Earlier curfew starts Sunday for Chicago youth

September 16, 2011

Download Story

Sunday marks the beginning of an earlier curfew for Chicago youth.  The city council approved the new curfew in July as a way to protect kids by keeping them off the streets after dark.

Starting Sunday night, kids between the ages of 12 and 16 have to be indoors by 10:00 PM Sunday through Thursday, and 11:00 PM on Friday and Saturday nights. Children under 12 have to be in before 8:30 PM on weekdays and 9:00 on weekends.

Youth organizers across the city have come out in support of the plan. They say the night is the most dangerous time for students. Yet some say they are concerned about parents following the rules. Leola Clay of the Roseland-Pullman Chicago Youth Center said the parents who bring children to her center don't watch the news much, and she's concerned children will play outside after dark next week, not knowing about the new curfew.

Other organizers are concerned the new law won't be enough to keep some kids out of trouble. Caneal Rule, youth worker for the Elliott Donnelley Youth Center in Bronzeville, said the curfew is a good start, but he doesn't think it will keep kids completely safe. He wants more students to get involved in after school activities, minimizing their time spent on the streets.

For kids who break curfew, they might also be breaking the bank: Fines can reach up to $500 for a first offense, and those who repeatedly break curfew could see fines as steep as $1500.