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In Michigan, the Eastpointe City Council voted unanimously to approve an ordinance to hold parents personally accountable for minor crimes their children commit.
For the first offense, parents will receive a warning. First misdemeanor convictions come with fines up to $500 and serving up to 30 days in jail. Second misdemeanor convictions involve parents spending up to 93 days in jail, along with being fined up to $500.
“A judge also has the right to order parenting classes and counseling for families” (The Detroit News).
The Macomb Daily said the Eastpointe police chief was “disturbed at the number of parents or guardians who shrug off the fact that their child has been caught with dangerous weapons or stolen goods.”
“This obviously gives us another tool in dealing with parents that don’t want to take responsibility,” the chief said. “If it saves one family from a life of crime, then it’s worth it” (The Detroit News).
A city council member assured that jail time and fines would be used in rare cases in which parents refuse to take responsibility for their children.
Numerous Michigan communities—Dearborn, Detroit, Royal Oak, St. Clair Shores, Taylor and Warren, for example—have similar ordinances.