Sunday, August 14, 2016

Trenton Curfew Arrangement With Churches Is Questioned

AP reports today on the church-state questions that are being raised by the juvenile curfew enforcement policies of the Trenton, New Jersey police department. Last month Trenton police began enforcing a midnight to 6 a.m. curfew for juveniles under 18.  If police pick up a violator, they first call the juvenile's parents.  However if the parents do not answer, or refuse to pick up their child, police under arrangements with a number of faith-based groups drop the juvenile off at a local church. Police say that the churches may not discuss religion with the drop offs, and they are usually held in a community room rather than in the sanctuary.  The juvenile is given the option of instead being dropped off at a police building. The ACLU says that police should provide a number of non-religious drop-off alternatives, though the group has broader objections to the curfew as well.