City officials in Farmer City, Illinois are considering turning off the electricity of families with juveniles accused of vandalism.
Unlike many small towns, Farmer City controls its electricity.
The city manager, Larry Woliung, came up with the idea after 40 residents in the town had their tires slashed.
“After we’ve tried everything else, we cut your power,” Woliung said.
“It’s a very small group of adolescents. What we are seeing is a lack of respect for authority,” Mayor Mike Jenkins told WCIA 3, a CBS affiliate in Champaign, Illinois.
Jenkins believes laws are not enough to stop the problem, so collective punishment is the answer.
“The juvenile laws are very friendly to juveniles. And a lot of the time, we do not have the teeth to make anything stick,” he said.
“With a juvenile court system, it’s awfully hard to get stuff done.”
The Farmer City attorney is looking into the radical solution to see if it is legal.
Prior to investigating the legality of the move, the city council approved the measure.
“At the last council meeting our city manager asked to pursue a policy that would allow us to deny power to households of juveniles that had been caught vandalizing city property. The council did grant approval to begin this legal conversation with our lawyers,” Jenkins writes on his Facebook page.
“We as a city need to have a wide range of tools at our disposal to ensure that our citizens, their families, and their property are protected.”