The controversial and much debated youth curfew is again a topic of conversation among residents and civil rights groups.
Tuesday the expired curfew ordinance was debated at Jackson City Hall. It's the third time city leaders revisited imposing a youth curfew. But the public hearing drew stiff opposition from the ACLU of Mississippi.
Ward Three Councilwoman LaRita Cooper-Stokes called the public hearing for discussion on re-enacting the curfew for those 17 and under.
The ordinance would require children to be off the streets during school hours, after ten weekdays and midnight on weekends, unless they were working.
But opponents say teenagers are being criminalized and not offered safe alternatives.
"These teen curfews do not in any way change the crime rates in communities across the states so we're here today to speak out against it," said Nancy Kohsin-Kintigh with the ACLU of Mississippi.
"Yes we have many different reasons of why we may be out at night walking the streets, because I have certain friends who walk the streets to go to the gas station to buy something for their mom,' said 15 year old Donovan Barner who opposes a curfew.
"You should rethink that whole talking about freedom because it can get your child killed, get your child taken away from you. You should think about that really carefully. Think about what your grandmother did," said Georgetown resident Earl Johnson who supports a curfew.
"What kids gonna be out at 10, 11, 12 o'clock at night? What are they doing? They're hustling. They're hustling. Save these young hustlers before they lose their life," said Hinds County Supervisor Kenneth Stokes in support of the ordinance.
"We just feel that the curfew was a tool that the police could use so that they could stop and talk to a young person if they felt that young person may be in harm's way and we feel that needs to be re-instated," said Councilwoman LaRita Cooper-Stokes.
The Ward Three representative said people in the community are calling for the curfew which has remained on the agenda in committee since she re-introduced it in June.
Two previous attempts to impose a curfew ordinance failed because there is no place to house the young offenders.
Councilwoman Stokes said a committee is currently working on finding a location.
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