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Curfews to Stop Crime

Answer to Crime? Keep People Off the Streets With Curfews?

It's just like being a teenager, except your parents are the police! And instead of grounding, they can put you in jail! Curfews are popping up in tons of places, aimed at controlling crime. With goals similar to the police checkpoints in Washington DC, the newest towns getting an early bedtime: Helena, Arkansas and Hartford, Connecticut.

Sparked by violence, Helena, AR has implemented a 24-hour curfew in a troubled neighborhood, questioning all passers by. The city council voted unanimously to allow police to expand the program to any area of the city, despite ACLU claims that the police action is unconstitutional. The patrols have resulted in 32 arrests since they locked down the 10-block radius. The council acknowledges the hardship of the curfew but says those living in the city want the random and drug-fueled shootings to stop, regardless of what it takes.

To see what's happening in Hartford, and whether it actually works,


Hartford, CT has a youth curfew scheduled to begin today, aimed at stopping gang violence. For one month, all juveniles have to be in by 9 p.m. After a parade Saturday left one dead, a 7-year-old shot in the head, and a 15-month-old shot in the leg, Hartford's mayor says, "we must do this because we cannot and will not tolerate innocent people, especially children, to be victims." The ACLU says the curfew blatantly violates the civil rights of minors.

With similar youth rules in Rochester, NY, and the rule's efficacy being questioned in Philadelphia, PA, (more crime happens right after school) is a curfew a good way to combat crime — or a crime against civil rights?


Join The Conversation
sw33tlovin sw33tlovin 8 years
yeah, actually i would. gladly, thanks :)
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
That's a great idea sweet. Would you like to fund it?
sw33tlovin sw33tlovin 8 years
i'm all for trying to limit crime and keeping people safe, but this article gives me a headache just thinking about giving adults curfews. it doesn't make any sense. i think what really needs to happen is there needs to be more positive, affordable after school programs for little kids so they learn fundamentals at an early age and don't turn to the streets. i think it really starts with education and the opportunities little kids are given.
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 8 years
I agree jms: just this week in my city a 10 year old shot his 5 year old sister and she died. In their house. So no curfew would have prevented this. Parenting maybe?
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
There aren't enough police to patrol the areas to keep everyone off the streets. Therefore, the only people who will effectively be kept indoors are the ones who wouldn't have gone out to begin with. Yes Europe is such a shining beacon of what the world should be like...
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i can understand how people think that curfews are going to help things like crime, but is there really a significant enough drop off to justify it? i'm not sure about that. i guess you need to try something when you're seeing your town just go down farther and farther and nothing seems to work.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
UnDave, I think it would be wonderful if we were more like Europe :)
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
They started this in Nazi Germany in the mid 30's. Is really the direction we want to go?
ehadams ehadams 8 years
This seems dumb. Do they have any evidence that a curfew like this would stop violence? Because I don't see them citing any sort of evidence to support their decision.
ajhodge ajhodge 8 years
To me, what these communities need a stronger sense of community. How will that be achieved with people cooped up in their homes all day? This type of confinement is anathema to the idea of community and, worse, can make people anxious and agitated, which can cause them to fly off the handle and commit crimes they would not otherwise. In my mind this only seems to reinforce the negative perceptions of authority figures that is pervasive in many of these communities: constraining, limiting, disenfranchising. It's clearly a last-ditch effort. What about hiring more police or stepping up foot patrols in these high-risk neighborhoods? Or - gasp - initiating community programs that get to the root of the problem? This is like putting a band-aid on a broken leg and they shouldn't be surprised when it fails to achieve meaningful stability.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
A curfew for adults is fascist. This sort of thing should not be allowed in America.
CoralAmber CoralAmber 8 years
My town has a curfew for minors. I always thought it was dumb growing up because no one ever got up to anything. Once I was walking my dog at night (in the summer) and a patrol car asked what I was up to, but they were really nice about it. My friend woke up really early one day and walked to Dunkin Donuts and got busted for being out past curfew and got a police ride home (lame).
MindayH MindayH 8 years
I don't think that this is meant to be a perm. fix, I think they want to see how a curfew will effect the crime stats, and proceed from there. So although I don't see it as a solution, it is better than doing nothing until a law passes, or they come to some other solution
Kelliegrl Kelliegrl 8 years
I'd rather see this than more people get killed. It's better than letting people kill one another.
stiletta stiletta 8 years
"Those who would trade in their freedom for their safety deserve neither." -- Benjamin Franklin
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
You don't erode the civil rights of all in order to prevent the crimes of a few. Well, you're not supposed to, anyway. At least not in a country where civil rights and liberties are supposed to matter.
stephley stephley 8 years
It doesn't seem legal and it isn't a solution.
kikidawn kikidawn 8 years
torgelson, from what I read it seems that you can leave, but you have to have a good enough reason and if you don't or you seem nervous then they question you even further. Yeah, it doesn't seem legal to me...
Auntie-Coosa Auntie-Coosa 8 years
There's two or more sides to every equation and curfews have more sides than most. It's losing one's freedom. It's making a "police State" in an area. It's a stop-gap measure. The perpetrators will just move to another town without a curfew. Street crime will go down. Instead of raping/sodomizing strangers . . . it'll be kept at home. The determined will always find a loop hole. They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. ~Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759 Most people want security in this world, not liberty. ~H.L. Mencken, Minority Report, 1956 These two quotes pretty much sum up the situation. What the USofA has done is become a "nanny state" where the authorities are responsible for the behaviors of those who break the rules/laws/conditions/regulations and a "victim state" where people are not held responsible for their behaviors/actions. In a crime area, the gang or those who sympathize with the perpetrators will harbor them and lie about where those responsible for crimes are hidden. It's time to hold people accountable for their actions and behaviors. EVEN if that means arresting little old grandmas who are harboring their "sweet-he-didn't-mean-it-society-made-him-do-it" grandchildren from the proper authorities. It will take re-education of the masses and cleaning up the ACLU so that they are ONLY filing lawsuits based on legalities and not on personalities. The ACLU has become the flunkies of the left-wing liberals who want chaos to rule the day. Well, chaos doesn't stop crime, it escalates it. It is time for reasonableness to control the Courts and the lawyers. It's past time for people to stop whining and accept responsibility for their own lives.
True-Song True-Song 8 years
I don't even understand a 24 hour curfew. You're just not allowed to leave the house...ever? And this is legal?
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
The Hartford case doesn't make sense to me. The children who died during a parade... how is that solved by a curfew? Also, curfews and checkpoints seem to be more like bandaids and less like solutions. When I think "curfew" I think of countries who are at war. In a way I guess some of the residents might feel like that.
jms92977 jms92977 8 years
It seems to me that if someone had enough disregard of the law to shoot a 15 month old, a curfew would not deter them from continuing to break the law.
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