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NCJ Number: 176212 Find in a Library
Title: Juvenile Curfews and the Courts: Judicial Response to a Not-so-new Crime Control Strategy
Journal: Crime and Delinquency  Volume:45  Issue:1  Dated:January 1999  Pages:99-121
Author(s): C Hemmens; K Bennett
Date Published: 1999
Page Count: 23
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Juvenile curfew laws are examined with respect to their constitutionality, based on recent appellate court decisions.
Abstract: The widespread and incorrect perception that juvenile delinquency is out of control has led to a number of changes in how the justice system deals with juvenile offenders. These changes include increased use of waiver to adult court and more frequent use of confinement as a sanction. Juvenile curfews are another currently popular approach to the problem of juvenile delinquency. Curfews have existed for centuries. Juveniles have been the most common curfew target in this country, despite little evidence that curfews are effective. Courts have given varying opinions regarding the constitutionality of juvenile curfew laws. The Supreme Court has acknowledged that children are different from adults and that the law must somehow reflect this fact. However, the Supreme Court has failed to establish a structured framework for the rights of minors. The consequence of an absence of a definitive pronouncement by the Supreme Court is confusion among the lower courts. Disagreement exists about whether juveniles possess the same fundamental rights as adults. If not, rational-basis review applies and the curfew is likely to stand. If so, strict-scrutiny review applies and the curfew is likely to fall. Lower Federal courts and State courts are likely to continue to issue conflicting rulings until the Supreme Court provides clear guidance. The current trend is for courts to uphold juvenile curfews as long as ordinances provide exceptions for legitimate activities, and cities are able to make a showing of a serious juvenile crime problem. Tables and 65 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Juvenile codes
Index Term(s): Appellate court decisions; Curfew; Juvenile status offenses; Legislative impact; Municipal ordinances; Rights of minors
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=176212

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