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Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Monday, July 17, 2006

Houston Plans Earlier Juvenile Curfew to Increase Communication With Youth

From Currently, the city of Houston has a juvile cerfew of midnight for all people age 18 and younger. The City Council is considering making that curfew earlier, and the proposal is fueling a debate about the value of curfews and the burden they put on police officers.

Under the proposal, curfew would begin at 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and on the eve of school holidays. It would apply to those younger than 17.

The law's main purpose isn't to make police responsible for getting youths home at a certain time, said Houston Police Department Executive Assistant Chief Mike Thaler. Instead, the curfew gives officers a reason to question teenagers who may be getting into trouble. "It's not intended to go out there and do a sweep and get every young person off the streets at 10 p.m.," Thaler said. "It's merely the ability of officers to engage in a conversation with them." Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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