County Juvenille Curfew

“The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.” – Ayn Rand

On September 20th, 2010, the Madison County Commission voted to implement a curfew on juvenilles in Madison County. I alone opposed this issue. Get the details of the curfew here.

I believe it is imperitive that we have an educated and informed poplulation. Thomas Jefferson stated, “Educate and inform the whole mass of the people… They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.” Furthermore, we must protect the life and property of the public at large. Protection of life, liberty and property are the sole roles of government. However, to usurp the liberty of the individual for the “potential” protection of life and property is tyranny. To detain or question persons (children or not) without probable cause is to open a “Pandora’s Box” of incrimination of individuals because they “might” or “could” engage in criminal activity. Read the Jackson Sun article here. Comments by the Right at Home Blog here.

My further concern with this local infringement on liberty is there is little if any historic demonstration of results of crime reduction through curfew enforcement. Mike Males and Dan Macallair in their 1999 white paper “An Analysis of Curfew Enforcement and Juvenile Crime in California” published in the Western Criminology Review stated, “There is no support for the hypothesis that jurisdictions with curfews experience lower crime levels, accelerated youth crime reduction, or lower rates of juvenile violent death than jurisdictions without curfews.” Thoughts on the ineffectiveness of curfews by Males and Macallair are here.

Public comments are as follows:

“I would never have expected this from our leaders here.”

“This is a criminalization of innocent citizens that presumes one is guilty until proven innocent. It punishes all juveniles (and their parents) indiscriminately.”

“It is a sad day in Madison County.”

“Either you have a constitution or you don’t. I know a lot of folks derided Adrian Eddelman for his spirited patriotism, but he seems to be the only one willing to stand up for the Constitution. For that he should be congratulated.”

“. . . [I]t will probably amount to a hill of beans with little effectiveness or enforcement. The commission’s intentions are genuinely good, but their rationale about the cause/effect or solutions to juvenile crime is near sighted.”

Sarcastically  – “I guess it makes a lot of sense to limit a bunch of kids rights for the common good. I mean, they are just ‘kids,’ right?”

“If society would like to see a decline in crime then deputies should be more focused catching criminals, not children.”

Thanks to everyone for your support on this issue. You advocacy for my stance on this issue has been overwhelmingly positive!