According to “Juvenile Delinquency,” under the parens patriae philosophy, minors who engage in extralegal behavior are viewed as victims of improper care, custody and treatment at home (Siegel, Welsh, Senna 16). The concept of parens patriae explains the state’s duty to protect minor children who lack proper care and custody from their parents. The occurrence of minor illegal behavior is a sign that the state should intervene. Before more serious crimes are committed, these youths should be taken care of by the state. The best interest of the minor should be at hand. Instead of being punished for their wrong doing they should be treated and steered in the right direction, away from crime. “Under the parens patriae philosophy, delinquent acts are not considered criminal violations and delinquents are not considered “criminals”.” (Siegel, Welsh, Senna 18) In thirteen year old Emily’s case, she is malnourished and in poor physical condition. She misses school too frequently and is often late for class. To top this all off she is severely beaten at home. Emily states that her parents severely punish her for doing poor in school and failing to help out at home. Emily’s parents admitted to severely punishing their daughter for her “misdeeds”.They claim to be members of a religious order that believes in this severe punishment of their children. To correct her misbehavior, Emily was placed on a restricted diet and even beaten with a bel by her parents. The influence of religion has an ongoing contribution to several different forms of child abuse around the world. In reality, an innocent child’s life can be turned into a complete nightmare solely because of the religion they practice. Although many people feel religion is perfect, we need to come to terms with the fact that it is far from perfect. Religion can be extremely harmful to children in society today. If we do not stop the abuse connected to religion, the children of today will most likely go on to abuse
Cited: Herbert Packer. “Which Model? Crime Control or Due Process.” 22 April 2011
Petersen, Rebecca D, “Understanding Contemporary Gangs In America.” New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2004.
Senna, Joseph J. Siegel, Larry J. Welsh, Brandon C. “Juvenile Delinquency” Thomson Wadsworth. 2003.