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Related to Curfews: Juvenile Curfews


[O.Fr.,=cover fire], originally a signal, such as the ringing of a bell, to damp the fire, extinguish all lights in the dwelling, and retire for the night. The custom originated as a precaution against fires and was common throughout Europe in the Middle Ages. The curfew has most recently been used in times of turbulence, such as revolution or civil disorders. It is a restrictive measure forcing all persons into their homes to reduce activity against the government or the occupying force. In some communities it has been applied to curb juvenile delinquency.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an emergency measure prohibiting residents of a community to be on the streets during specified times without special permission.

In the USSR a curfew can be established only under martial law. Its purpose is to maintain order and to prevent diversionary, espionage, or other enemy activity against troops, military and civilian bodies of authority, and military and industrial objectives. Special military subunits are assigned to maintain order during a curfew. In capitalist countries a curfew is established by military and civilian authorities not only in wartime but also in peacetime in cases of increased political and economic aggravations in the country and is often accompanied by arbitrary and lawless police action.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. an official regulation setting restrictions on movement, esp after a specific time at night
2. in medieval Europe
a. the ringing of a bell to prompt people to extinguish fires and lights
b. the time at which the curfew bell was rung
c. the bell itself
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Some parts of Sri Lanka including North Western Province (NWP) were placed under indefinite curfew and social media was banned since Monday night after a 45-year-old man was killed by a sword-wielding mob in an escalating anti-Muslim backlash following the Easter terror attacks, Al Jazeera reported.
Under the proposed 'Unsafe Hours for Children Act,' the curfew would be in effect during 'unsafe hours' and in 'public places' from 10 p.m.
Dubai: Filipino residents in Dubai welcomed the stricter enforcement of curfew laws where unaccompanied minors are being taken off the streets of Metro Manila but decried the way authorities are implementing it.
Thus the curfew costs lives rather than saves them.
The curfew was lifted in western areas of the Sur district, the chief district administrator's office said Wednesday.
Releasing a written statement on Wednesday morning, the district governor's office said the new curfews were imposed to ensure public order, remove barricades established on streets, remove trenches dug by PKK terrorists and remove bombs that have been planted by PKK terrorists in various parts of the district.
According to data compiled by the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, 52 curfews have been imposed since mid-August across seven Turkish provinces in the region, affecting areas where some 1.3 million people live.
A suicide attack killed at least 40 people on Saturday in Baghdad, hours after a decade long nighttime curfew ended, which began from midnight to 5am.
In many cases, the curfews were introduced as knee-jerk reactions to the five-day battle between the Army and radical Syrian rebels in Arsal and the subsequent execution of three hostages they abducted during the August conflict.
The town's Youth Protection Curfew bylaw gives Town Council the right to prohibit people 17 and younger from the streets from 11 p.m.
There is the previously mentioned fair-housing risk, and strong indications that curfews are not effective anyway.
Smith and Burton were made subject to an electronically monitored curfew from 9pm to 6am as part of their punishment for attacking a teenage lad outside a city bar.