A curfew requires that a person return to his home by a certain time. Although many parents implement curfews to ensure their child remains safe, cities and towns may also have curfews for children and teenagers 17 or younger. Implementing and enforcing a curfew is controversial because of the constitutional legalities, but it may be advantageous in some areas.
Imposing a curfew can help children get an adequate amount of sleep and arrive to school on time. Teenagers who are out socializing at night and into the early morning have trouble getting up on time for school and may show up late for class. Even during school hours, a lack of sleep creates learning problems and laziness, and students may not be able to understand the material or get their work done on time.
The International Debate Education Association reports that imposing curfews may help reduce violence in urban areas. Having a curfew may lower youth gang activity and keep criminality down. Keeping young people off the street allows police officers to focus on other matters and help keep streets more safe. Law enforcement officials in Tyler, Texas implemented a curfew in 2011 as a tool to keep the community safe.
Communities that implement a curfew are demonstrating a zero-tolerance policy on low-level crimes. The purpose of a curfew is not to have a major effect on more serious crimes, such as murder or assaults, but on common juvenile offenses. These offenses may include window breaking, drug dealing and graffiti-spraying.
A curfew may encourage families to spend more time together. Even if parents and children aren't watching television or a movie together, having a child in the house and off the streets may bring parents a sense of ease knowing that the youth has to be home at a certain hour and reduces the tension of parents implementing and enforcing a curfew.