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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Las Vegas Starts Special Court For Curfew Violators

From Las Vegas Sun.com: Las Vegas gang problems intensify during the summer, police say, when teens are out of school. There were two shootings at the complex last year from May to early August. During the same stretch this year, the number rose to 11.

As this summer approached, police formulated new tactics: First, they decided to strictly enforce the city's curfew law by regularly raiding the Emerald Breeze and surrounding area to issue citations. The curfew law forbids children and teens under 18 from being outside and unsupervised after 10 p.m. on school nights, and midnight on weekends and during summer months.

But police - knowing that curfew citations rarely have been taken seriously by anyone in the system, from prosecutors to the offenders themselves - also realized they couldn't solve the problem alone, says Officer Robert Hubbard of the Bolden Area Command.

"We were wondering what we could do to stop this," says Hubbard, who serves on Metro's problem-solving unit. "We decided we needed to come at it from a different angle."

Along with prosecutors, defense lawyers, probation officers and Family Court Judge William Voy, they devised Curfew Court, a pilot program they hoped would help. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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