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New Law Can Order Parents Of Young Gang Members To Attend Parenting Classes

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 1:25 PM
Wednesday, December 23, 2009

By Alvaro Castillo
Lawmakers hope a new bill being enacted this year will reduce California’s gang violence. Here are the Facts First:

• The Parental Accountability Act allows courts to order parents of young gang members to attend parenting classes.
• Courses will teach parents how to identify gang and drug activity in their kids.
• They will also learn better communication skills with their children.

Gang violence has been in the forefront in Santa Barbara this year. Police have identified 700 gang members living in the city. The new law will hold parents of gang members accountable for their children’s actions.

Every day Tere Torres walks down San Pascual Street, she is reminded of the gang violence that killed a 16-year-old boy she once knew.

Torres met Lorenzo Carachure two weeks before he died. She remembers her conversation with him. “I said you know what? Only one advice, don’t get involved with gangs and doing all this stuff, drugs and this and that, and you’ll see you’re going to be doing, very, very well,” she recalls.  Torres’ advice came too late.

According to police, Carachure was involved in a gang and stabbed by a rival member as he walked home. “I couldn’t believe it. It was very sad, very, very sad,” Torres says. This year, a new state law will hold parents of gang members accountable for their children’s actions. The law will allow juvenile court judges to send gang parents to parenting classes.

Torres thinks the law will be a good wake up call to some moms and dads. “I think parents, they don’t know what they are doing. Most of them they’re working all day and they don’t know what the kids are doing,” she says. The new law will also force parents to meet face to face with the families who have lost loved ones to gang violence.

“It’s a good idea because it will get parents to be more responsible for their kids actions,” says Martin Medina, a father in Santa Barbara with his kids. The parenting program will be funded by requiring parents to pay for the classes. The law also allows juvenile court judges to dismiss the costs for families with extreme financial difficulties.

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One Response to “New Law Can Order Parents Of Young Gang Members To Attend Parenting Classes”

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