WHO: ACLU of MS Youth Justice Leaders and Staff WHAT: Press Conference, Speaking at Public Hearing WHEN: 5:30pm - Tuesday, November 20th, 2012 WHERE: Jackson City Hall, 219 President St., Jackson, MS
WHY: Teen Curfew laws violate young people’s “right to travel” under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. In addition to stereotyping young people as criminals, curfews often promote racial profiling. This proposed law is another tool to criminalize our youth. Youth could be fined and arrested if this law passes and at this time there is no place to house them.
If the city is looking to invest money in our youth – why not invest in POSITIVE SOLUTIONS? The city of Jackson should be looking for ways to promote positive youth spaces, such as a teen center, restaurants that are youth friendly and other activities.
Recently, the city of Jackson launched “Celebrate Jackson” which is a campaign to improve the city’s image to encourage businesses and tourism. The ACLU of MS agrees that we must improve how we are viewed but we are very clear that adding another tool to criminalize our young people is not positive and does not coincide with the city’s intentions of “celebrating and creating a positive image.” The youth curfew would not solve any pressing issues; only make things worse by pushing our youth into the criminal justice system. Nationally, we know that teen curfews do not reduce crime. Let’s “celebrate” our young people instead of “criminalizing” them.
Youth have the SAME RIGHTS as adults; let's treat them as such! The ACLU of MS is committed to ensuring that all Mississippi youth are afforded their civil liberties under the United States Constitution. ###
The ACLU of MS’s Statewide Youth Justice Project seeks to end the School to Prison Pipeline by hosting educational forums, working for policy reform, advocacy and litigation. Student’s civil liberties are threatened through Zero Tolerance Polices in our schools and communities. Educate – Don’t Incarcerate.