Philadelphia will change the curfew law to allegedly protect kids but it may not change the city’s spiking crime rate
Philadelphia is expected to pass a new law which will sets curfew for kids fourteen (14) to seventeen (17) to be home by 10:00 p.m. Curfew ordinance for kids thirteen (13) and younger will remain 9:30 p.m. Parents should understand that kids who violate the curfew could receive a fine (which parents will have to pay) of $250.00 for a first violation and $300 to $500 for subsequent violations.
Right now, there is no fine for violating curfew and the officer must “make every reasonable attempt” to return a child home. If that is not possible, the police officer is supposed to take the violator to one of two community centers in south or southwest Philadelphia; two additional resource centers will open this summer in northwest and central Philadelphia.
Why Philadelphia is change the curfew?
The proposed new law is an attempt to keep young people safe based on recent mass shootings. In addition, business owners have complained that large groups of teens congregating often causes problems for their business, especially following the openings after almost a two-year Covid restriction and shut-down policy.
Why the changed Philadelphia curfew may not change the crime rate in Philadelphia
Criminologist and other experts have indicated that curfews do little to reduce violence or lower victimization rates. Philadelphia has a had a curfew since 1955, but it was updated in 2011 under former Mayor, Michael Nutter. Last year, however, the police stopped issuing citations and opened resource centers instead. Experts believe and have found that most juvenile crime and victimization occurs outside of curfew hours, but curfews are a low cost, low stake effort, which can nevertheless help.
Critics have argued that police resources dedicated to curfews will take away from more important issues. Since 2015, over 12,300 people have been shot in Philadelphia, 8% were juveniles and 54% were between the ages of 18 and 29. Juveniles account for 3% of those charged with fatal shootings and 13% of those charged with non-fatal shootings.
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