Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced his support today for a city ordinance instituting a new curfew for children under twelve. If approved, the measure would institute an earlier curfew for kids under twelve and apply Chicago's existing curfew of 10 p.m. on weeknights and 11 p.m. on weekends to kids between twelve and 16. Emanuel argues that instituting curfews is a matter of matching the city’s laws to sensible parenting, but he’s careful not to oversell their impact. “It doesn’t mean just because you have it, kids are going to be safe,” he cautioned. As it turns out, Emanuel is smart to keep expectations low.
According to a 2003 article in The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, there is little evidence that curfews actually reduce juvenile crime. The study’s author, Kenneth Adams of