The Current Sauce • KNWD

Purple Media Network

The Official Student Media of Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Purple Media Network

Purple Media Network

Will the new juvenile curfew help lower crime rates in Natchitoches?

Destin Lopez
Is a juvenile curfew the answer to rising amounts of juvenile crime, or is it just a facade to scare kids?

The Natchitoches Police Department recently announced that they will start strictly enforcing the juvenile curfew. It shall be unlawful for any juvenile under the age of 17 to remain in public between the hours of 12 a.m. to 5 a.m.

If a juvenile is found in public between those hours, they will receive a citation and be brought to the police department where they will have to wait for a parent or guardian to pick them up. If a second offense occurs, the parent will get a summons to appear in city court.

If the juvenile has school the next day, the code of ordinance says that the curfew is between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Minors who work jobs on school nights must get off the clock at 10 p.m., but will the police consider the fact that they still must travel home after this?

If the Natchitoches Police Department truly enforces this code, I believe that it will help lower the juvenile crime rate, and help some kids from being in situations they should not be in.

Kids should be at home, but unfortunately not every kid has a good home or a home to go to. Hopefully the city of Natchitoches can consider this and work on helping the homeless. Not every kid has a good foundation, or parents that care that they are out on the streets at midnight.

What happens when the parent does not want to pick their child up from the police station? Will Child Protective Services get involved? Should the parents be charged for letting their children be out of their care at night, potentially committing crimes and being in dangerous situations?

The Natchitoches Police Department arrested a parent for ‘improper supervision of a minor’ after their child had been arrested three different times in six days in 2022. Is arresting the parents what it takes to keep kids in their homes at night?

Kids need education, and it is a lot harder for them to learn in school if they spend the night running around town, whether they are committing crimes or not. Hopefully they will take this opportunity to study, do homework or spend time with their families. But this is not realistic for most kids in Natchitoches.
In fact, this curfew may set even more of a distrust in the police for kids in Natchitoches, which in turn may cause them to rebel even more.

When a juvenile is picked up for committing a crime in Natchitoches, they are often let go very soon after, due to the lack of space in the juvenile detention centers. I believe the bigger issue is a need for a bigger detention center, so that repeat offenders will no longer commit crimes knowing that they will be released very quickly.

If the police do not plan on upholding this curfew, and are just using it as a scare tactic, I believe that the crime will not go down. Kids will continue to burglarize, steal and run rampant, with no consequences. With no parental guidance, kids follow what other kids do to fit in, and the trend will continue.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Destin Lopez
Destin Lopez, Current Sauce - Viewpoints Editor
Destin Lopez is a senior communication major, with a minor in pre-law and paralegal studies at NSU. She is currently the 2023 Viewpoints editor of the Current Sauce. She has had a love for writing and design since highschool, where she spent two years as the Editor-in-Chief of the yearbook. Destin is excited to share her stories to NSU and Natchitoches, and is hoping to leave a mark with her writing.

Comments (0)

All The Current Sauce • KNWD Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *