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Home​NewsDC Starts Enforcement in Youth Curfew Pilot Sept. 1

DC Starts Enforcement in Youth Curfew Pilot Sept. 1

The juvenile curfew enforcement pilot begins Friday night across seven areas of the District.

A curfew for youth aged 17 or younger has been on the books for years, since at least 1995. The law is prefaced under a subtitle, “findings and purpose”: “The Council has determined that persons under the age of 17 years are particularly susceptible, because of their lack of maturity and experience, to participate in unlawful and gang-related activities and to be the victims of older perpetrators of crime.”

According to DC Code, kids are not supposed to be in public places or in businesses  between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. starting the evening of any Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.

Kids are supposed to be inside somewhere safe from 12:01 a.m. until 6:00 a.m. on any Saturday or Sunday. During the months of July and August, DC Code gives curfew hours as from 12:01 a.m. until 6:00 a.m.

Earlier this month, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that that the curfew would be enforced starting Sept. 1. The focus areas were selected by MPD and include neighborhoods that have experienced a substantial increase in the number of young people involved in criminal conduct such as robberies or carjackings over the summer. 

Police will bring youth found in violation of curfew in these areas to the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) where they will be reconnected with their family.

That frees officers up to focus on public safety, DC officials say. Outside of the program, when an officer decided to detain a youth for being outside of curfew, they would bring the child to a police station. The officer then stays with the child until they found a parent or guardian.

“I’ve shared before that when I was young, my father used to tell me: there’s nothing good in the street after 11 o’clock,” Bowser said in a press release. We want our kids home, we want them safe, and if they’re not – we want families working with us to get their kids the help that they need.”

Focus areas were selected by MPD and cover neighborhoods that have experienced a substantial increase in the number of young people involved in criminal conduct such as robberies or carjackings over the summer. 

Chicago and Philadelphia set curfews for minors last year. But use of the measure is controversial. Various studies, including a 2003 study that looked at the effect of the law in the District, appear to show that curfew laws do not reduce juvenile crime.

The seven focus areas included in the Juvenile Curfew Enforcement Pilot cover the following areas:

·         District 1: Chinatown and Navy Yard 

·         District 3: U Street area 

·         District 3: Howard University/Banneker 

·         District 4: 14th Street between Otis and Spring Road, NW 

·         District 4: 4000 Georgia Avenue, NW 

·         District 6: 4400-4600 Benning Rd, SE  

·         District 7: 1300 Congress Street, SE  

 

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