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Parental Involvement In The Youth Criminal Justice System In Western Canada

943 words - 4 pages

Summary of Context
In their article Doug Hillian and Marge Reitsma- Street examines parents’ involvement in the youth criminal justice system in Western Canada. Their study was conducting on ten Caucasian families nine of which were middle and upper middle class, with sons, involved in the Juvenile Criminal Justice System. The study was to determine the parents place in the judicial system, which appears to make it more arduous for parents, attempting to deal with the difficult task of parenting young offenders, while navigating a system, which labels, blames, and assumes that as parents they are unfit, irresponsible, and uncaring.
Hillian and Reitsma argues if one starts with the conceptual approaches to youth justice, parents are usually missing. When parents are added, there are different ideas about what can be expected of them, where they can fit, and what support there should be. However, in crime control approaches, there are high expectation of parents and punishments if they do not parent well and their children break laws.
Hillian and Reitsma examine every possible aspect of the issues, such as judicial systemic problems, probation officers, and other law official’s personal bias, and beliefs surrounding parental involvement. The apparent intrinsic argument of the judicial system, in addition to societal, is that parents can, should, and will care for and control their children, bringing them up to be law-abiding citizens. Hillian and Reitma attempted to demystify the assumption by examining the parent’s perspective of their experience with the judicial system, chronicling five apparent themes: Stress and loss, hard work, limited support, system constraints, and restricted parental participation. Each theme personified the emotional and psychological undertaking of each parent’s painstaking attempt to work with the juvenile justice system. Hillian and Reitsma’s narrative summary of the parent’s experience provided the necessary and appropriate information to implement and facilitate changes in the juvenile justice system and other collaborating entities.
Quote - Thesis
Consequently, Hillian and Reitsma’s concluding statement “This provision holds the seeds of a promising conceptualization of a broader understanding of the work that adults in a community, including parents, need to do and usually want to do to ensure responsible care for their young people”. They assume that committees, such as the Youth Justice Committees, which they referenced “may take on the function ensuring that community support is available to the young person.” With no implicit hint or suggestion of parental inclusion, it appears the yet again the main component the parents are excluded. However, there appears to be an underlined presumption that parent will and/or must get involved, re-enforcing...

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