Most Not surprisingly, juvenile curfew laws are not without controversy and they can be legally challenged.Common defenses are on constitutional grounds as discriminatory on the basis of age.But the greatest spike in curfews came in the early 1990s, amid a sharp rise in youth crime.Between 19, criminal offenses by juveniles rose 26 percent; even worse, youth crimes against persons – murder, rape, and assault – skyrocketed 56 percent. From 1990 to 1995, 53 of America’s 200 largest cities enacted new curfew ordinances.: a regulation enjoining the withdrawal of usually specified persons (such as juveniles or military personnel) from the streets or the closing of business establishments or places of assembly at a stated hour During the Middle Ages, houses in European towns were often made of wood and were close together, and fires could quickly spread from house to house.To prevent this, people were required to put out or cover their hearth fires by a certain time in the evening. In poll after poll, Americans support laws that restrict teenagers’ activities during certain hours of the day and night. If youngsters are getting into trouble, it makes sense to get them off the streets.There’s only one problem with youth curfews: They don’t work. Yet that’s what we’re doing in Philadelphia, where Mayor Nutter recently extended a 9 p.m.
There are three main types of curfew laws: juvenile curfew laws, emergency curfew laws, and business curfew laws. Juvenile Curfew Laws Juvenile curfew laws are typically enacted at the state and local level, and prohibit people of a certain age (usually under 18) from being in public or in a business establishment during certain hours (such as between p.m. Goals behind these laws are frequently cited as maintenance of social order, and prevention of juvenile crime.
The effort got a boost from President Bill Clinton, who signed a 1996 measure allotting million to help local governments enact curfews and other anti-crime ordinances.
“They help keep our children out of harm’s way,” Clinton declared. To his credit, Mayor Nutter has instituted other measures to fight juvenile crime, including expanding the hours that recreation centers stay open.
Youth curfews date to late 19th century, when America’s cities swelled with millions of unsupervised teens.
Like laws mandating school attendance and banning child labor, the argument went, curfews would improve individual lives even as they protected the social order.