Many crimes and social problems are caused by children. Nowadays, it is common for children to involve in underage vandalism, drug-dealing and bullying. Even more, there are some children who are proven to be involved in major crimes such as robbery, beatings and torture, or even murder and rape. According to Badan Pusat Statistik, the number of criminal acts committed by children have reached up to 7762 cases in 2015 and most of the doer are adolescents, Utami (2016). Adolescents are anyone who are in developmental stage of childhood. At this time, adolescents are equivalent with the words “teens” that are related to people who are in puberty period. World Health Organization defines adolescents as person between ages 10 and 19, Csikszentmihalyi (2018). It shows that adolescents are also in school age that still need a guidance from their parents. Therefore, because of many criminal cases are caused by adolecents, I believe that parents should legally responsible for their children’s crime.
Talking about adolescence, this children development stage is stage that still needs parental supervision. Unfortunately, there are many adolescents who have not gotten parental supervision either morally or ethically. Many criminal offenders who are classified as adolescents have dared to commit major crimes like persecution and murder. For example, a recent case in Madura regarding a death of teacher as a result of being persecuted by his students. From the case above, it can not be denied if parents will be the first spotlight when their children are involved in a criminal cases. In addition, most criminal cases are committed by adolescents whose parents do not care with their children. Overall, child maltreatment appeared to be a risk factor for more serious delinquency such as assaults, but not lesser forms of delinquency, such as underage drinking, National Insititute of Justice (2011). They might get a complex problem in their school or their social, but they cannot tell and share with their close family.
This kind of problem can be the cause of children in committing a criminal act as the way to excite their emotions. In this cases, their parents as their close family should be aware of their adolescent children’s act. If their children hurt others either intentionally or not, the responsibility of the victims remains on perpetrator’s parents. We can see in Abdul Qadir Jaelani’s case, that although appointed as a suspect for an accident that occurred in Jagorawi Toll, Dul was released from criminal penalty. The court ordered that Ahmad Dhani\’s youngest son be returned to his parents. That decision is similar with Ani Yudhoyono who stated that Children’s error is the responsibility of their parents, Kompas (2013). Therefore, since there is no information that says about children’s age limit to be responsible with their own action, naturally their parents as their supervisor must be liable toward their children.
Regardless, giving punishment is still not proven can make deterrent effect for the perpetrator. Even the jail often can be a good school to be a criminals because they will mingle with various convict with different crime cases. Up to now, there is no spesific information that says about the age limit of the adolescents to be responsible for his own actions. Therefore, parents have a duty of controlling that their children bahave properly according their age. We cannot determine what penalty that are appropriate to make adolescent perpetrators feel guilty for their criminal actions. Since children still have sensitive sense, when their parents will take responsibilities of their action, so they will be more careful and really think before doing getting into trouble.
On the other hand, adolescents today are more independent. They often learn to take care of themselves by making their own decisions. Besides, even though they are from good family, we cannot guarantee whether they will be involved in a crime cases or not. And moreover, it would be unfair if the punishment is given to the parents that actually have tried hard in educating their adolescent children. When adolescent children are required to responsible with their own actions, they will learn to be really responsible for themselves before they reach adulthood. Since they grow up, they will be able to direct themselves in making a decisions as an option in their life.
In conclusion, even though parents cannot control their children all the time, they still have responsibility to raise their children by giving intensive guidance. When they doing something wrong, this is where supervisior and guidance for adolescents must be maximized. It cannot be denied that parents should consider that their chidren’s act is represent their behaviour. So that’s why, parents should legally responsible with their children’s crime to avoid criminal cases that caused by adolescents children.