Online Program

A legal analysis to guide the drafting of juvenile curfew laws

Monday, November 4, 2013

Elyse Grossman, JD, MPP, Public Policy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD
Nancy A. Miller, PhD, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD
Kathleen Hoke Dachille, JD, Network for Public Health Law--Eastern Region, University of Maryland Carey School of Law, Baltimore, MD
Curfew laws seek to provide general protection to and from youth by restricting the times that children of certain ages are allowed to occupy public places or streets. These laws often contain exemptions such as for youth accompanied by an adult, responding to an emergency, or traveling to or from school, work, or a religious service. However, the actual language used and exemptions included vary by locality. As a result, the courts have reached different results with several courts upholding curfew laws as constitutional while others overturned these laws. This poster will give a history of the curfew laws and discuss the reasons that localities have cited for enacting these laws. It will also list the three main arguments that people have with curfews, mainly, that these laws are: a) unconstitutional; b) ineffective; and, c) poorly implemented. The poster will include an analysis of the case law and statutes debated. This will include a discussion of the reasons the judges gave for overturning or upholding the curfew laws as well as an analysis of the language and provisions included in the different laws. Finally, this poster will provide guidance for policy-makers on how to propose and draft these laws to prevent the courts from overturning them and discuss how curfew laws should be one part of a broader enforcement strategy.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Explain the history of juvenile curfew laws. Discuss the reasons localities have cited for enacting juvenile curfew laws. List the three main arguments that people have with juvenile curfew laws. Formulate juvenile curfew laws in such a manner as to avoid the courts from overturning them for constitutionality reasons and to prevent poor implementation.

Keyword(s): Adolescents, Law

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have completed a law degree and a masters in public policy. Additionally, my PhD dissertation is on juvenile curfew laws.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.