Maryland County officials have imposed a ban on teenagers below the age of 17 from the streets of the county after a spurt in violence, in August. They have to remain home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., during the week and can stay out a couple of hours longer on Friday and Saturday. Prince George’s County that also encompasses easter Washington D.C. has enforced the curfew for 30 days to bring down the crime rate. Fines and more for parents were also announced, on Monday.
Executive Angela Alsobrooks announced the new measures bluntly and said that someone had to take responsibilities for armed and dangerous children who were out at 3 a.m. and 4 a.m., to commit crimes. She added that “no summer job or government program is going to help that.”
The county is enforcing an existing law that was last used in 1995. Alsobrooks said that the current circumstances made it necessary to bring back the youth curfew law as crime had increased in an ‘eye-popping’ manner.
In 2022, 430 juveniles have been arrested so far while less than half this number were arrested last year. According to the executive, 84 young persons had already been arrested for carjackings to date while the number of arrests were similar for the entire year, last year.
The curfew states that younger people who are 17 or below have to stay at home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. on all the days of the week except on Friday and Saturday when they have a shorter curfew as they have to stay home between midnight and 5 a.m. This period termed as a “cooling down period” by Alsobrooks, will run for 30 days.
Alsobrooks mentioned in detail how parents also have to be accountable for their children. Recent laws have made it difficult to restrict juveniles. However, many believe that if juveniles perpetuate crimes that impact the community, it is time for action to be taken: through curfews, fines on parents for their children breaking curfews and children being released to social service if parents and guardians do not respond, when their children are pulled up for breaking curfew and more.
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