The effects of Prince George’s County, Maryland’s youth curfew law on arrests and calls for service are examined in this report from the Urban Institute.
Over 200 localities across the United States have imposed curfews on youths in response to juvenile crime and violence. This report present a review of literature concerning the effects of youth curfews on crime statistics, suggesting that there are many unresolved questions as to the effectiveness of these curfews. Focusing on Prince George’s County, Maryland’s youth curfew law, the authors investigate whether the number of arrests of youths under the age of 17 was reduced after the curfew was introduced and whether the number of calls for service for disturbances and crimes was reduced after the curfew was implemented. Based on arrest data and calls for service and computer aided dispatch, the authors found that time series analysis revealed little support for the hypothesis that the curfew reduced arrests and calls for service during curfew hours. Furthermore, the spatial analysis did not provide any direct conclusions regarding the influence of the curfew. The authors conclude that while their findings did not provide overwhelming evidence either in support of or against the curfew, continuing to explore the spatial dimensions of youth crime using new methods and new technologies will generate valuable information concerning juvenile crime and disorder over both space and time. A series of figures detailing Prince George’s County Police Districts and Call Clusters are also included.
Date Published: March 1, 2003