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Shelby Co. parents using courts to discipline kids

10:36 AM, Nov 20, 2012   |    comments
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Shelby County Juvenile Court officials say parents are using law enforcement to discipline children, but studies show that even one day in lockup can have a lasting negative impact.

The Commercial Appeal reports that last year, about 900 youths were charged with domestic assault. The next most common charge was disorderly conduct, brought against 665 minors.

Their crimes include fights between siblings that often cause only minor injuries.  In other cases, police are called when children refuse to obey their parents' directives.

Meanwhile, Shelby County Juvenile Court officials are facing a federal mandate to reduce the number of youths who are jailed.

Rick Powell, the head of the Juvenile Detention Center, said Shelby County needs to figure out how to help parents without involving the juvenile justice system.

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