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Clinton to Endorse Using Curfews to Keep Youths Off City Streets

May 30, 1996|PAUL RICHTER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

WASHINGTON — President Clinton plans to endorse the idea of cities imposing curfews on teenagers that could require youths to be off the streets as early as 8 p.m. on weeknights, White House aides said Wednesday.

The proposal, expected to be part of a speech Clinton plans to deliver today to a church convention in Baton Rouge, La., would not require any locality to impose a curfew but would offer Justice Department help to those cities and towns that wish to do so.

Under the administration plan, the Justice Department would issue guidelines designed to help cities beat back legal challenges to curfews and would serve as a national clearinghouse for information on successful curfew programs.

Clinton's endorsement of curfews is in keeping with a series of steps he has taken in recent months to preempt Republican proposals on so-called family values issues and to address the anxieties that many middle-class parents have about their children.

A number of cities "have found curfews an effective way to combat youth crime," a senior White House aide said. There has been "a lot of interest"--mostly from large cities, but also from some suburban areas.

Under curfew programs currently in force in cities such as Denver, Phoenix, Chicago and Dallas, youths under 17 are required to be off the streets from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. during the week most of the year and 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. in the summer. The weekend curfew is 11 p.m. Exceptions are made for youths going to and from work, being accompanied by a parent or taking part in supervised activities.

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