After 19 shootings in one week, Long Beach, Ca., officials opened up a center to detain youths found by police in public places between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., reports the Los Angeles Times. Since July 25, minors loitering on the streets have been placed by police into patrol cars or a van driven by two officers designated for picking up curfew violators. Each youth is given a citation and driven to a community recreation center to wait in a classroom-like setting for a parent or guardian.
In the first week, 124 youths were taken to the center. About 85 percent were male, mostly ages 13 to 15. So far, parents have been supportive of the curfew law. Critics include the American Civil Liberties Union and the Maryland-based National Youth Rights Association, where director Alex Koroknay-Palicz says that, “Curfews violate rights of young people who are citizens of this country.” He says that curfews stereotype youth and that there is no conclusive evidence that curfews reduce crime rates. In Long Beach, police say shootings have dropped about 60 percent since the curfew center opened.