Philadelphia council approves permanent curfew for minors

Northeast

FILE – Traffic moves along the Interstate 76 highway on March 31, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

(NewsNation) — The Philadelphia City Council on Thursday voted to make a 10 p.m. curfew for minors permanent.

NBC Philadelphia reported that over the summer, the city enacted a temporary curfew that expired in September. The bill approved on Thursday, however, does not have an end date.

Mayor Jim Kenney now has to sign the bill before the curfew becomes law. A spokesperson for Kenney’s office told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the mayor is reviewing the legislation, but did not say the mayor supported or would sign it.

Teenagers ages 14-17 would have to be home by 10 p.m. if the bill is signed, while those under 13 are required to be home by 9:30 p.m. Police are directed to try to take children violating the curfew home. If they can’t do that, law enforcement has to take them to a police district, or one of the city’s community evening resource centers.

There are some exceptions to the curfew, though, such as if the child is with a parent or guardian; working or going to or from work, or running an errand and other “legitimate business” as directed by their guardian, among others.

Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson championed the curfew, and it was framed as a way to keep children safe during the gun violence crisis, the newspaper said.

“We’ve seen increased rates of young people involved with crime and criminal incidents simply because they are out too late,” Richardson told NBC10.

But both NBC Philadelphia and the Inquirer found that more children were shot when the 10 p.m. curfew was in effect this past summer than any other summer on record.

Additionally, studies have found that juvenile curfews do not reduce crime or victimization.

“The lack of any credible evidence in their favor suggests that any effect is likely to be small at best and that curfews are unlikely to be a meaningful solution to juvenile crime and disorder,” one report said.

The curfew bill passed by a 15-1 vote. Councilmember David Oh was the lone dissenter, according to the Inquirer. He said requiring an already short-staffed police force to transport kids home who might not be causing trouble wastes resources and negatively affects people’s relationship with law enforcement.

“It builds animosity between police and the community,” he said.

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