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Teen Curfews Don't Lower Crime Rates

  • Date Submitted: 03/31/2010 02:02 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 64.1 
  • Words: 1225
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The constitution says that all people have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Yet this basic right is being taken away from many of today’s youth because there has been concern over the youth crime rate in America. Cities, in an attempt to decrease the escalating crime rate, have implemented teen curfew laws. This means that any people under the age of eighteen are required to stay indoors throughout the night. Now, teenagers are essentially being penalized based almost entirely on statistics. However, history has shown statistics can easily be skewed in one direction or another, depending on the desired outcome. a study by Gallup Polls in 1994 shows that "the average adult believes juveniles commit 43% of violent crime, when the actual figure is just 13%" (Cobey) Since inception of the curfew, there has been little, if any, impact on the rate of teenage crime.   While it is true that the rate of teen crime has been on the rise for years, the same can be said of the adult crime rate. Teen curfews have little effect on the juvenile crime rates and therefore should be removed.
My mother has taught in several Gwinnett County schools, from elementary to high school.   She has more than a bit of insight on this issue. It appears that, today, many teenagers see jail time as a rite of passage. One of her recent classes had only one student who was not yet ‘in the system’ as she calls it. The students were proud to say they had been arrested. In impoverished neighborhoods, parents have to work a lot more. The lack of supervision can cause problems for teenagers. If this leaves children feeling neglected, the easy solution is to cause trouble to get attention. In many cases, they turn to gangs. Every year new gangs are created, while other gangs get stronger. The neglected teenagers look to the gangs for acceptance. Also areas where the poverty rate is high, teenagers look for cheap ways to entertain themselves. Some teenagers turn to criminal means...

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