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NCJ Number: 220740 Find in a Library
Title: Abolish Juvenile Curfews
Journal: Criminology & Public Policy  Volume:6  Issue:4  Dated:November 2007  Pages:663-670
Author(s): Kenneth Adams
Date Published: November 2007
Page Count: 8
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This essay argues against juvenile curfew laws based on four assertions derived from research.
Abstract: First, research shows that juvenile curfew laws have failed to achieve their intended objectives of reducing juvenile crime and victimization. Explanations for the ineffectiveness of curfews are that juveniles commit a relatively small proportion of overall crime; most juvenile crime occurs at times when curfews are not in effect; many juveniles do not comply with curfew laws; and the effects of curfew crackdowns on crime have little effect over the long term. Second, curfews are inefficient. Police resources are relatively fixed and limited, so officers engaged in curfew enforcement are not available for other duties that may be more effective in controlling crime. For example, an officer involved in processing a curfew violation is not available to respond quickly to a potentially violent domestic conflict. Third, curfews are inconsistently enforced and potentially discriminatory. Full curfew enforcement is neither possible nor desirable, which means it inevitably involves officer discretion and selective enforcement. It is likely that police curfew enforcement efforts will focus on low-income, minority neighborhoods. Fourth, curfew enforcement can involve counterproductive escalation of sanctions. Curfew laws carry sanctions that add financial and emotional stress on parents/guardians and their interactions with their children, and it can lead to the incarceration of chronic offenders. 16 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency research
Index Term(s): Curfew; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile delinquency prevention; Research uses in policymaking
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