Article

The effects of curfews on juvenile criminal activity: An individual-level analysis

Applied Economics Letters (Impact Factor: 0.23). 03/2011; 18(4):311-313. DOI: 10.1080/13504851003689643
Source: RePEc

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study is to determine the impact of juvenile curfews on the criminal activities of young adults. Using individual-level data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth - Geocode (NLSY) data set and estimating an economic model of crime for young adults, this study finds that although curfews have no statistically significant effect on the criminal behaviour of young adults, they do have a negative effect on the arrests of young adults. These results differ somewhat from the results of prior studies but lend support to community officials who believe that curfews are an effective tool in combating juvenile crime.

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    ABSTRACT: Context: Automobile crashes cause more than 800,000 youth injuries and deaths each year. Other youth suffer the consequences from being either a perpetrator or victim of a crime. One type of law that has an effect on youth behavior is juvenile curfew laws. These laws restrict the times that youth may occupy public places or streets. We systematically reviewed studies evaluating the effectiveness of these laws to address the question: Can juvenile curfew laws be used to improve youth public health and juvenile justice outcomes? Evidence acquisition: In 2013, we used a standardized set of keywords to search 24 databases for studies that evaluated effectiveness outcome measures of juvenile curfew laws. After applying the exclusion criteria and removing duplicate studies, 14 studies of juvenile curfews remained. Evidence synthesis: Of the six studies examining the effectiveness of juvenile curfew laws on adverse youth health outcomes, five found a positive impact. Of the eight studies examining the effectiveness of curfew laws on juvenile crime and victimization, four found a positive impact. Conclusions: The studies that found that juvenile curfew laws were effective at reducing adverse youth health outcomes (e.g., trauma transports); juvenile crime; and victimization were of higher quality (e.g., stronger methodologic approaches) than those finding no effects. However, given the limited number of studies and concerns with quality, we conclude that more research is needed before conclusions can be drawn about the effectiveness of juvenile curfew laws.
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