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Should Parents Be Held Responsible for Their Children's Crimes: Essay

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Having established that poor parenting is the main cause of youth crime it is now important to identify the main way to prevent crime. This aim will highlight the main ways to prevent youth crime as early intervention, tackling poverty and inequality, and improving the care system. It is evident that improving poverty and inequality will have the most drastic effect on tackling youth crime and ensuring more youths are kept safe and away from offending. Overall, this aim will highlight that tackling poverty and inequality is the most important way of preventing youth crime while all play a key role.

Youths can go through hardships in their lives that can lead them to commit crimes, these can affect them at different stages of their lives through those that are born or grow up in poverty before they release are exposed to crime, therefore tackling poverty and inequality is the pest prevention of youth crime. Ex-chief constable of Merseyside Andy Cooke said The best crime prevention is increased opportunity and reduced poverty. That`s the best way to reduce crime. So there needs to be substantial funding for the infrastructure of our inner cities and our more deprived areas. This is clearly showing that first hand a police officer thinks that the best way to prevent crime is to reduce poverty and inequality. He is enforcing that there needs to be more money put into helping those in poverty as being in a more disadvantaged area is predisposing you to commit crime as you may not have the money to pay bills or purchase food which will resort in crime for survival. Figures in agree with the fact that poverty needs to be tackled in order to reduce youth crime. It can be seen from press releases that three-quarters of the boroughs in with the highest levels of violent offending are also in the top 10 most deprived, while the same boroughs also have higher proportions of children under 20 living in poverty than the average. This is clear evidence that links the fact that those living in more deprived areas have higher violent offending rates. A way that many are wanting to reduce the youth offending rate is by expanding after-school services, this is following the fact that many incidents for those ages 10-16 happen after the school day was complete, this meaning that having after-school care could prevent some of these incidents. Another strategy that is hoped to be put in place is to deal with domestic violence and the fact that those who are experiencing this should receive some extra support to help them through. The following figures show 13% of serious youth violence victims are victims of domestic violence, and evidence of the link between involvement in violence and children witnessing violence in the home. This is clearly shown that more support for those who are experiencing domestic violence at home, could help lower offending rates, this is because with a large number of the youth violent crimes being related to seeing violence in the home, trying to tackle this would have a positive knock-on effect to the youths. The Edinburgh Study of Youth Transitions and Crime has followed around 4,300 young people moving from childhood to adulthood, Lesley McAra and Susan McVie argue that systems of youth justice, far from tackling violence and lifting young people out of poverty, serve instead to entrench them in it. The study showed that poverty had a significant effect on young people`s possibility to engage in violence at age 15, even when controlling for the effects of a range of other factors known to influence violent behavior like poor family functioning, lack of attachment to school, and substance misuse. On the other hand, it looked at factors that could be preventative of crime such as a strong and positive relationship with parents. And yet they still found that young people living in a family where the head of the household was unemployed or in low-status manual employment, and those growing up in a community scarred by high levels of deprivation, are significantly more likely to engage in violence. However, it can be seen that youths from more wealthy backgrounds also commit crimes. Param Sharma who was 18 years old from California went from Instagram’s richest teen to living life in prison for committing the act of selling stolen iPhones online. He was given a 90-day sentence and was put in Santa Rita prison. This is showing that those from privileged backgrounds also do wrong and commit crimes, this means that we cannot state that just improving poverty and inequality will help youth crime as not everyone who has committed a crime is affected by poverty. Overall it is clear that tackling poverty and inequality is the most important factor in looking at preventing youth crime, this is because the Edinburgh Study of Youth Transitions and Crime found that poverty had a significant and direct effect on young people`s possibility to engage in violence at age 15, even when controlling for the effects of a range of other factors known to influence violent behavior, however, it was slightly less useful as young people that are not in poverty also commit a crime. Overall, it is clear that tackling poverty and inequality is the most significant factor in trying to prevent youth crime.

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It is important to tackle crime early in order for the best chance to prevent it, early intervention is an important response in trying to stop youth crime. Early intervention is the process of providing support to children and young people who are at risk of poor outcomes and tackling the problems they face before they become worse. Early intervention can take different forms, from school-based programs to improve children`s social and emotional skills, to mentoring schemes for young people who are vulnerable to involvement in the crime. If early intervention is tackled in the right way it can benefit not only the young person but their family and community as a whole. These different types of early intervention will benefit different people in different ways and it is important to analyze the young person and their situation carefully before deciding what is best for them and their situation. One form of early intervention is Behavioural parent training (BPT) which teaches parents to be consistent in reinforcing helpful behavior and punishing or ignoring hostile or uncooperative behavior. BPT is more effective in smaller and more manageable class sizes, and when aimed at parents of older young children approximately aged 10 and above. Another effective way is through Multi-dimensional Treatment Foster Care (MTFC) where young people are placed in short-term foster homes where they receive individual therapy and behavioral coaching similar to child skills training. At the same time, their parents or guardians receive weekly family therapy in which they are taught effective parenting and family management techniques. This can be beneficial in situations of poor parenting as the child is being taken away from their parent which may be beneficial if that is one of the triggers to the young person committing a crime. Both of these techniques have been seen to be effective in helping intervention and although they are challenging for those involved the end result could be life-changing for both the young person and their family. Early intervention prevents the onset of delinquent behavior and supports the development of a youth`s assets and resilience. Intervening early not only saves young lives from being wasted but also prevents the onset of adult criminal careers and reduces the likelihood of youth becoming serious and violent offenders. This is significant as it is showing the long-term impact of a good early intervention program as we are stopping these youths from offending any further in their lives this, in turn, reduces the burden of crime on society. However, there can be problems with early intervention as they can be difficult to evaluate, this is due to the fact that there are no set evaluation methods, assessing the long-term impact of early intervention can mean that there may need to be many follow-up appointments and tests over the years which can be difficult and time-consuming. This is significant as it is showing the downfall of early intervention that it can be difficult to evaluate and ensure that over a long period of time that it has had a positive impact on the young person. Overall, it is clear that early intervention plays a key role to a large extent in preventing youth crime through different types of intervention programs in the hope to help the youth offender in the hope to make their life better as they move into adulthood, this is effective though can be less effective as it is difficult to evaluate especially over a long period of time as it can be hard to get the young person back for follow up appointments. Overall. It is clear that although early intervention is an important factor in trying to prevent youth crime, tackling poverty and inequality is more important.

Improving the care system is another response that can be beneficial to a moderate extent when looking at preventing youth crime. Looked after children come into contact with the youth justice system it is 7.3% of those in the care system compared to 3% of all children and young people. This is significant in looking at improving the care system because it is showing that those who have been in the care system are more likely to come into contact with the youth justice system, this could be due to poor parenting or other factors they may have experienced but also due to their life in the care system.

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Should Parents Be Held Responsible for Their Children’s Crimes: Essay. (2023, March 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 29, 2023, from
“Should Parents Be Held Responsible for Their Children’s Crimes: Essay.” Edubirdie, 01 Mar. 2023,
Should Parents Be Held Responsible for Their Children’s Crimes: Essay. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 29 Sept. 2023].
Should Parents Be Held Responsible for Their Children’s Crimes: Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Mar 01 [cited 2023 Sept 29]. Available from:
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