City of South Fulton considers new law against bad parenting - CBS46 News

City of South Fulton considers new law against bad parenting

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SOUTH FULTON, Ga. (CBS46) -

Parents of misbehaving children beware. If your kids are caught breaking the law, you could find yourself in jail, right alongside them.

A new law being considered in the City of South Fulton would give mothers and fathers of juvenile delinquents a $100 fine, up to 30 days in jail, and a misdemeanor on their criminal history that says "Unaccountable Parent."

People at the community feedback meeting, Monday, told CBS46 they know parents who could use this extra motivation to keep an eye on their kids.

Councilwoman Helen Willis says part of the reason she wants to introduce this law for a vote in February is because, too often, she sees juveniles released to custody of their parents after committing serious crimes, with no guarantee they'll be punished at home.

We asked Willis if the law could end up having the opposite effect, encouraging parents to hide or ignore their child's crimes for fear of ending up in jail themselves.  Willis said parents who cooperate with police and show the court they are trying to get help for their children will not be prosecuted.

"This ordinance is for the parents who don't do anything. It's not for parents who pick up the phone or cooperate with the police because their child violated the law. This does not apply to those types of parents," said Councilwoman Willis.

She also added, parents will receive a series of extra chances before being slapped with jail time, in the form of crisis intervention, family counseling, parenting classes, and job skills training.  Jail time will only be given in situations where the parent fails to take in part in those programs.

The law targets the custodial parent only, so parents who are paying child support or are otherwise out of the picture will not be at risk for receiving this punishment.

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