Curfews

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Do curfews work? Perception versus facts.


I'm all for a curfew for kids IF (1) after hours juvenile crime is on the increase, and (2) there is solid evidence that curfews have worked to reduce juvenile crime during curfew hours.

From a politicians standpoint, establishing a curfew is an easy decision to make, because, without the facts, people's general perception is that curfew's work. However, there is little or no evidence that curfews work and there is plenty of scientific data that shows that curfews don't reduce youth crime. See "The Impact of Juvenile Curfew Laws in California" - www.cjcj.org (search for "curfew"); "Evaluation of the Youth Curfew in Price George's County, Maryland www.ncjrs.gov (search by title); Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice - www.cjej.org; and Justice Policy Institute - www.justicepolicy.org .

I question if we should even have a curfew in the first place. Do we really want our police to divert their resources to chase kids home? Don't the police have enough to do already besides baby-sit for other people's children? And, do the police really want to create more hostility between the police and the kids? - Gordon Clay

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