ACLU of Maryland to Testify Against Proposed Juvenile Curfew
in Montgomery County


July 26, 2011

CONTACT: Meredith Curtis, ACLU of Maryland, 410-889-8555;
Melissa Goemann, ACLU Legislative Director, 410-693-4877;

ROCKVILLE - The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland will testify on Tuesday, July 26, before the Montgomery County Council against the proposed juvenile curfew. The curfew, which would ban anyone under 18 from public places after 11 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekends, would violate the fundamental liberties of innocent people. It would also usurp parents' rights to direct and control their children by giving the police unlimited discretion to arrest young people engaged in wholly legitimate and constitutionally protected conduct.

WHAT: Hearing before the Montgomery County Council on juvenile curfew proposal.

WHO: Melissa Goemann, Legislative Director, ACLU of Maryland. Goemann will be available for media interviews.

WHEN: Public hearings begin at 1:30 PM on Tuesday, July 26, 2011.

WHERE: Council Hearing Room, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, MD.

BACKGROUND: The ACLU of Maryland has long opposed juvenile curfew ordinances as a violation of fundamental liberties of innocent people. They criminalize innocent conduct and infringe on the rights of both young people and their parents. Curfews, at their core, essentially place everyone in a particular demographic under 'house arrest' for the actions of a minority. In addition, past experience has shown us the blatant risks of racial profiling in curfew law enforcement.

Criminalizing the innocent behavior of teenagers is also fundamentally ineffective. Studies show that curfew laws do nothing to deter crime or protect young people. Instead, curfew enforcement shifts valuable and limited police resources away from crime prevention.