Articles Posted in Juvenile Crimes

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cityhall.jpgJust a couple months after a near unanimous vote by the city council, one of the strictest youth curfews is now officially the law of Baltimore City. Starting last Friday, all children under the age of 14 are required to be indoors at 9 p.m. every night of the week, unless accompanied by an adult. Juveniles between the ages of 14-16 must also be indoors by 10 p.m. on school nights, and at 11 p.m. on other nights. Any child caught violating the curfew will be taken to a youth connection center, where the parents or legal guardians will be notified. If the parents cannot be located then the department of social services and child protective services will become involved. Amidst national criticism, the mayor has strongly defended the curfew, stating numerous times that the intent of the law is to protect the children of Baltimore, and not to fight crime by enhancing police power. It’s hard to argue with the goal of protecting the city’s children, as nine children were killed this past year in Baltimore, a number that has more than doubled from last year. But still, there are those who believe the curfew is the wrong way to solve a serious problem.
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curfew.jpgThe Baltimore City Council recently voted 11-2 to impose a strict nightly curfew on children and young teens throughout the city limits. The mayor has already said she will approve the new bill, and it could end up becoming law by the middle of this summer. Bills signed by the mayor typically become law 30 days thereafter. The city currently has a curfew in place, which prohibits anyone under the age of 17 to be out on the streets past 11 at night on weekdays and midnight on weekends. But the proposed curfew is considerably more restrictive, and specifically targets various age groups. Upon becoming law, children and teens under the age of 14 will be required to be off the streets and indoors by 9 p.m. each day of the year. Teenagers between the ages of 14 and 16 will be permitted to stay out until 10 p.m. on school nights, and until 11 p.m. on all other nights. The new city legislation also increases the penalty for the parents of children that are found to be in violation. Where the old penalty carried a fine of up to $300, the new law will authorize a fine of up to $500. There is a provision that allows the fine to be waived if the parent attends counseling sessions with their child.
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