Contradictions and consensus: Youths speak out about juvenile curfews.

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William Ruefle

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Juvenile curfew laws are supposed to reduce juvenile crime and victimization. Yet, current empirical evidence demonstrates that these laws are ineffective, but cannot explain why. This study examines the New Orleans juvenile curfew law through focus group discussions with youths. The focus groups were designed to determine their experiences and reactions to this law. The major dimensions explored are their knowledge of the law, compliance with the law, reactions to enforcement of the curfew, and evaluation of the law. The results show that the adolescents’ knowledge of the curfew is incomplete, disobedience is widespread, they are concerned about unfair enforcement of the law, and yet they overwhelmingly support the curfew. Further examination of the youths’ statements show that they feel unsafe and they want parents to be responsible for them and to protect them.


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Taylor & Francis

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.