U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Parental Responsibility and Juvenile Delinquency: A Comparative Analysis of Laws in New York and Other States

NCJ Number
Sharon Lansing
Date Published
15 pages
This report compares New York State's laws with other States' laws regarding parents' responsibility for the delinquency of their children.
Specifically, this report examines laws that govern four aspects of parental responsibility with respect to delinquency: parental liability for failing to adequately supervise a child; parental participation in a child's post-adjudication rehabilitation program; parental liability for property damage or injury caused by a child's delinquent act; and parental liability for the costs of a child's post-adjudication rehabilitation program. The report discusses possible substantive and technical amendments to State law that have the potential to enhance and clarify laws regarding parental responsibility when a child is adjudicated a juvenile delinquent or is convicted as a juvenile offender. The construction of the suggested amendments is guided by a comparative analysis that contrasts New York State laws with corresponding parental responsibility laws in other States, as well as a review of research on the effect of parental participation in a child's rehabilitation program. The analyses are intended to assist New York State policymakers in determining whether and to what extent New York State parental responsibility laws should be amended. Guidance is offered on how particular legislative objectives might be achieved. 17 notes and an appended table of the features of State parental responsibility laws