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Patch's Poll: Would You Support A Youth Curfew?

The issue on nighttime curfews sprung up last week after Bridgeport voted to enact an 11 p.m. curfew following a spate of violent incidents in the city over the past year.

 

Days after a 15-year-old girl was shot to death while being out on her aunt's porch during overnight hours, the Bridgeport City Council passed an ordinance requiring youths under the age of 18 to be off the streets after 11 p.m.

According to the Connecticut Post, Mayor Bill Finch told reporters he would sign the ordinance today. As the Post reported, police will be able to ban anyone under 18 from being out in public without a parent or legal guardian between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., from Sunday through Thursday and between midnight at 6 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Families can be fined up to $90 if a minor is caught outside during these restricted times, the Post reported.

The move has garnered both support and backlash from the community, questions remain whether or not the legality of this curfew will be challenged.

The American Civil Liberties Union in Connecticut released a statement calling it a violation of Bridgeport youths’ constitutional rights, and the one dissenting vote on the Bridgeport City Council told WTNH he opposes the curfew based on the belief that it’ll lead to racial profiling.

Similarly, the town of Vernon instituted a curfew back in 2003, however a federal judge overturned the curfew ordinance following a court challenge by the ACLU. Also, following the death of a young man who was stabbed multiple times by a group of people.

Either way, Bridgeport officials are moving forward with the ordinance, despite another potential challenge from the ACLU.

What is your take on this? Would you support a youth curfew if it were implemented in your community? Or is do you agree that this a violation of youths’ Constitution rights? Take our poll and share your thoughts in the comments.

David Irons July 31, 2012 at 06:33 PM
It is unfair to say that the parents should be responsible in all cases. Many times the parents do what they can, legally, but the kids still manage to get out and about at these late hours. In my case, I had my kids to bed at a decent time every night. It wasn't until years later that I learned from them that they would wait until after I had gone to bed and was asleep, they would climb out the window and wander about downtown NL. In the case of my two, they were just getting away with what they could put over on the "old man". They didn't do anything destructive or harm or threaten anyone. But under today's curfew laws, I would be liable if they came under these laws and were caught. What is needed is that the kids be required to serve community service for their sentence. The parents situation should be looked at in each individual case to decide if the parent is to blame or not.
John Martin July 31, 2012 at 07:23 PM
All that would be peachy - if they enforced it. The NLPD also doesn't enforce their nuisance sound ordinance - the stock answer for that is that they don't have officers 'trained' in the decibel meter. Like it takes a PhD in quantum mechanics to flip a switch and read a meter.
Esprit D'Escalier July 31, 2012 at 07:36 PM
Couldn't hurt to try. Many of our laws exist because of "less than stellar" parenting. How is this different? If we were ALL super parents these problems wouldn't exist. But they do.
survivor43 August 01, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Traci...you sound like a very responsible and caring parent. When my kids were in the 10-16 age, they had to be in the house when the street light came on, even though I felt we lived in a safe neighborhood. BUT, what about the parents who do not care where or what their kids are doing. Maybe the parents should make that decision to curfew their kids......
Valerie August 02, 2012 at 02:12 PM
I agree with you 100%. That girl had every right to be on her own porch at whatever hour day or night. So now we are supposed to restrict innocent people from being outside on their own property rather than address the criminal activity that led to this trajedy? I do not support curfews. But I do believe there are already laws out there that deal with loitering, mischief, etc.

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