Next Thursday, the Chicago city council will vote on a measure to scale back curfew times for children ages 12 and under to 8:30pm on the weekdays and 9pm on the weekends. The bill, which has the backing of the Chicago Police Department, will also impose stiff fines on the parents whose children break those curfews. Violations will be issued, to the tune of a whopping$1,500 per infraction. For parents unable to pay the fines, community service can be performed in lieu of the cash penalty.
In recent months, Chicago has been plagued by an increase in violence amongst youth and the city feels younger children may be caught up in the cross-hairs of such violence. According to CLTV, current curfew laws are the same as older teens up to 17 years old, set at 10pm. Last year, the Chicago Police gave out upwards of 19,000 citations for underage curfew violations. Since the proposal wouldn’t go into effect until 30 days after it’s passed by the city council, children will be able to take full advantage of their later curfew for this season.
The new curfew regulations are expected to pass the City Council. The few Alderman who oppose the bill raise concerns that the bill might squelch summer fun for young children, inhibiting them from enjoying the longer days to their fullest.