Youth Curfews: Protection or Punishment
Should teens have a night curfew? Over the past several years, in order to reduce juvenile crime and protect teenagers’ security, youth curfews are widely used in the United States. More than 300 towns have passed the local curfew laws which provide local police and authority the power to order young people under 18years old to stay at home during specific hours unless supervised by a responsible adult (Raymond, 2010). For example, in one of the towns, people under 18 have a curfew from 11:00 p.
m. to daybreak. In recent years, the idea of allowing governments establish curfew laws for teens has become a controversial issue in our society. Even though some people believe that youth curfews violate teens’ rights, including freedom of peaceful assembly and the right to travel, there is a great deal of evidence showing that establishing youth curfews can reduce teens’ crime rates, protect vulnerable children and create a safer community. (THESIS STATEMENT) To begin with, youth curfews can reduce major juvenile crime rates such as violence, drug and alcohol abuse by keeping young people off streets (TOPIC SENTENCE).
People opposed to youth curfews argue that curfews do not actually work. They indicate that there is no direct link between juvenile crime and the enforcement of youth curfew laws. Actually, being in the street or in unsupervised locations late at night often expose teens to drug and alcohol abuse. Several statistics show that most teen crimes and drug abuse often take place between 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. One of the illegal drugs that are widely used among young people is called club-drug. Many youths at the age of 12 to 17 have used this drug at night clubs (Samhsa, 2011).
Most of the young people could become addicted to drugs and alcohol if they frequently use them. Consequently, forcing teens at home will reduce the chances for them to enter night clubs or to experiment with illegal drugs. Furthermore, such an argument ignores the fact that in some cities where curfews have been instituted in the last several years have reported significant drops in teens’ violence crime rates. Sgt. Jim Chandler, a police spokesman, explains that “In Dallas, where a curfew took effect in May 1994 for all youths under the age of 17, violent crimes by juveniles have decreased by 30.3 percent and overall juvenile crime is down by 20.7 percent, compared with the two years before the ordinance began” (Butterfield, 1996). Clearly, the curfews in Dallas have been effective. As a result, establishing youth curfews is an effective way to reduce teen’s crime rates. (CONCLUSION BODY 1) Secondly, youth curfews can help protect vulnerable children who might be victimized. (TOPIC SENTENCE). Opponents argue that curfews restrict youths’ freedom. They advocate that teenagers have legitimate reasons being in the street at night. However, youth curfews are not meant to harm or punish young people but are aimed to protect them from becoming victims. Official statistics indicate that most young people face a much greater risk of victimization than older people. In the United Kingdom, almost one in four children at the age of 10 to 15 has been a victim of crime in the past year. Most incidents occur during the evening hours (6:p.m. to 6:00 a.m.). Most serious crimes take place after 6:00 p.m.; less serious crimes, before 6:00 p.m.
Thus, it’s very dangerous for kids to stay out at night, go to public places, and hang out in places where crime is most likely to occur (One, 2010). If juveniles are confined to their homes during curfew hours, they cannot be victimized by public crime. Moreover, curfews help overloaded parents who are not able to supervise their children to keep them at home. Also to protect neglected teens whose parents play little or no role in their lives. Bodenhamer, a community crime consultant in Portland, Ore., reports that “Curfew laws are one of the most dependable, least intrusive methods to identify and help children from the neglectful and chaotic families that produce most of the nation’s young criminals” (Bodenhamer, 1996). This again demonstrates the effectiveness of curfews. In brief, in order to protect young people from being victimized, it is necessary to set a time limitation for those impressionable youngsters to return home based on their age. (CONCLUSION BODY 2) Last but not least, curfew can help promote a safer community by stopping juvenile gang activities at night. Some people believe that youth curfews infringe upon the individual rights and liberties of young people. However, freedoms are usually deserved by fulfilling obligations. Many young people disregard their responsibilities to keep communities peaceful. For instance, gang activities seriously terrorize communities in cities. Many teen gangs get together to fight against rival gang members and to force unfortunate neighbors. If local policies can be instructed to impose juvenile curfews, the curfews will bring some order and safety to a community and its inhabitants. As an example, during the summer of 1993, violence was extremely dangerous in Hartford, Connecticut where many residents are afraid to leave their home or let their children go out at night.
The two largest gangs shot innocent bystanders when they attacked and murdered opponent gang members. In September, 1993, the local authorities implemented a citywide curfew that banned teenagers under eighteen-year-old from street after nine o’clock at night; otherwise their parents would be penalized. The Hartford’s residents explained that the curfew laws have brought them a safer environment (Juvenile, 1994). Furthermore, there is several statistics show that youth curfews are beneficial to residents who live in cities of United States.
According to Jordan C. Budd, the author of Fall 1999 Human Right Magazine, “A 1994 survey of 300 adult residents in Cincinnati revealed that 92 percent supported the city’s juvenile curfew, 72 percent agreed that the curfew made them feel safer, and 87 percent believed that the curfew helped control delinquency” (Budd, 2011). As we can see, curfews are supported by communities. All in all, it is evident that youth curfews can help to create a safer community. (CONCLUSION BODY 3) In conclusion, youth curfews can successfully decrease youth crime, keep youngsters safe and make publics more secure. Firstly, establishing curfews during specific times can effectively reduce youth crime rates. Secondly, keeping vulnerable youths off the public place can save them from being victimized. Lastly, youth curfew policies can provide community with safety by reducing juvenile violence. If we do not establish youth curfew laws, the crime rates will continue increase, more and more children will be victimized in streets, and communities will constantly be terrified by unruly youth gangs. Therefore, I believe that juvenile curfews are well worth a try.
Budd, J. (2011). In Fall 1999 Human Rights Magazine . Retrieved March 13, 2011, from http://www.americanbar.org/publications/human_rights_magazine_home/irr_hr_fall99humanrights_budd.html Butterfield, F. (1996, June 3). In Successes Reported for Curfews, but Doubts Persist. Retrieved March 11, 2011, from http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C01E3DC1F39F930A35755C0A960958260&pagewanted=all Bodenhamer, G. (1996, July 23). In Curfew Laws Benefit the Children of Neglect. Retrieved March 21, 2011, from http://www.nytimes.com/1996/07/25/opinion/l-curfew-laws-benefit-the-children-of-neglect-010260.html (1994). In Juvenile Curfews and Gang Violence: Exiled on Main StreetJuvenile Curfews and Gang Violence: Exiled on Main Street. Retrieved March 21, 2011, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/1341824 Raymond, S. (2010, September 23). In Golden Gate University Law Review. Retrieved March 30, 2011, from http://digitalcommons.law.ggu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1785&context=ggulrev&sei-redir=1#search=”youth+curfews+are+widely+used+in+the+United+State.+More+than+300+towns+have+passed+the+local+curfew+laws Samhsa, . (2011). In Youth and Their Use of Illegal Drugs. Retrieved March 11, 2011, from http://www.enotalone.com/854-2.html (2010, June 17). In One in four children is ‘victim of crime’. Retrieved March 21, 2011, from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/7834746/One-in-four-children-is-victim-of-crime.html
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Should teens have a night curfew?. (2016, Sep 03). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/should-teens-have-a-night-curfew/