Teenage curfews are ineffective because the same way the death penalty doesn’t completely prevent crime curfews won’t prevent a teen from sneaking out and committing a crime either. That means that we’re essentially wasting money on police enforcement to make sure that teenagers are not committing crimes when studies show that if anything the crime rate has went up since more curfews were put into place. A study by researchers at the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice looked at a variety of curfews enforced throughout California from 1978 to 1996 and determined that counties that had strict curfews did not see a decrease in youth crime greater than those counties without such curfews. ” (Are Teen Curfews Effective. ” Teen Curfews Should Not Be Supported). Teenagers that are properly supervised by parents are not likely to be out in the late hours of the night, or early morning.
They will be occasionally influenced by unruly teens to join them, to go to a party, or hang out. As a teenager it’s clear that not every one of my peers are breaking curfew because they want to be out late but in many cases teenagers are out at night running from a broken home, doing their best to survive and maybe even to the point where they are in the search for food. When there is a curfew in place those teenagers running from that broken home usually know what to do to avoid police enforcement and at that point police officers are essentially pointless in that case.
None of that is unrealistic and as a country that should be more of an issue than a teenager coming home from the movies at 12:15pm. If and when the police do catch a teenager out past their curfew hour in many experiences they will just question the teenager. Many teens are running away from an abusive home. Police could be more useful by helping those runaway teenagers instead of punishing them. While it is only in certain areas that this is possible but some teenage girls and boys are out prostituting themselves in order to survive.
A curfew cannot and will not stop them from doing what they have to, in order to eat. Instead of solving problems that lead teenagers to be out past their curfew we as a society are spending too much money trying to hunt down these teenagers for being out when they shouldn’t be. If you compare what the teenagers are running away from to them just simply disobeying curfew, the law of a curfew almost seems silly. Another question that curfews bring up is if it is a violation of our 14th Amendment. The 14th amendment reads, “All persons born or naturalized in the u. s. nd subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law, which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens in the United States. Nor shall any state deprive a person of life liberty or the pursuit of happiness. Nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction equal protection of the laws. ” (Bey). While some people don’t believe that the amendments apply to children and teenagers, we are all still citizens and it does in fact apply to teenagers and children the same way it does it adults.
The 14th Amendment states that no law can deprive any citizen of privileges or immunities that they should have. By placing jurisdictions and boundaries on how late teenagers can be out states are doing just that, depriving citizens of privileges and immunities that as an American citizen we are all granted at birth. “The First Amendment protects the right to free speech, religion, and right to peaceful assembly. The Fourth Amendment protects citizens from unreasonable search and seizure and being detained without definitive reason.
The Fifth Amendment guarantees the right to due process, while the Ninth Amendment is often interpreted as the right to privacy and family autonomy. The 14th Amendment protects persons from being detained without due process, and the right to travel. These constitutional rights are often cited as the reason for fighting a curfew violation in court. ” Basically, by detaining anyone without definitive reasoning is violating all five of these amendments which is exactly what teenage curfews are doing.
Bringing up race in any topic is always a sensitive thing for some reason and automatically makes you question if something is a certain way because of someone’s race, which is exactly why curfew has a big part in race. “Likewise white youth are less likely to be stopped by police than black youth. Because of this, the rate of arrest for blacks in 2000 was 71% higher than that for whites. ” (Bey). At any point when you can go back into statistics and question if something is about race there is a problem. Just as a comparison if you looked at California, not all of this state have curfew laws.
In upper class areas curfews aren’t in place and aren’t necessary. On the other hand in lower class neighborhoods which are heavily populated by African Americans and Hispanics you see heavily enforced curfews. These statistics show that even though African Americans are the minority in our country 71% more are getting arrested than whites which is almost unbelievable. “Curfew laws are heavily enforced in black neighborhoods, but not as much in white neighborhoods. ” (Curfews and Common Sense. ” ) When a law can be questioned because of race it immediately cannot be considered reliable or credible and something needs to be done about it.