Thursday, July 7, 2011

Aldermen Pitch Stricter Curfews for Kids

Could this cut down on youth violence in Chicago's streets?
Under the ordinance, proposed by Ald. Michelle Harris (8th), Ald. Toni Foulkes (15th) and Ald. Lona Lane (18th), children under 12 would have to be home by 8:30 p.m. on weekdays and 9 p.m. on weekends.

The aldermen said the measure is an effort to crack down on children who go unsupervised.

If approved, it would mark the second curfew rollback in as many years, and continue a series of ordinances that began in the '90s aimed at curbing youth violence.

Mayor Richard Daley imposed a curfew on the city's youth in 2008 when he set a 10 p.m. weekday and 11 p.m. weekend deadline for children under the age of 17.

Despite heavy criticism that Chicago was turning into a nanny state, Daley said the curfew would save lives. Under Daley's ordinance truants weren't arrested, but rather taken to community field houses and connected with Park District programs. Prior to that the council passed legislation that fined parents up to $500 for allowing children out past curfew.

The public saftey aldermen said their concern was also from child welfare.

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