The Child Curfew Debate

Topics: Law, Crime, Criminology Pages: 5 (1933 words) Published: April 17, 2008
A long time ago the area now known as our home, the United States of America, got discovered. This unearthing of new ground eventually brought about hope for many individuals seeking a new and diverse life. By the mid to late 1800s America attracted many Europeans. These immigrants strived for an opportunity to make a living with great possibilities, and without negative government interference. Anyone would consider it an understatement to claim that America, during this time, contained great hope for the future of its inhabitance. After all, America’s founding purpose comes from one key element in general, freedom. The very first Americans came here in hopes to evade their current government and its laws discriminating religion. In general, America allowed for a place where government meant “the people” and it focused on the people. Choice, opportunity, and freewill backboned America. Has America remained the grounds for freedom? Some may believe so, but are they really looking into the element of what freedom portrays? Freedom in America has become skewed and inappropriately redefined by our government. The importance of government of any great country remains vital, but the purpose of it should continue to serve the people, not deprive them of their rights. Child curfew laws are one distinct way that our freedom has diminished. Adolescents and teens need help and supervision, but not from the government. Not all teens are alike and not all teens need the same rules. We all struggle in diverse ways and our young Americans need assistant in deciding what they need from their parents or guardians, not necessarily the government. There are many opposing views on the basis of child curfew laws. The main purpose of the curfew ordinance strives to reduce adolescent crime. This idea generates positive ideas in thought and theory; but the problem continues to remain. Child curfews do not seem to lower this crime rate. Research in the United States revealed no link between areas with child curfew and their crime rate. The majority of child crime happens from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m., which has no foreseeable relationship with a child curfew. The areas that see the most improvement are areas with zero-tolerance policing and other similar strategies. The 14th Amendment of the United States says that no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; this should apply to local government also. Cites and towns should not have the authority to take away privileges of citizens solely based in fear of unforeseeable crimes. They are taking away a right of all citizens for crimes that have not even been committed yet. Crime prevention attracts a lot of good ideas, but punishing innocent kids with a curfew in exchange for theorized crime prevention just sounds ironically juvenile. A friend of mine and his experience will help plead this case. Andy drove home from my house one Saturday night; we currently attended Northwood High school at the time. Andy left my house just after one o’clock. While driving home a police officer pulled him over. The officer walked up to Andy’s car and asked for his license and registration. The officer commented that Andy violated curfew and that he had no reason to roam this late. The officer proceeded to his car. After about ten minutes the officer came back with an issued curfew violation. Andy never really even knew this law existed. I know this event caused him to view law enforcement in a different way than he previously did. This way of trying to prevent crime is unnecessary and ineffective. In most cases it causes the victim to feel a bit of hostility towards the government, because it allows unjust laws to get passed. Most child curfew laws originated over in Europe. However, some countries are starting to realize just how unfair these laws really are. In 2005, a boy from South London got accused of...
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