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Effect of a Curfew Law on Juvenile Crime in Washington, DC

NCJ Number
American Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 27 Issue: 2 Dated: Spring 2003 Pages: 217-232
Danny Cole
Date Published
16 pages
This study examined the impact of a 1995 Washington, DC juvenile curfew law on overall juvenile arrests.
During the late 1980’s through the mid 1990’s, the country was swept by rising juvenile crime rates and public policy discussions and determinations concerning such trends. One popular intervention at the time was juvenile curfew laws, although such laws have been met with mixed results in terms of their impact on juvenile crime rates. This article presents an experimental replication study designed to examine the impact of the 1995 Juvenile Curfew Act in Washington, DC. The author examined juvenile arrest data for Washington, DC from October 1, 1993, through September 30, 2001, using a two-standard-deviation-band approach, t-test, and trend analysis. The results indicate that the Washington, DC juvenile curfew law was not effective at reducing total juvenile arrests. The findings are discussed in light of inherent flaws in curfew laws. Implications for public policy are noted regarding juvenile crime. Tables, references