There's a push among some of our state's Youth Court judges to make parenting classes mandatory for parents of arrested youth.
Newly appointed Hinds County Youth Court Judge Bill Skinner is one of several judges who like the idea. The judges will ask lawmakers to draft new legislation giving them leeway to make parenting classes mandatory. At least one hour a week for one month.
They want to be able to hold parents of incarcerated youth responsible for coming to the classes. And hold them in contempt of court if they don't show up.
Hinds County Resource Officer Claude McInnis has been teaching a non-mandatory class for years.
"We offer parenting to say 20 people. We get about 45% participation rate, we'd like to have that up to 80-90%," he says. "The way to do that is to have some way of another the Court say you need to go to parenting..."
McInnis says many parents of incarcerated youth don't know the basics about discipline or being role models for their children.