Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials; Reference Materials - General
The rise of parental responsibility statutes creates tension between the state's duty to respect the integrity of the family and the duty to protect children and the best interests of society. Yet, there is an ever-growing belief that something must be done to reverse the trend of juvenile crime. Parental responsibility laws have emerged as an answer; statutes that impose a penalty for contributing to the delinquency of a child now exists in 42 states. South Dakota's statutes regarding contributing to delinquency and truancy are examined. Although state parental responsibility laws vary greatly, they share the goal of reducing juvenile delinquency by making parents responsible for their children's actions. Often overlooked is the inadequate housing, poor health care, substandard educational opportunities, and other material and emotional deficiencies that may underlie the delinquency. In these circumstances, imprisonment may mean breaking up the family and reducing stability, and fines may mean taking money that would have been available for the sustenance of the child and family. (TS)
1 - Available on microfiche
South Dakota Legislative Research Council, Pierre.