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The San Juan Capistrano City Council in Southern California is considering a draconian way to curb crime: a daytime curfew during school hours.

Not only does this send a chilling message about the value of young people, it's also ineffective, say Mark Lamb and Jonathan Huynh, high school students and leaders of the National Youth Rights Association - Los Angeles. They're urging other young people in the state to tell Council members that punishing youth for being young just doesn't make sense.

Youth curfews are often cited by policymakers as effective tools for reducing youth crime and solving other social ills. This claim is often repeated despite the fact that there is no comprehensive study that proves youth curfews are effective.

This paper from Western Criminology Review used statistics from the California Department of  Justice to conclude, “There is no support for the hypothesis that jurisdictions with curfews experience lower crime levels, accelerated youth crime reduction, or lower rates of juvenile violent death than jurisdictions without curfews.”

Making crimes out of harmless activities like walking down the street won’t keep anyone safe. Join youth rights activists in calling for a better solution.

Letter to
Mayor, San Juan Capistrano Sam Allevato
Mayor Pro Tem Larry Kramer
Council Member Laura Freese
and 2 others
Council Member Derek Reeve
Council Member John Taylor
Youth Curfews are often considered and passed by communities looking to address youth crime and truancy issues. However, it has been shown time and time again that this policy is ineffective and a violation of civil rights and constitutional protections.

Before you take a final vote on whether or not to enhance the youth curfew in San Juan Capistrano, please take a look at the evidence compiled by the National Youth Rights Association. The evidence is overwhelming and clearly shows that curfews are not an effective policy tool.

The NYRA cites a paper from Western Criminology Review which uses statistics from the California Department of Justice to conclude, “There is no support for the hypothesis that jurisdictions with curfews experience lower crime levels, accelerated youth crime reduction, or lower rates of juvenile violent death than jurisdictions without curfews.”

Making crimes out of harmless activities like walking down the street won’t keep anyone safe. I stand with youth rights activists in calling for a better solution.