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San Francisco's Youth Crime Decline: Will Curfew Help or Hinder?

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2006
5 pages
This study evaluated the effectiveness of San Francisco's curfew in youth crime prevention.
While young children on the streets may eventually become a part of the larger population of older adolescents in detention, the case for renewing efforts to enforce curfew against those youth under the age of 14 is questionable. Police officers can and will pick up young children when they are on the street between midnight and the early morning hours; however, it is better to use scarce police resources by assisting community efforts to reach out to adolescents in need and train officers to work effectively with youth and their families. Following the recent push to enforce an existing, but rarely policed curfew in San Francisco, many juvenile justice service providers wondered whether the policy responded to a clear problem. This study evaluated the appropriateness of San Francisco's curfew from a crime prevention standpoint. The Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ) reviewed the age demographic of the juvenile population at the Youth Guidance Center (YGC), San Francisco's juvenile detention, for each month since January 2006, and for the years 2004 and 2005. Tables