Parents can help stop youth crime

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 4, 2006

Teenagers are impressionable. They&8217;re trying so hard to be adults &8212; and they don&8217;t always have the best role models to follow.

Teens getting into trouble is not a new problem, but sometimes drinking and fighting leads to brawls or vandalism leads to breaking and entering andtheft.

When their behavior goes from bad to criminal, teens run the risk of carrying that behavior into adulthood.

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There are plenty of adults in the Miss-Lou who are looking to stem the problem of juvenile crime.

Programs like the Adolescent Offender Program in Adams County and Think Tank in Concordia Parish give teens a chance to turn things around before they become adult offenders.

And those programs have been successful, teaching youth that they have other alternatives and opportunities to change their lives.

But law enforcement officers and youth court and drug court officials on both sides of the river say the same thing: Parents must be involved.

It&8217;s not easy, especially in a world when most households have both parents working or just have one parent.

But no one ever said parenting was easy. It is, as Concordia Parish Sheriff Randy Maxwell said, one of the biggest challenges we face.

But parents must do their job &8212; or their children run the risk of being parented through a jail cell.