skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 206996 Find in a Library
Title: Effectiveness of Juvenile Curfews at Crime Prevention
Journal: Annals of the American Academy  Volume:587  Issue:1  Dated:May 2003  Pages:136-159
Author(s): Kenneth Adams
Date Published: May 2003
Page Count: 24
Document: HTML
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article; Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After reviewing the history and current popularity of curfew laws intended to reduce juvenile crime, this paper assesses the effectiveness of these laws and offers plans for a more comprehensive evaluation of curfew laws.
Abstract: Juvenile curfew laws restrict the presence of juveniles in public during specified hours on a continuing basis. Opponents of curfew laws doubt their effectiveness and charge that they violate important civil rights and inevitably result in discriminatory enforcement against minority youth. Curfew laws have increased in recent years because of public concern about juvenile crime and the general tendency of policymakers to address crime by increasing the number and severity of social control measures. Advocates of curfew laws believe that they enable the police to do what parents should be doing, i.e., ensuring that their young children are at home and under parental supervision in the late night and early morning hours. Further, identification of the children and youth who are out late at night implies that these are high-risk youth without effective parental supervision who may require intervention to prevent the escalation of antisocial behavior. An analysis of 10 empirical studies of the impact of curfew laws failed to support the argument that curfews reduce crime and criminal victimization. The studies consistently found no change in crime linked to curfews; however, the studies analyzed had weak to moderate rigorous designs. This report offers recommendations for a more comprehensive and well-designed program of research that will distinguish the effects of various types of curfew laws and the nature and style of their enforcement. 1 table, 9 notes, and 33 references
Main Term(s): Police crime-prevention
Index Term(s): Curfew; Effectiveness of crime prevention programs; Juvenile delinquency factors; Problem-Oriented Policing
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.