Curfew Facts

[UPDATE:  Read Three Strikes on the Montgomery County Curfew (Washington Post, 12/1/11)!  Academics Catherine Gallagher, Stephen Farnsworth and Joel Censer essentially repeat the points we've been making for the past five months.]

A quick handout explaining our position can be found here.

Below is a summary we have created to address common misconceptions surrounding the curfew debate.  We encourage you to send it out on local listservs.  The Google docs version is available here.

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Our county's laws should be based on fact, not intuition.

Facts about crime and the proposed curfew in Montgomery County:

Article 1: Curfews have NOT been shown to reduce crime.  The links get long so the following are hyperlinked, but if the hyperlinks have been lost, a google search should find the sources easily: American Academy of Social and Political Science systematic review, Mike Males in the Western Criminology Review (Politifact fact checked Males's study positively), American Journal of Criminal Justice study of the DC curfew, NYU study, Current Issues in Criminal Justice study, Crime & Delinquency study, Urban Institute study on the PG County curfew...  See more here.

Article 2: Juvenile crime (and crime overall) is DECREASING, contrary to a number of testimonies and to part of the premise of the bill (lines 4-5).  Total crime decreased by 4.6% in the last quarter and Part II offenses (which include juvenile crime) fell 3.6%.  See here: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/Apps/Police/News/NA_details.asp?NaID=6028.  See also "Crime Drops in Silver Spring with more cops" (Washington Examiner 10/6/11)

Article 3: Juvenile crime is concentrated outside of curfew hours. More specifically, from the US Department of Justice: "The rate of juvenile violence in the afterschool period is 5 times the rate in the juvenile curfew period." It goes on to conclude that: "Consequently, efforts to reduce juvenile crime after school would appear to have greater potential to decrease a community’s violent crime rate than do juvenile curfews."   More information on that statistic here: http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/offenders/qa03301.asp

Article 4: Even the police are not in full support of the curfew.  It's true that Police Chief J.Thomas Manger has been supporting the curfew proposal, but the cops of Montgomery County have come forward against the law.  Torrie L. Cooke, the corporate vice president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 35, spoke out against the curfew at the hearing.  Their concern is that police resources will be spread thin because, "Police officers will become babysitters."

Article 5: The only two studies which support curfews are significantly flawed.  The US Mayors study (http://www.usmayors.org/publications/curfew.htm) has several shortcomings.  It finds that the very same people who implement curfews, city officials, "feel", "think", and "believe" that their curfew works. It neglects to look at hard data (crime rates) even though it exists and presents only overall numbers, instead of conducting tests of statistical significance. The UC Berkley Study (http://www.econ.berkeley.edu/~pkline/papers/Youth%20curfews%20latest.pdf) has been criticized for lack of a control (comparing curfew areas to non-curfew areas).  This means that an overall crime drop (the prevalent trend in the last two decades) may have been falsely attributed to the curfew, though it is possible that in this one instance the curfew worked.

Article 6: The Frederick County curfew was overturned for violating minors' rights and for accusations of racial profiling.  See more information here: http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1992-08-03/news/1992216089_1_curfew-laws-minors-frederick

Please visit www.stopthecurfew.net for more information. Feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or facts supporting a curfew at lmuskinpierret@gmail.com.  Thanks so much for your interest in the issue!
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Feel free to write to us with more question about the curfew and the facts supporting our position.  Please contact standuptomococurfew@gmail.com.
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