The Effects of Adolescent Curfews on Crime

- | McNeil Building 414 (Urban Studies Conference Room)
Wilson Hernandez

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Speaker: Wilson Hernandez, Criminology

Discussant: Dr. Guy Grossman, Political Science

Abstract: Adolescent curfews are a popular and cyclical crime policy in the US, used mostly by cities to control youth offenders and protect youth from them. Despite having a history of almost 150 years in the US crime policy, they barely target 2.3% of the national population (between 11 and
17 years old). Using detailed data on the timing of adolescent curfews and crime incidents, this study assesses the effect of this regulation on arrests and offenses for a panel of 200 cities between 1991 and 2019. Results show that adolescent curfews do not increase arrests directly related to curfew violations but others that seem substitutes to avoid penalizing teens. However, when broken by race, results show that curfews decrease the number of White adolescent arrestees and increase that of Blacks. Despite changes at arrest levels, there was not enough evidence to identify changes in the number of committed offenses.

Please contact Tessa Huttenlocher (thutten@sas.upenn.edu) with any questions.

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