justice reforms. Such reforms attempt to provide parents with increased incentives to avoid the juvenile court and to seek its treatment-services. Cross-state comparison data are presented to relate current parental responsibility legislation to a cycle of earlier juvenile justice reforms.

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Updated 05/20/2006