The Instigator
luvx
Con (against)
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The Contender
Besunnylime
Pro (for)
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There should be curfew laws for juveniles

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/31/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,185 times Debate No: 43147
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)

 

luvx

Con

1. All the studies on curfews show they do not reduce or prevent crime, victimization, protect kids or make the kids and the community safer.
http://www.bloomberg.com...

2. People have no business telling kids when they are not allowed to be out in public, unless they are the parent of that kid. Just because you don't agree with something doesn't mean you have the right to intervene.

3. It is often argued that everything can be done during the day. This is true, but is not a sufficient reason to restrict the activity. That is just like banning grocery shopping after 6:00 PM just because it can be done during other times of the day.

4. It is often argued that teens have no business outside at midnight. What they do is none of your business unless what they are doing affects you or they are committing a crime.

5. We have so many criminals not caught that police should divert their attention to criminals and violent crimes, not curfews.

6. Arresting someone who is not breaking the law or disturbing anyone wastes police resources is counterproductive.

Besunnylime

Pro

1. ""All the studies on curfews show they do not reduce or prevent crime,"victimization,"protect kids or make the kids and the community safer. "

That is false. For example, this study shows that "being subject to a curfew reduces the number of violent and property crimes committed by juveniles below the curfew age by approximately 10% in the year after enactment, with the effects intensifying substantially in subsequent years for violent crimes."

http://emlab.berkeley.edu...

The effectiveness of curfews applies elsewhere in the world as well. For instance, on the first night curfews were imposed for the 2005 French riot, only 617 cars burned in all of France during the night. That is 400 cars less than the night before.

2."People have no business telling kids when they are not allowed to be out in public, unless they are the parent of that kid. Just because you don't agree with something doesn't mean you have the right to intervene. "

If you see domestic violence, should you intervene? If you see parents raising their children in a non-ideal way, you should be intervening. Yes parents should raise their children however they want, but within limits that were set to help better develop the child.

3. "It is often argued that everything can be done during the day. This is true, but is not a sufficient reason to restrict the activity. That is just like banning grocery shopping after 6:00 PM just because it can be done during other times of the day."

If the activity is harmless, like grocery shopping, then of course it can be done 24 hours a day. But the point is that at night there are less people for that's when people sleep. Criminal acts are easier done when they are unnoticed. And there is almost nothing open at night anyways. So if there's no curfew then more crimes would go unnoticed and not get caught. It's more important to mitigate a crime-encouraging environment.

4. "It is often argued that teens have no business outside at midnight. What they do is none of your business unless what they are doing affects you or they are committing a crime."

Juveniles' brains are not fully developed yet. Their amygdala is still developing so they cannot sense danger the way adults do. This is why it's important to protect them for they cannot make decisions like the adults. They are also more vulnerable for they are juvenile. Especially when it's a night it's dark so it's easier to get into stuff like car accidents. So just because they are not affecting you or committing a crime doesn't mean it's none of your business. You cannot treat them as if they are adults since they are not. Moreover, it is not just protection, but teens are really supposed to be sleeping at midnight because of school. Lack of sleep will affect school performance. It's for their own good.

5 and 6 are kind of similar so I'll write it together.

Like giving tickets to cars parked in the wrong spot, some laws are set not to catch criminals and violent crimes, but because in the long term it improves the society reduces chaos in the long run. This is the same thing for curfews (refer to study in point 1). And thus it is not counter-productive. If parents enforce this with the kids, it shouldn't require much police resource anyways. If parents need a police phone-call to know that their children are not at home, then they are obviously not doing a good job keeping an eye on their own children and guiding them. Ultimately, disciplining children should be the parent's job. Only when parents fail does the police have to step in and perhaps give them a wake-up call on how they are not doing their job as a parent.
Debate Round No. 1
luvx

Con

1. That is false. For example, this study shows that "being subject to a curfew reduces the number of violent and property crimes committed by juveniles below the curfew age by approximately 10% in the year after enactment, with the effects intensifying substantially in subsequent years for violent crimes."
"The arrest data suggests that being subject to a curfew reduces the number of violent and property crimes committed by juveniles…" They said, "the arrest data suggests." Just because the arrest rates gone down doesn't mean it was a result of a curfew. In order for a study to be accurate, they need to compare data between cities with and without curfews. The link you cited did not. Juvenile arrests plummeted drastically in cities with and without curfews.

There are also studies that show curfews have no impact on crime.
http://wcr.sonoma.edu...

http://www.nyclu.org...

http://publichealthlawresearch.org...

2. The effectiveness of curfews applies elsewhere in the world as well. For instance, on the first night curfews were imposed for the 2005 French riot, only 617 cars burned in all of France during the night. That is 400 cars less than the night before.
That was a very extreme situation. Most juvenile curfews are not imposed in these kind of situations.

3. Criminal acts are easier done when they are unnoticed.
Removing juveniles from the streets makes the streets vacant. More opportunities for adults to commit crime.
http://www.bloomberg.com...

4. Juveniles' brains are not fully developed yet. Their amygdala is still developing so they cannot sense danger the way adults do. This is why it's important to protect them for they cannot make decisions like the adults.
Curfew laws do not protect kids, in the studies I cited. Teenagers are more likely to be victimized by someone they know rather then the streets at night.

20% of pedestrians struck by cars were people over age 75.
http://www.walkinginfo.org...

Neurological research has shown that as we get older, we tend to go in "reverse", with a more simplistic understanding and less independence as we age. Also, many older people have dementia. They are especially vulnerable to being struck by cars. Why not impose a curfew for that age group? The answer is that elderly people can vote, youth can't. If youth were able to vote, there would be no curfew.

5. Moreover, it is not just protection, but teens are really supposed to be sleeping at midnight because of school.
Just because a juvenile is at home, doesn't mean they are sleeping. They could be on their computers or just staying awake. Also, how much sleep a teen gets is no ones business except the teen and his/her family.

6. If parents enforce this with the kids, it shouldn't require much police resource anyways.
Curfews do waste police resources. Mike Males, sociologist and senior researcher for the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, San Francisco studies curfews in Berlin, Connecticut. The curfew was imposed because an 18 year old (too old for curfew) was shot in daylight by unknown assailants. The police put details on what the kids were doing in the curfew citations. Mike Males found that out of 450 citations for 16-17 year olds, only 2 had something that would warrant police attention. One was possession of burglary tools. Another was a runaway from another jurisdiction. The rest were playing basketball in the park, coming out in movies restaurants, talking to friends, etc. Only 2 out of 450 did something else that warranted police attention.

Besunnylime

Pro

1."In order for a study to be accurate, they need to compare data between cities with and without curfews."

I contend that the way the study did it would give more accurate results, for comparing data between cities would bring in other factors because of different municipal policies and regulations. By con's logic Japan is considered one of the safest countries and by international comparison their crime rate is low. Japan probably the only country (that I know of) that impose curfew law on all children in some form or another so that must have an effect on crime rate. I think it's more important to look at the "before and after." Juvenile crimes dramatically decreases after enforcing youth curfews: http://articles.latimes.com...

2. "That was a very extreme situation. Most juvenile curfews are not imposed in these kind of situations."

The debate topic didn't say under which situation. Under "extreme" situations, they are clearly needed and needed the most so I used that example because con was trying to generalize saying all studies don't support curfew laws. In places where there are high crime rates, there should be curfew laws for juveniles. If there shouldn't be, then there would be more deaths. Whether it will help short-term or long-term for these situations, it's helping. In order to say there shouldn't be curfew laws, we need to increase moral education amongst the citizens, but the reality is that we often can't do it in time.

3. "Removing juveniles from the streets makes the streets vacant. More opportunities for adults to commit crime. "

Having children around adults who are set on committing crime will not make the adult less scared. What con cited did not show that adults would be less likely to commit crime if kids are around. In fact, if children were to find out that an adult was committing a crime, the children would be more likely to get hurt than an adult when the adult tries to escape.

4. "Why not impose a curfew for that age group? The answer is that elderly people can vote, youth can't. "

That's going to bring another debate on whether elderly people with dementia should be allowed to vote but I will not go there. The problem is that everyone ages at different times. There are are really old people who are still perfectly functioning normally, and then there are people who are only in there 50s with mental problems. If there's a systematic way of figuring out which elderly people can still function normally and who can't, those who can't should probably not go out at night as well. This is different with juveniles, especially younger children. We can pretty much agree that juveniles, with the really rare exception of few, can't function like adults.

5. "Just because a juvenile is at home, doesn't mean they are sleeping. They could be on their computers or just staying awake. Also, how much sleep a teen gets is no ones business except the teen and his/her family."

Con keeps on mentioning what teenager does is no one's business, but that is a bad mentality. If "what they do is none of your business unless what they are doing affects you or they are committing a crime," then there wouldn't be a legal drinking age, legal driving age for the underaged. Can't the family just set them themselves? I imagine it will turn into those situations where a kid might probably drink behind their parents back because his friends' parents allowed to drink already. It's not just the family's responsibility to shape the citizens of tomorrow, but it should be everyone else's job too.

Staying on computers is better than being in an arcade with friends. It's harder to quit and go home to sleep even when they are tired, due to peer pressure and the fact that their parents aren't with them. It's better to be at home where they can talk with their parents, than out in the street at night where adults could approach them and sell drugs, for example.

6. I said it does take up police effort, but it is not a waste. It is productive, and that it shouldn't require police effort if the parents watch their kids. I am not sure how long it took to catch 450 16-17 year olds in con's research, but I would imagine it'd be difficult for especially kids younger than 16 to sneak outside if their parents don't allow them to and take the time to explain to them why not.

Curfew works:
http://articles.latimes.com...
http://www.usmayors.org...

Additionally, the study showed that the number of police officers did not have an impact on curfew enactment (page 17 & 18).
http://elsa.berkeley.edu...
Debate Round No. 2
luvx

Con

1. Japan probably the only country (that I know of) that impose curfew law on all children in some form or another so that must have an effect on crime rate. I think it's more important to look at the "before and after." Juvenile crimes dramatically decreases after enforcing youth curfews.

Correlation does not imply causation. For example, after a curfew was passed in Monrovia, California, residential burglaries declined 32%. However, residential burglaries declined in Monrovia by 40% before the adoption of the curfew. When the curfew passed, neighboring cities without curfews also experienced the same rate of crime reduction.
http://wcr.sonoma.edu...

2. The debate topic didn't say under which situation. Under "extreme" situations, they are clearly needed and needed the most so I used that example because con was trying to generalize saying all studies don't support curfew laws.

Your example of the 2005 French riot was an extreme, and temporary situation. Under these circumstances, a curfew might work, but most juvenile curfews don't work, as I cited studies in round 2 proving they don't work. Also, most juvenile crime happens during the day
http://www.swfljac.org...
(See myth #12).

3. Staying on computers is better than being in an arcade with friends.
They can simply go to an arcade with older friends. Many curfews have exceptions where a minor can be out with an adult.

4. What con cited did not show that adults would be less likely to commit crime if kids are around. In fact, if children were to find out that an adult was committing a crime, the children would be more likely to get hurt than an adult when the adult tries to escape.
This can happen during the day as well.

5. Con keeps on mentioning what teenager does is no one's business, but that is a bad mentality. If "what they do is none of your business unless what they are doing affects you or they are committing a crime," then there wouldn't be a legal drinking age, legal driving age for the underaged.
Alcohol can be problematic for teens. We have a driving age because of their inexperience. But being outside at night without an adult does not harm anyone.

6. I said it does take up police effort, but it is not a waste. It is productive.
Arresting someone who is not breaking the law is counter productive and can traumatize the individual being arrested. Also, curfews create a negative relationship between youth and police, meaning less cooporation from younger members of the community when crime gets high and police need people to report crime. Youth will be less likely to report crime.

There are more effective strategies of reducing juvenile crime that have been proven to work, such as providing services and counseling to at risk youth and their families.

Besunnylime

Pro

Concluding my argument about whether there should be curfew laws for juveniles or not, I think there should be. In situations of violence and riots, if you say there shouldn't be curfew laws, how else are you going to improve the safety of the city in a short amount of time? In point 6, con said that "There are more effective strategies of reducing juvenile crime that have been proven to work, such as providing services and counseling to at risk youth and their families," but that is not dichotomy. You can provide counseling, and set curfew laws. Furthermore, counseling and other services take time for it to take effect, but setting a curfew law can work immediately. Therefore it is needed especially before the juveniles of a city receives proper moral education.

I am not arguing that any kind of curfew law will work. In con's example for point 1, I believe the curfew law should be set when the burglary rate is on the rise, not when the burglary rate has already risen and is already dropping. If the curfew law is set right, it will work. For example, the curfew set in Dallas mentioned in the study explained the implementation of the curfew law and put posters and radio announcements about it before it was enacted. The police could give the juveniles verbal warning, take them home, issue a ticket with a fine as high as $500, or take them into custody. The effects were immediate as the juvenile victimization during curfew hours had dropped 17.7%.

http://emlab.berkeley.edu...

Since it reduces juvenile victimization, we can't say it shouldn't be there if the kids don't like it. That is akin to saying we shouldn't give children homework because they don't like it. Con's 4th and 5th point are wrong in that in the day there are more people, particularly adults. Most people sleep at night. Hence, the situation in point 4 is less likely to happen. There are also more eye witnesses if any crime is going to happen. For this reason, I find con's claim that "most juvenile crime happens during the day" (point 2) a bit doubtable, for it is unclear how the fact is obtained. More crimes would be reported during the day, especially during rush hour than at night where more crimes are unnoticed. The fact could be obtained from the number of reports, or the time the crime is reported.

Con says "Alcohol can be problematic for teens. We have a driving age because of their inexperience. But being outside at night without an adult does not harm anyone," but we have a driving age not because of inexperience (since adults start learning to drive from inexperience too), but because they are not developed in the neurological sense. We have a alcohol age because although we can trust the juvenile and his/her family to control alcohol consumption, the reality is that it doesn't happen that way. This is the same with curfew laws. You can't just trust and assume that every family knows what they are doing. If that were the case, juvenile crimes wouldn't be rising right now. Juveniles are not mature enough. With the street being more vacant, it's easier for juveniles to get pulled into using drugs, they are more likely to get hurt if they encounter a crime, and because it's easier to get into car accidents.

And finally, in point 3 con said "They can simply go to an arcade with older friends. Many curfews have exceptions where a minor can be out with an adult, " but most curfew laws exceptions require the juvenile to be accompanied by parent or guardian only, not just some random adult. Moreover, in the worst case scenario, if the teen goes to the arcade with a very irresponsible adult, then the family probably wouldn't allow the teen to go out at night with that adult if he comes home in the morning. The point is that curfew laws make it easier to discipline bad behaviors. I am not saying that it would completely eliminate bad behaviors from juveniles.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Besunnylime 3 years ago
Besunnylime
My first debate whoooooooooooo
Posted by TheSquirrel 3 years ago
TheSquirrel
I fully agree with Con. I would love to see this debate play out.
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