Thursday, February 28, 2008

No Need for Day Time Curfew

This blog is for the specific purpose of maintaining a dialogue regarding proposed legislation in York, PA.

The most current issue to discuss involves instituting a day time curfew for school aged children in York County. The intent of the proposed curfew is to reduce truancy and juvenile delinquency.

I am strongly opposed to this proposed ordinance. Mechanisms and procedures are already in place to address truancy issues. Adding a new catagory of illegality to our community will NOT reduce truancy.

Peer-reviewed research demonstrates the inefficacy of curfew programs when considering outcomes of arrests and calls for service (i.e. 911 calls). These studies looked at evening curfews - it might be easy to extrapolate this result to day time curfews, although the researcher in me knows full well I shouldn't do that.

Please limit comments to civil conversation.

Anita Marchesani


drbott said...

There are numerious statistics on the reasons why a daytime curfew is so, so wrong from reports and studies.
It is more than just an inconvenience to our young people being asked why they are not in school.

Many of our kids are out during the day, my daughter taking a college classes while in home school high school, open lunch, work study programs, half day seniors who have jobs, appointments,etc, so lots of kids are out for real reasons and should be allowed to be on the streets without being stopped just because they are young. Some kids look young and are over 18 and some kids graduate at 17!!
This would be a nightmare for law enforcement, to say nothing of the cost, and the question of whether it is even legal as well as a loss of freedom. Our young people should be free to move about
during the day without interference.

Studies show that curfews do NOTHING to curb issues like truancy, delinquency, etc which seems to be the thought
behind this. We already have laws on the books for truancy, etc and let's just enforce what is there without making
duplicate laws that would effect every young person.

Additionally, this proposal for a daytime curfew has exceptions for
all kinds of reasons. Nobody should have to produce papers to prove he's allowed to be out and about and how else would the young person tell the officer he had permission if his parent or school could not be reached at that moment. Would he be delayed/detained, possibly missing class or work, while the officer makes a call? Laws with exceptions do not work.

This is the paragraph in the proposal now that is being directed to municipalities to adopt:

It is paragraph two part B.

Please let the task force and your municipal leaders that this is a terrible suggestion to propose as an ordinance and they need to strike out this paragraph.

2. It shall be unlawful for any minor to be or
remain in or upon any public place during scheduled school hours on any day in which school is in session in the
school district in which the child resides or is enrolled, unless such minor is
on a scheduled vacation or holiday observed by the school, or that child has
permission to be absent from school or to be in a public place or establishment
from an authorized school official. In case the minor is educated through a
home school program pursuant to Pennsylvania School Code § 1327.1 (Home
Education), the minor's custodian shall be deemed an authorized school official.

kjo said...

I agree, there is no need for a daytime curfew. Research by a national legal group has shown this does not work. What it tends to do is tax the police officers and turn law-abiding citizens who have a right to be outside into "criminals". The police stated they have the right to stop anyone now and question them, so why the need for a daytime curfew? They also said the delinquent activities occur between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., which is when law-abiding students would be trying to get home from school. If a curfew is until 3 p.m., this wouldn't help. If it's later, there would be thousands of children to be stopped and questioned.

We also heard the truancy problems partially exist because "the schools were not doing a good job of reporting truancy problems." So instead of holding the schools accountable of reporting, York Co. wants to have another law on the books. If someone wants to be truant or engaged in any criminal acts during the day, adding another law will not deter them when they are already breaking the laws in place.

Then we have the issues of violation of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments...which I have read in the research by the legal organization.

Summary...the freedom of my children should not be determined by the behaviors of others.