Town will cut off power to families of kids who commit vandalism


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Here’s the full table:
vandalism :: cut off your electricity
public urination :: revoke library card
car stereo too loud :: disenfranchised - you cannot vote
body odor :: you are now mayor


According to Wikipedia, the population of Farmer City is just over 2,000. I’d be curious to know just how many families are targeted by this measure, and what shocking incidents of vandalism prompted them to consider these extreme measures. My guess would be that it probably had something to do with the golf course, which (going by Google Maps) seems to be the most important feature of the town. But maybe someone defaced a library book, or scribbled in Sharpie on the walls of the Farmer City Fair.


Joe Orton spent six months in prison for that. I prefer, though, to think that the vandalism occurred on the golf course.


Guess they’re not real 'Muricans, since they don’t follow the Bible:

Deuteronomy 24:16
The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.

And the Constitution has some things to say about Due Process, which includes the idea that you can’t be punished for a crime until you’ve been found guilty in a court of law.

Why should an entire household be punished for a crime only one of them ALLEGEDLY committed?

Are there extra points if someone dies because their medication isn’t properly chilled, or from extreme heat or cold due to no furnace/air conditioning/fans?


I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that as soon as the city council finds out that non-Hispanic white families will be affected, the idea will be dropped.


Not to mention: it was a biblical/Talmudic practice to forgive all debts every seven years.


I think this is a great a civil thing. You don’t have to put a kid in jail. A week without the Internet and video games and he’ll never fucking vandalize anything ever again. I don’t see what’s so wrong here. Your little brat does something wrong, you pay for it. Discipline your kids to keep them from defacing other people’s property and you won’t be stiffed with the bill.

A) Punishing people for the guilt of others is not a thing we generally condone in this country.
B) Parents are not generally legally responsible in many states for damage caused by children unless they actively encourage it. This is why you can sue kids.
C) Kids are human beings with free will. Your ability to control them is limited by the laws of physics, and some cases, the law of the land.
D) In the modern world, and especially Illinois in the winter, no electricity means no making a living, or just plain living.


This is a lot like the beginning of Cory’s Pirate Cinema.


My understanding is that in the USA parents generally are responsible for willful damage caused by their children.
There is a summary of state laws here: parental-responsibility-in-all-50-states

“The juvenile laws are very friendly to juveniles. And a lot of the time, we do not have the teeth to make anything stick.”
“With a juvenile court system, it’s awfully hard to get stuff done.”
If you live in Farmer City and your son or daughter is guilty of vandalism, you’ll be asked to pay restitution.

Hmmm… So how exactly do they define “guilty” if their issue is that they don’t want to go through courts?

…that said, I’m not really sure why they can’t just send a fine in the mail, with the legal weight to punish non-fine payers, which is how most cities deal with things like garbage violations, or whatever (which also don’t require courts, unless the fine-receiver contests). I’m guessing that the issue is that you can’t charge a minor with failure to pay fines, so I suppose this is one way to ensure they are punished, along with the rest of their family…


Hell, I say install wind and solar - then vandalism is free!


If your child is well behaved, and does community service, will they give you free electricity?


There is hyperbole in the headline. It’s not “we suspect you slashed those tires, so lights out for your family!”. It is
IF this highly speculative wacky idea gets carried to fruition, THEN
•IF you are found guilty (due process)
•restitution is required (you get to pay for the new tires and installation)
•IF you (or a parent who is responsible for you) don’t pay, then the money gets added to the electricity bill (legality of this action at this point uncertain)
•IF you don’t pay the electricity bill, that falls under normal procedures of recourse for non-payment of electricity bills, which may include shutting off electricity, but the following must be met according to IL law:
•they have to allow a payment plan for the arrears that allows it to be paid off slowly, and you get billed from thence on that nominal amount plus the current use. IF you keep up with that they can’t cut you off.
•they can’t shut it off between December 1 and March 31 or when freezing weather is predicted.

This is probably not a good idea for many reasons, but it is just an idea in an idea generating process ™, and there hasn’t been any specific legislation written or even proposed according to the article linked which few commenters seem to have read.


This is a public service announcement
With guitar
Know your rights all three of them

Number one
You have the right not to be killed
Murder is a crime!
Unless it was done by a
Policeman or aristocrat
Know your rights

And Number two
You have the right to food money
Providing of course you
Don’t mind a little
Investigation, humiliation
And if you cross your fingers

Know your rights
These are your rights

Know these rights

Number three
You have the right to free
Speech as long as you’re not
Dumb enough to actually try it.

Know your rights
These are your rights
All three of 'em
It has been suggested
In some quarters that this is not enough!

Get off the streets
Get off the streets
You don’t have a home to go to

Finally then I will read you your rights

You have the right to remain silent
You are warned that anything you say
Can and will be taken down
And used as evidence against you

Listen to this


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Yes, this is kind of ridiculous. The actual story is “Town will bill families of kids who commit vandalism,” which sounds reasonable to me.


The article said over 40 people had their tires slashed last year along with an unspecified number of broken windows. Out of 2,000 people that is a bit of a problem.


On Boing Boing???


Just two percent?