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Evaluation of the National Roll-Out of Curfew Orders

NCJ Number
Isabel Walters
Date Published
48 pages
This report details findings from an evaluation of the first 13-months of the roll-out curfew orders across England and Wales from 1999 to 2000. The research attempted to determine whether the experience of the pilot curfew orders was replicated nationally and to assess the effectiveness of these orders.
Following an amendment in the 1994 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act, pilots of curfew orders for offenders began in Norfolk, Berkshire, and the City of Manchester from 1995 and Cambridgeshire, Middlesex, Suffolk, and West Yorkshire from 1997. Curfew orders, a community penalty, requires an offender to be at a specified place, usually home, at a specified time. This report describes the results from an evaluation of the first 13 months of the roll-out of curfew orders from December 1999 to December 2000 in England and Wales. The report aims to establish whether the experience of the trial was replicated nationally and to determine the effectiveness of the orders as an alternative sentence. The research investigated: (1) the organization and operation of curfews; (2) the characteristics of offenders sentenced to curfew orders, take-up rates, and types of orders made; (3) the views and experiences of those involved in the process (five sample areas were compared, Greater Manchester, Inner London, Kent, Merseyside, and West Glamorgan); (4) the “market share” of curfew orders in terms of the types of sentence they replaced; and (5) the overall costs and benefits. Four thousand, six hundred curfew orders were made over the evaluation period. Take-up was somewhat lower than the original projection of 8,000 per year at roll-out. Ninety percent of the offenders tagged were male with an average age of 25.5. Curfew orders were used for somewhat younger offenders than in the first 2 years of the pilots. Curfew orders produced a modest cost saving, predominantly due to the offenders who were curfewed. The completion rate remained high and the evidence suggests that tagging could be a positive, as well as a punitive experience. References