June 26, 2021
Philadelphia City Council passed a new bill that streamlines the city's youth curfew laws and creates evening resource centers for teens in an effort to keep them safe and off the streets.
The bill passed unanimously through city council, but still needs mayoral approval before it goes into effect.
The city has had a youth curfew in place for years, but this new legislation streamlines the curfew times, removes punitive fines and changes the requirement that youths be taken to a police station if found in violation of the curfews.
It comes with an initial $1.3 million investment to create evening resource centers, a safe space for minors to go after violating curfew where they can get connected to resources.
"This bill and the new evening resource centers will help us connect more children and families to resources early and keep them off the street," Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson, the bill's sponsor, said in a press release.
Currently, when a teen is found violating curfew, officials will call their parents to pick them up and take them home. However, when parents can't be reached, the teen has to spend the night at a police station.
Richardson said these youth centers are also a way to keep young people from getting involved in crime.
“Young people are being caught up in gun violence and other dangerous activities far too often, and we need to create systems to intervene and provide resources earlier,” said Richardson.
The current law sets a minor's curfew based on their age, if it's a weeknight or weekend and if it's the school year or the summer.
The new law simplifies the curfew times by age. For example, the curfew time for those 16 and older under the new law is midnight all year round. For minors 14-16 it is 10:00 p.m. and for kids under 13, the curfew is 9:30 p.m.
This bill also gets rid of the monetary penalties for parents.
“I don’t think it’s fair to penalize parents, many of whom are working two and three jobs to take care of their families,” Richardson said, CBS3 reported.