Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown introduced a bill on behalf of Mayor Michael Nutter's administration today that would significantly tighten curfew laws.

The bill divides minors into three age groups, reduces all hours and makes them uniform across the entire week and the entire city.

Youth aged 13 and under must be home by 8 p.m., those between 14 and 15 by 10 p.m. and those 16 and 17 by midnight. Exceptions will be made for minors accompanied by a parent, doing an errand or legitimate business or traveling to and from work.

"When young people come home early in the evening, we are less likely to see criminal behavior," Brown said. "Since there's never enough money for after school programs for all students, we need to put other controls on them."

 

The bill holds parents more accountable, increasing the violation fine from $25 to $75 and making those whose minor children are convicted of crimes liable to the victim.

"We can't legislate good parenting, but we can make parents realize there are consequences to those who don't do their job," Brown said.

The bill will be debated and subject to a public hearing and two votes, but Brown said that she did not expect it to face much opposition.

"All you have to do is say, 'look at what happened last summer,'" she said.

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