Are Curfews Fair to Juveniles?
Cities across the United States have imposed curfews on juveniles for many years. Teen curfew laws restrict the hours that juveniles may be on the streets or in public places at night (Sutphen and Ford). Some people consider curfews infringing on people’s constitutional rights. Curfews are hard to implement by law enforcement, and, in fact, take law enforcement away from more serious crimes. More crimes occur during daytime hours and more children are victimized in their homes than on the streets. Although curfews are made to protect our juveniles and to deter crime by juveniles, does imposing these curfews violate the juvenile’s civil rights and target the true underlying problems involved in enforcing these issues?
People have a right to personal freedoms, including juveniles, but curfews take away some personal freedoms of juveniles. A 16-year-old en route to a fast-food restaurant is stopped and questioned five times, by five different police officers (Davidson). Even though this teen had no intension of any mischief, he or she was stopped five times. When a juvenile transitions from a child to an adult they are required to take on more responsibilities, curfews limit them as they make the transition into adulthood. This hinders the juvenile from making adult decisions. Youth curfews use the idea of childhood based on innocence/ignorance, passivity and dependence, in order to prevent young people from crossing the boundary into adulthood before society deems them ready (O'Neil). Most parents want the freedom to choose how to raise their children and what values they want to instill in their children. If the state leaves guidance in the hands of the parents, they can monitor their child’s development and gradually increase her liberty and responsibility by allowing her to experience new situations and to make choices as she develops into an adult (Assessing the Scope if Minors' Fundamental Rights: Juvenile Curfews and the...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document