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Word Count: 535
Curfewsunfair ineffective and unconstitutional When you hear politicians and police talking about getting tough on juvenile crime you may imagine a school shooting like those that have recently occurred in Jonesboro Arkansas and Springfield Oregon Others may recall TV clips of young people sometimes covered by masks or paper bags to hide their identities being dragged away in handcuffs as the television speaks of chargers ranging from rape to robbery But in America today more kids are arrested for curfew law violations then any other single category of crime including all violent crimes-combined Everyone from law enforcement to the President have endorsed tougher curfew laws as being the solution to Americas crime woes though none have ever cited real data to prove that sending 142000 kids through the justice system for being out too late each year reduces crime They assume that anything that takes kids off the streets must reduce crime There is no justification to juvenile curfews which may explain why the Supreme Court did not write an opinion on the matter Restricting an Americans freedom of movement is an obvious trespass over the First Amendment and to stroll around a park or public square is hardly the clear and present danger to the community usually required for such an infringement USA Today has described the laws as making it a crime to be young The American Civil Liberties Unions ACLU John Horwarth told the Washington Post that curfew laws infringe on the rights of all people including the young to generally move around without interference from authorities unless and until they are actually doing something unlawful But a city mayor or councilman has no need for such rhetoric Why worry about the First Amendment when one can claim to be reducing the crime rate yet affect no voters The Conference of Mayors conducted a survey of 347 cities with a population over 30000 Nearly 80 percent of the surveyed
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