Parents Of Gang Members Should Be Held Responsible For The Violence And Property Damage Their Children Commit


There are more than 200,000 homicides in the world among the youth of 10-29 year every year. The number is approximately 43% of total global homicides. The US alone has over a million gang members.   If in instances when gangs do not cause death, there is extreme violence and damage to property.   Joining a gang takes some form of initiation so keen parents will notice changes. Parents of gang members should take responsibility for violence and property damage that their children commit. It is because they are not doing good parenting or know that their children are in the gang but do not report. 

California State is a good example of holding parents responsible for gang actions of their children.    Parents who do not do their parental duty, causing or encouraging their children to commit acts that can lead to a trial in a juvenile court can be charges for contravention of Ca. Penal Code section 272.

  A court that finds a parent guilty of absconding parental duty can jail the defendant for a year. It can also fine up to $2,500. California Supreme court ruled that the meaning of parental duty is not overbroad or vague. It noted that a parent must control, supervise, and protect minor children.  

Most states have laws that impose civil liability for willful or malicious actions that they can use to charge parents of gang members. The purpose of such laws is to be a deterrent against poor parenting to scare parents into paying adequate attention to their children. Parents who encourage a gang act by a child or participate in it can be charged directly as an accomplice or co-conspirator. 

Some state statutes limit the recovery of gang victims to property but not personal damage. Most cap the amount that victims can get so the responsibility of a parent will be minor if there is any at all. It is also difficult to charge a parent because of violence and property damage by a child in a gang. It is unlikely that many parents will know of involvement in gang activities by a son or daughter but still do nothing. 

States can make parents more active in preventing the involvement of their children in gang activities, violence, and property damage by making them liable for acts of their kids.   The focus of these laws is on poor parenting, but authorities should charge them contributing to delinquency of a minor (CMD) law when there is evidence.   

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