As Hackensack, N.J., contemplates joining the growing ranks of American cities with curfews, the Bergen Record reports that the debate over the issue boils down to two points of view: public safety vs. personal freedom. Officials must navigate a course between advocates who say the measures reduce crime and protect children, and opponents who point out that studies find curfews have no discernible effect on either.
“It’s a politically popular position to take, and anecdotally it sounds like a good idea,” said one opponent. “The problem is that for several reasons, it hasn’t had the impact that it’s hoped it would have.” Experts say youth curfews have become more prevalent in the last 15 years, although it’s difficult to get an accurate accounting. A number of North Jersey towns have curfews, including Ridgefield and Lodi.