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Do Juvenile Curfew Laws Work? A Time-Series Analysis of the New Orleans Law

NCJ Number
Justice Quarterly Volume: 17 Issue: 1 Dated: March 2000 Pages: 205-230
Date Published
March 2000
26 pages

This article assesses the effectiveness of juvenile curfew laws in New Orleans, Louisiana.


Juvenile curfew laws are one of the most recent weapons for combating delinquency, but little is known about their effectiveness. This study examines the impact of the New Orleans juvenile curfew law on victimizations, juvenile victimizations and juvenile arrests. It used interrupted time-series analyses to compare victimizations and arrests before and after the curfew was implemented. Results show the ineffectiveness of the curfew. None of the three phenomena decreased significantly after the law went into effect; some victimizations during non-curfew hours increased significantly after the law was implemented. Juvenile curfew laws are ineffective for reducing crime because they do not include many of the perpetrators of crime, namely older adolescents and young adults; they do not include the hours when juveniles are most likely to commit offenses; they are based on the incorrect assumption that police crackdowns reduce crime; they do not fully use the theories and research concerning juvenile delinquency; and they do not alter substantially the major correlates of delinquency (exposure to delinquent peers, school and the family). Notes, tables, figures, references

Date Published: March 1, 2000