Daytime Curfews Getting More Popular; Do They Work?


Daytime curfew laws, which prohibit youths from traveling unsupervised in public during school hours, appear to be popping up increasingly, reports Youth Today. Back in 1995, a U.S. Conference of Mayors survey found 72 cities with daytime curfew laws in effect for youths, in most cases covering anyone under the age of 18. Last month alone, six jurisdictions either passed a daytime curfew or were considering such a law. The king of daytime curfews is Texas, where major cities such as Houston and Austin have been at it for years; Dallas joined last year.In Richmond, Ca., police are asking the city council for a curfew to address crime and truancy; school officials are supportive; some parents and students question how effective or fair the law will be. The Montgomery County, Md., council is weighing the possibility of implementing a daytime curfew modeled after one in Baltimore; the motive being that, in 2009, 8,600 Montgomery students were absent for at least 20 days and about 1,000 of those students were labeled “habitually truant,” or absent without an excuse at least one day per week, on average. Dallas' experiment with daytime curfews is off to a rocky start, reports local news station DFW. The school district reports no “noticeable increase or decrease [in truancy] due to the daytime curfew,” and 70 percent of youths cited for curfew violations did not show up for their court appearance.

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