Amid a chorus of boos from discontented citizens Monday night, the Baltimore city counsel reached an overwhelming 13-2 vote in favor of increasing the strictness of the city’s curfew laws.
The city’s new curfew standards, which mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has already agreed to sign into law, are among the strictest curfew guidelines in the nation. The new law commands that all children under the age of 14 be inside their homes by 9 p.m. daily, RT reports.
This new 9 p.m. curfew is effective every day of the week, including weekends. Perhaps more shocking is the fact that it is also effective during the summer months when children are on vacation from school.
The city of Baltimore has also moved all curfews for teens between the ages of 14 and 16 up an entire hour. This means that teens will need to be inside by 10 p.m. on school nights and by 11 p.m. on weekends. This, as compared to the city’s old curfew, is much more strict.
Before the new curfew standards were set, the city of Baltimore required all teens and children under the age of 17 to be inside and off the streets before 11 p.m. every night, year round.
Mayor Rawlings-Blake has stated repeatedly that the new curfew laws are meant as a safety measure, and not as a form of punishment. She assured her constituency that “this is about (taking kids) out of harm's way before a situation materializes where their being on the street becomes a law enforcement concern.” This is according to WBAL-TV.
Children who are found to be in violation of this curfew will be taken to a youth connection center and can be fined up to $500, an amount that could have significant implications for an impoverished or struggling family.