Curfew laws typically restrict children to their homes during nighttime hours. Curfews are not just a product of today’s contemporary society. They were put into action in the 1800s; however, most of the cities that had them at that time didn’t have them enforced until the 1990s. Youth curfews, which are commonly employed by cities across the country, are widely used in the USA to keep children off the street at night. A state of curfew makes it illegal to be out of doors between certain times. These curfews were put into place to reduce crime, reduce juvenile victimization, and to increase parental involvement. Teen curfews have caused some debate, so not all cities and counties have adopted and enforced such laws. However, they are a necessary part of discipline and an effective way of keeping teens out of trouble. Nationwide, according to a survey by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, four out of five member cities had a teen curfew.
In my opinion, teen curfews are a good idea and outlined below are some good reasons.
1 – Teen curfews reduce juvenile crime rates.
Teens hang out in the mall in groups of three or more with no intentions of shopping. They hang out at the movies or downtown, looking for a thrill which is exactly why they need a curfew. For teens, nothing good or productive happens between 10 pm and 6 am. Most teens don’t understand that they don’t need much freedom since they are irresponsible and not an adult yet. Most teens get into trouble if they have too much freedom to do anything they want to do. One of the main reasons why towns should have youth curfew laws is that it reduces the juvenile crime rates at nighttime. A curfew is a simple method to keep teens off the streets and reduce their opportunities to do things against the law.
2 – Teen curfews reduce juvenile victimization.
Curfew hours can keep teens safe in many ways. The reality is that teens are still children and may not make good decisions. Curfews are necessary to help them learn to make responsible decisions. A curfew will protect them from becoming crime victims themselves. For example, curfews keep teens from becoming drug addicts and alcoholics by keeping them away from the night scene that influences that behavior.
3 – Teen curfews increase parental involvement.
Teens are in stage between childhood and adulthood where they struggle to be more independent, yet they need the discipline of their parents. Teens must have a routine in order for proper behavior. For example, they need to have an everyday routine schedule from the time they wake up, throughout the school day, right up to the time they go to bed. When teens have things planned and have commitments they are less likely to get into trouble. Teens should not be allowed to be out past 11:00 p.m. Setting time limits when teens should be home every night is a great way to establish a routine. Allowing a teenager, to stay out past midnight on a school night is not a good way of helping them succeed in their studies during the day. Teens may not like the idea of a curfew in the beginning and they may fight with parents about it. They often feel like parents take away their freedom. The curfews teach them to be responsible and also considerate of other people around them. They will learn, among other things, that others will set the rules for them.
In conclusion, I think teen curfews make plenty of sense. Curfews do not restrict children’s rights to participate in activities; they actually support their right to a safe home and neighborhood environment. Children under 18 should not be roaming the streets in the night. All towns should have teen curfew laws because it reduces nighttime crimes, helps to keep teens safe and helps parents to control their children. That’s why I strongly agree with teen curfew laws being enforced in all states.
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