Law \ Legal

Debate Over Enforced Curfew for Teens Spreads Nationwide

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Photo by Runs With Scissors via Flickr

  • In response to a spike in violent crime among teenagers, authorities around the country have been imposing curfews, with places like Chicago actually expanding youth curfew laws and increasing police enforcement of them, reports Time.

  • However, Josiah Bates reports, researchers say that there is no evidence that curfews reduce crime, while community leaders worry that increasing police contact with teens from disadvantaged communities, especially Black teens, could lead to further criminalization, more arrests, and worse prison sentences for minor offenses.

  • According to Philadelphia’s crime stats, in July 2022, when the updated curfew was in effect, most violent crimes did not decrease compared to the same month a year earlier. In fact, robberies with a gun went up 72 percent, other types of robberies increased by 40 percent, and auto thefts went up 29 percent.

  • A 2015 study by professors at the University of Virginia and Purdue University found the effect on public safety was “ambiguous,” and even suggested that curfews could increase the levels of violence.

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