France plans to punish ‘failing’ parents whose children commit crimes: ‘Clearly an issue of authority to be restored’

France, beset by roving gangs of destructive youths, is planning on punishing parents who fail to keep their children in line.

Aurore Bergé, French minister of solidarity and families,
revealed in a recent interview with La Tribune that the government will require “failing” parents whose children engage in criminality to perform community service and make financial amends.

France, presently on its fifth wavering republic since 1792, is also establishing a commission aimed at helping citizens “meet the challenges of parenthood.” The commission will be co-chaired by psychiatrist Serge Hefez, head of the family therapy unit at the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris, and Hélène Roques, a specialist on youth issues.

Bergé stressed over the weekend that “parents cannot be forgotten by our public policies. We need them, we have to deal with them. And it is on them that I want to rely as Minister of Solidarity and Families.”

The French minister noted that these measures are a response, not to the recent
anti-white mass stabbing perpetrated by a gang of young men, but rather to the summer race riots, which proved to be almost as destructive as the 2020 BLM riots in the United States.

In June, Nahel Merbouz, a 17-year-old motorist of Algerian and Moroccan heritage,
reportedly flouted the demands of police to stop his rental vehicle after driving recklessly. After Merbouz ran a red light, he got stuck in traffic, enabling police to catch up with him. When the police leaned on his rental car and ordered him to stop, Merbouz elected instead to veer forward, prompting a lethal response from one of the officers.

Following the police-involved shooting, multitudes of Algerians and other French residents took to the streets to protest, pillage, and riot.

Hundreds of bank branches and thousands of stores were robbed. Thousands of vehicles were torched. Some buildings that survived the worst of World War II were reduced to rubble. One of the country’s biggest libraries, full of cultural artifacts and millions of books, was burned to the ground. Hundreds of police were injured.

Justice Minister Eric Dupont-Moretti
indicated on the first night of the riots that 30% of those detained by police were under the age of 18.

“We all remember the images of these mothers going out into the street in the evening to collect their children and put them back on the right path,” said Bergé. “But it is striking to note that 30% of the rioters were minors and that 60% of them grew up in so-called single-parent families.”

“We cannot focus on parenting only in the face of crises,” continued Bergé. “The whole of society must take it on board.”

The minister pressed the issue of absentee fathers, noting that fatherhood “can’t just be about child support! Society has ended up accepting the fact that women take on certain tasks with children alone. A couple can separate but the family still lives: You don’t leave your children.”

The absence of a father in the household has long been
understood to be a robust predictor of community levels of violence. A 2022 study published in the Journal of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology indicated that the likelihood of juvenile delinquency increases significantly when children are born and raised in single-parent households. This is especially true of children who grow up with only a biological mother.

As of 2016, an estimated 23% of French families with children under 18 were single-parent families. That figure appears to be climbing, having hit 25% in 2020.

Bergé noted that there is “clearly an issue of authority to be restored” and that it is neither “old-fashioned nor reactive to say so.”

“Setting a framework, defining rules, embodying authority is for the benefit of our children,” added the minister.

While the French government does not want to come across as “paternalizing or infantilizing,” the family minister made clear that parents who fail to discipline their children will in turn be disciplined.

The Sunday Times
reported that France already has laws in place allowing for the conviction of parents who fail to “fulfill their legal obligations … to the extent of compromising the health, safety, morality and education of their child.” Those found guilty could face up to two years in prison and a fine of roughly $32,254.

However, the initiative teased by Bergé, which builds on the suggestion of French parliamentarian Lionel Royer-Perreaut, will now have “failing parents” engage in community service tasks such as restoring public monuments, gardening, repairing vandalized buildings, and helping the elderly,
reported the Sunday Times.

Extra to community service, the parents of children found guilty of damages will be required to make a financial contribution to a victims’ association. Parents who fail to attend their children’s hearings will also be fined.

Extra to penalizing negligent parents, France is looking to provide additional benefits to families and incentives to couples who might wish to have children.

“The family is the pillar of our society; today we clearly affirm it,” concluded Bergé.

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