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CJCJ in the news: Mike Males on the ineffectiveness of youth curfews

After a mother in Saskatoon called for the imposition of a 10 pm curfew on youth, CBC Saskatoon interviewed CJCJ's Mike Males on the failure of youth curfews to curb crime or deter gang activity.

Mike Males explained on the radio that youth are responsible for only a small percentage of overall crime, and therefore a youth curfew would not have a positive impact on crime. He also discussed the inevitability of curfews to focus youth of color, poor populations, and build unnecessary antagonism between police and the community.

In the US, there are definitely surveys showing that the pubic thinks that youth commit 40 or 50 percent, or even as high as 80 percent, of all crime. That’s the impression you would get from media reports, from politicians' statements, from leadership and other commentary. 

We tend to target groups that don’t have any power to blame for social problems... Young people can’t vote, they don’t lobby, they don’t bribe. They are generally the easiest ones to point the finger at.

[Gangs] tend to form in areas of disadvantage, of unemployment, of poor schools, of poor educational opportunity . . . Those are really the areas you want to address if you want to do something about the gang problem; not just round up a bunch of kids who are doing nothing wrong, take them down to the police station, and blame them.

Posted in Juvenile Justice, Model Local Practices

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