Sunday, March 6, 2011

Wise Policy or Stunt? Ballard's Plan to Crackdown on Parents for Kids' Actions Raises Questions

Mayor Greg Ballard is getting national attention for his plan to hold parents accountable for the actions of their children. His comments to Fox and Friends make me wonder about the proposal or if this is an election year stunt.

Listen to Mayor Ballard's take...

After listening to this, a couple of red flags go up. The reporter from Fox asks a couple of good questions, and the Mayor obliges with some weak answers. Ballard said, "We aren't going to use this routinely."

That begs the question, when is the city going to use this? If you don't use it routinely on all young people and all parents, then it opens you up for calls of controversy when you do decided to utilize it. That could even extend to the decision to use it during certain times or events.

Secondly, the Fox reporter asks the Mayor what happens if parents can't pay. The Mayor essentially deflects the question. It's a good question to ask. Do we then take that next step and jail parents if they can't pay the fine? What happens, Mr. Mayor?

All-in-all, this smacks to me of an initiative that cannot truly be enforced if it's not enforced uniformly and fairly and I just don't see how IMPD is going to have the manpower to do it.

It's a good idea on paper, but, in practice, I think it's a political stunt.


Indy Student said...

The Indiana Constitution specifically outlaws debtor's prisons. You can't be sent to prison for not paying a debt, even if it's a debt owed to the government. A couple judges over the past year or two have tried to send people to jail for not paying court fees, but the ACLU of Indiana freaked out over it and rightfully put a stop to that practice.

From what I understand, any charges arising from this statue would be civil, not criminal.

What I found interesting is I believe Ballard said he had instructed the county prosecutor to carry this out. Has Curry talked publicly about this yet?

Paul K. Ogden said...

You can't jail parents if they don't can't pay. The U.S. doesn't have debtor's prison. Now if they can pay and don't, that's another story.

I think legally there might be some problem holding parents legally responsible for things their children have done.

Jon E. Easter said...

Ballard has said the city prosecutor, Helen Marchal, would handle these things. I didn't know the city had a prosecutor, though!

Anonymous said...

Recently my wife and I went to Castleton Mall with our two young kids on a Saturday night.

I was shocked to see the number of unsurprised kids ages 10-18 hanging out at the mall. It was disturbing to see kids, just a few years older than my daughter & son, dressed like street walkers and hoods just looking for trouble.

Mayor Ballard is addressing a real problem after the Black Expo and recent Circle Center shootings when kids are set to roam unsupervised,(some with guns)looking for some excitement and trouble.

These parents and guardians need an early wake up call before their kids get injured, killed, pregnant, or arrested just out of neglect.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with Mayor Ballard using his position to demand that an adults take responsibility for their kids welfare and supervision.

WTLC's Amos Brown is trying to say blacks are being targeted unfairly. Baloney, he has seen the problem first hand at the Black Expo and at the mall on Friday or Saturday nights. He knows the city demographics and crime statistics better than most, yet he is the first to be a defender and excuse giver for poor behaviors of unsupervised kids and thier careless parents and guardians.

Parents that rely upon Mall Security, Police, & Child Protective Services as a replacement for responsible parenting need to be set staight before it is too late.