Mendoza’s Assembly bill would expand violations for which parents must take anti-gang classes

Assemblymember Tony Mendoza’s bill, which clarifies the intent of the Parental Accountability Act (2007) by expanding the violations for which parents may be sentenced to take anti-gang parenting classes, received bi-partisan concurrence on Senate amendments in the Assembly Monday with a vote of 66-0. The legislation is now headed to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk awaiting signature.
AB 177 increases the circumstances in which a minor’s parent or guardian may be ordered to take anti-gang parenting classes beyond a minor’s first gang-related adjudication to include where the court finds factors that may indicate gang involvement on the part of the minor or where the court finds the presence of significant risk factors for gang membership. Acts of vandalism, possession of illegal substances and disorderly conduct are a few circumstances that could elicit such an order from a judge.
“I authored this bill to provide parents and guardians a place where they can learn about the warning signs of their children’s potential involvement with gangs before it is too late,” Mendoza said. “Minor acts of delinquency are like gateway activities for gang involvement. Usually, children begin with small acts of rebellion like vandalism, skipping classes repeatedly, joy riding. These things may seem minor to some but can lead to more trouble later on.”

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