Law \ Legal

DC Revives Youth Curfew Amid Crime Spike

Sixteen people have been picked up since Aug. 1, 2022 for violating the District’s recently  reinstated curfew restricting activity for those under 17 during nighttime hours, reports the Washington Post. The curfew, which was reinstated after a two year pause, is an effort to concentrate on areas where crime has spiked and young people tend to congregate. Youth arrests in 2022 increased about 12 percent in D.C. and 53 percent in Prince George’s compared with the same time last year.

Experts argue that the curfew risks exacerbating tense dynamics between police and communities and is rarely, if ever, effective in reducing violence. Multiple studies have also found that the prime time for violence committed by youths is right after school lets out in the afternoon and not the late-night stretches when curfews are in place. In D.C., the code allows police to detain youths who violate the curfew and release them to a parent or guardian, or to the family services division of the Department of Human Services until 6 a.m. The code also allows authorities to fine their parents up to $500.

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