Parents of Gang Members Sentenced to School

Meredith Carroll
December 13th, 2010

A new law in California gives judges the option of sending parents back to school for training when their kids are convicted of gang-related crimes for the first time.

However, a new report suggests the parents in question aren’t thrilled with the court ordered classes. Moms and dads in neighborhoods rife with gang activity often work more than one job and struggle to stay current with rent and bills, which can mean they spend less time with their kids, who can in turn become too easily tempted by the sense of family frequently provided by a gang.

Going back to school on a Saturday to hear about the perils of drug use and the other inherent dangers of life on the streets isn’t how many apathetic or just plain busy parents want to be spending their days off, particularly if they don’t have cars and are forced to travel long distances to get to the few schools that currently offer the mandatory classes.

The Parent Accountability Act went into effect last January, but due to budget cuts, only started rolling out into classrooms over the past month, and only in Los Angeles County, which has about 80,000 gang members. Eventually the classes will spread to the rest of the state.

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