PS ITEM 1
September 15,2011
Worksession 1
MEMORANDUM
TO:
FROM:
Public Safety Committee
Amanda Mihill, Legislative Attorney
~MiChael
Faden, Senior Legislative Attorney
Worksession 1:
Expedited Bill 25-11, Offenses - Curfew - Established
SUBJECT:
Expedited Bill 25-11, Offenses - Curfew - Established, sponsored by the Council President at the
request of the County Executive, was introduced on July 12,2011. A public hearing was held on
July 26, at which speakers articulated strong positions for and against this Bill. See select
testimony and correspondence on ©24-46.
Bill 25-11 would establish a curfew for minors, prohibit certain activities during the curfew, allow
certain defenses, and specifY enforcement procedures and penalties. According to the County
Executive's transmittal memorandum, Bill 25-11 is intended to address issues relating to increased
gang activity, violence, and crime involving minors in the County. The Executive noted that Bill
25-11 is similar to current laws in Prince George's County and the District of Columbia.
On July 28, Council staff sent a set of questions on Bill 25-11 to Executive staff requesting
background information, including crime statistics, information about potential alternatives, and
effectiveness of curfews in other jurisdictions. Just before this packet went to print, the Executive
provided the responses attached at ©47.
1
Council staff has not had an opportunity to review the
responses; we
""ill
offer comments at and after the worksession.
This initial worksession will allow Committee members to review Bill 25-11 and the Executive's
proposed amendments and receive information from Executive staff. This worksession is also an
opportunity for Committee members to seek additional information from the Executive. A second
Committee worksession is tentatively scheduled for
November 3
at 9:30 a.m.
Background/Summary
As introduced, Bill 25-11 would establish a curfew for minors between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. on
Sunday through Thursday and from 12:01 a.m. until 5 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday (©3, lines 32­
34). During the curfew hours, a minor must not
remain
in any county public place or establishment
(©4, lines 75-76). Executive staff confirmed that a minor could be cited for a curfew violation only
lWe did not reprint Executive attachments F and G because they were already in this packet.
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after a police officer has told the minor to move along and the minor refused. "Public place" is
defined as "a place to which the public, or a substantial group of the public,·has access" (©4, lines
62-65). "Establishment" is defined as any privately-owned place of business to which the public is
invited, including any place of amusement or entertainment" (©3, lines 42-44). Bill 25-11 would
also prohibit a minor's parent from knowingly (or by insufficient control) permitting a minor to
remain in any public place or establishment during curfew hours and prohibit the owner or operator
of an establishment from knowingly allowing a minor to remain at an establishment during curfew
hours (©4-5, lines 77-86; ©5, lines 87-95).
Bill 25-11 lists many situations in which a minor may lawfully remain during curfew hours (©5-6,
lines 96-126). These exceptions are if the minor is:
1) accompanied by the minor's parent;
2)
accompanied by an adult authorized by the minor's parent to accompany the minor for a
specified period of time and purpose in a specified area;
3) on an errand at the direction of the minor's parent, without any detour or stop, until 12:30
a.m.;
4) in a motor vehicle, train, or bus in interstate travel through the County or starting or ending
in the County;
5) engaged in employment, or going to, or returning home from, employment, without any
detour or stop. The minor must carry a valid work permit issued under State law;
6) responding to an emergency;
7) on the property where the minor resides;
8) on the sidewalk that abuts the minor's residence, or that abuts the residence of a next-door
neighbor if the neighbor did not complain to the Police Department about the minor's
presence;
9) attending an official school, religious, or other recreational activity sponsored by the
County, a civic organization, or a similar entity that takes responsibility for the minor, or
going to, or returning home from, without any detour or stop, an official school, religious, or
other recreational activity supervised by adults and sponsored by the County, a civic
organization, or a similar entity that takes responsibility for the minor; or
10) exercising First Amendment rights protected by the
U.
S. Constitution.
Additionally, an owner or operator would not be in violation of Bill 25-11 if the owner or operator
notified the Police Department that a minor was in the establishment during curfew hours and
refused to leave (©6, lines 127-130).
Bill 25-11 also specifies enforcement procedures and penalties. Under the bill, after asking an
apparent offender's age, if a police officer finds that a minor is committing a curfew violation, the
police officer must take the minor to the nearest police facility and detain the minor until the minor
can be released into a parent's custody. If no parent is available, the police can take the minor to the
minor's residence or place the minor in custody of the Department of Health and Human Services
(DHHS), who may release the minor at the end of curfew hours (©6-7, lines 131-156).
Violation of Bill 25-11 would be a Class A violation for a parent or o"WTIer/operator of an
establishment. A civil Class A violation would carry a $500 fine for a first offense and a $750 fine
for a repeat offense. A criminal Class A violation would carry a maximum fine of $1,000 and a 6­
2
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month maximum jail term. Bill 25-11 as introduced would also allow the Court to require a parent
who violates the law to complete parenting classes. A minor who violates the curfew may be
required to perform up to 25 hours of community service (©7-8, lines 157-167).
Executive Amendments
On August 31, the County Executive submitted proposed amendments to Bill 25-11 (see redraft on
©11-21).
Council staff suggests that this redraft be treated as substantively the Bill before the
Committee, subject to further technical polishing.
The following Executive amendments are of
particular note:
Enforcement procedures/penalties.
The penalties for violating Bill 25-11 as introduced are
detailed on page 2 (©7-8, lines 157-167). The Executive's proposed amendments would make a
violation of Bill 25-11 a Class B civil citation for any minor, parent, or owner/operator (©20, lines
152-153; ©20-21, lines 169-170). The maximum fine for a Class B violation is $100 for an initial
offense and $150 for a repeat offense. In his amendments memo, the Executive noted that the
State's Attorney believes that if arrest authority is required in a specific situation, a police office can
use existing authority in state law requiring individuals to obey lawful police orders. A
representative of the State's Attorney is expected to attend this worksession.
In addition, the Executive's amendments would delete the authority for a Court to require a parent
to complete parenting classes and order a minor to perform community service (©21, lines 171­
176). The County Attorney's office concluded that the County does not have the authority to
empower courts to impose these requirements.
Finally, the Executive's amendments would delete language authorizing the police to take an
offending minor to a police facility and allowing the police to release the minor into the custody of
DHHS (©20-21, lines 147-164).
Exceptions.
The Executive recommended several amendments to the exceptions to the curfew. As
we noted on page 2, the bill includes a list of situations where a minor would not be found in
violation of the curfew. The State's Attorney recommended that the bill be amended to clarify that
these are affirmative defenses (©18, lines 99-100; ©19, line 134); Council staff is not sure that this
change in terminology makes any legal difference, but it is more confusing to the non-lawyer. The
Executive also recommended that this list of exceptions include a minor who is attending or
returning home from "an event at a place of public entertainment" (©19, lines 131-132). The
Executive also recommended that the exception related to employment be amended to not require
the minor to carry a work permit (© 19, lines 111-113).
Other amendments.
The Executive's proposed amendments would:
• alter the findings and purpose clauses to reflect the purpose of reducing juvenile violence,
gang activity, and crime (and removing language indicating there has been an increase in
these activities) and preventing disturbances of the public peace (©15, lines 4, 21-22);
• amend the definition of "emergency" (©16, lines 39-41);
3
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delete the phrase "insufficient control" from the prohibitions related to a parent, therefore
narrowing the circumstances under which a parent could be found in violation of Bill 25-11
(©17, lines 79-80); and
delete the definition of knowingly because it is a legal term that is defined in case law (©18,
lines 83-89, 92-98).
"Executive authority" amendment
Councilmember Floreen indicated that she expects to offer an amendment to convert the Bill's
youth curfew requirement (see Executive's proposed subsection (c) on ©4-5, lines 76-98) to a
conditional provision that only takes effect after the County Executive has imposed a youth
curfew, by Executive order published in the County Register, after receiving the advice of the
Police Chief, for:
• the entire County or one or more designated areas of the County; and
• a certain time period that does not exceed a specified limit (e.g. 6 months or one year).
This time limit would assure a regular review of the need for and effectiveness of any curfew.
Council staff will provide a draft of this amendment for the next Committee worksession.
This packet contains:
Expedited Bill 25-11
Legislative Request Report
Introductory memo from County Executive
County Executive amendments
Fiscal Impact Statement
Select testimony and correspondence
County Executive
Delegate Kirill Reznik
Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce
Montgomery County Civic Federation
Safe Silver Spring
Silver Spring Urban District Advisory Committee
American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland
Alan Xie, Board of Education student member
Fraternal Order of Police
National Youth Association of Maryland
National Youth Rights Association
Comptroller Peter Franchot
Executive memo with responses to Council questions
1
9
10
11
22
24
27
29
30
32
34
35
38
39
40
43
45
47
F:\LAW\BILLS\1125 CurfewlPublic Safety Memo.Doc
4
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Expedited Bill No. _--=2.::..5-...:..1-,-:1:--::_ _
Concerning: Offenses - Curfew -
Established
Revised:
7/11/2011
Draft No. 1
Introduced:
July 12, 2011
Expires:
January 12, 2013
Enacted: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Executive: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Effective: _--:-:_ _ _ _ _ _ __
Sunset Date:
....!N..!.:o~n!.l::e'___
_ _ _ _ __
Ch. _ _, Laws of Mont. Co. _ __
COUNTY COUNCIL
FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND
By: Council President at the Request ofthe County Executive
AN EXPEDITED ACT
to:
(1)
establish a curfew for minors;
(2)
make certain findings;
(3)
prohibit certain activities during the curfew;
(4)
provide for certain defenses;
(5)
establish enforcement procedures and penalties; and
(6)
generally amend County law relating to offenses and curfews.
By adding
Montgomery County Code
Chapter 32, Offenses - Victim Advocate
Section 32-23A
Boldface
Underlining
[Single boldface brackets]
Double underlining
[[Double boldface brackets]]
* *
*
Heading or defined term.
Added to existing law by original bill.
Deletedfrom existing law by original bill.
Added by amendment.
Deletedfrom existing law or the bill by amendment
Existing law unaffected by bill.
The County Council for Montgomery County, Maryland approves the following Act:
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EXPEDITED BILL NO.
25~11
1
Sec
1.
Sections 32-23A is added as follows:
32-23A. Curfew.
2
3
ill
Findings and Purpose.
4
5
6
ill
There has been an increase in juvenile violence, juvenile
mmg
activity, and crime
Qy
minors in the County.
ill
Minors
are particularly susceptible, because of their lack of
7
8
maturity and experience, to participate in unlawful and gang­
related activities and to be the victims of crime.
9
10
11
12
13
ill
The County is obligated to provide for:
fA}
the protection of minors from each other and from other
persons;
m2
©
(ill
the
enforcement
of
parental
control
over,
and
responsibility for, children;
the protection of the general public; and
the reduction of the incidence of juvenile criminal
activities.
14
15
16
17
18
19
ill
A
curfew for minors is in the interest of the public health,
safety, and general welfare and will help to attain these
objectives and to diminish the impact of unwanted conduct on
County residents.
20
21
ill
A curfew law will protect the welfare of minors by:
fA)
22
reducing the likelihood that minors will be the victims of
criminal acts during the curfew hours;
23
24
25
m2
reducing the likelihood that minors wi1t"become involved
in criminal acts or exposed to trafficking in controlled
substances during the curfew hours; and
26
77
-,
(C)
aiding
resDonsibilitv to
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EXPEDITED BILL
No. 25-11
28
exerCise reasonable supervision of minors entrusted to their
care.
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
®
Definitions.
In this Section, the following terms have the meanings indicated:
Curtew hours
means from
11
p.m.
on any Sunday, Monday, Tuesday,
Wednesday, or Thursday, until .2. a.m. the following day, and from
12:01 a.m. until.2. a.m. on any Saturday or Sunday.
Drug trafficking
means the act of engaging in any prohibited activity
related to controlled dangerous substances as defined in State law.
Emergency
means an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the
resulting state that calls for immediate action.
Emergency
includes
g
fire, natural disaster, automobile accident, or any situation that
requires immediate action to prevent serious bodily injury or loss of
life.
Establishment
means any privately-owned place of business to which
41
42
43
44
45
46
the public is invited, including any place of amusement or
entertainment.
Minor
means any person under
.lli
years old, but does not include
~
judicially emancipated minor or g married minor.
Operator
means any individual. firm, association, partnership, or
47
48
corporation that operates, manages, or conducts an establishment.
Operator
includes the members or partners of an association or
49
50
51
52
53
partnership and the officers of g corporation.
Parent
means:
natural parent;
adoptive parent;
step-Darent:
5-+
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EXPEDITED BILL
No. 25-11
55
56
57
58
59
ill
ill
any person who has legal custody or is the guardian of
£!
minor
by
court order or marriage;
any person who is at least
21
years old who is authorized
by
£!
natural parent, adoptive parent, step-parent, or custodial parent
of
£!
child to act as
£!
caretaker for the child; or
60
61
®
£!
public or private agency with whom
£!
minor has been placed
by
£!
court.
62
63
64
65
Public place
means any place to which the public, or
£!
substantial
group of the public, has access.
Public place
includes any street,
highway, and common area of
£!
school, hospital, apartment house,
office building, transport facility, or shop.
Remain
means to linger, stay, or fail to leave
£!
public place or
establishment when requested to do so
by
£!
police officer or the
owner, operator, or other person in control of the public place or
estab lishment.
Serious bodily injury
means bodily injury that creates
£!
substantial
risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or
protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or
organ.
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
81
W
Prohibitions.
ill
ill
Minor.
A mmor must not remam m any public place or
establishment in the County during curfew hours.
Parent.
A parent of
£!
minor must not knowingly permit, or
by
insufficient control allow, the minor to remaIn in any public
place or any establishment in the County during curfew hours.
The term "knowingly" includes knowledge that
£!
parent should
reasor.ablv be expected to have concemimr the location of
§:
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EXPEDITED BILL NO.
25-11
82
83
84
mmor m that parent's legal custody.
requirement is
intended to hold !! neglectful or careless parent to !! reasonable
community standard of parental responsibility through an
objective test.
It
~
therefore, no defense that !! parent did not
know of the activities, conduct, or location of the minor.
85
86
87
ill
Owner or Operator.
The owner or operator of an
88
89
establishment must not knowingly allow !! minor to remain at
an establishment in the County during curfew hours. The tenn
"knowingly" includes knowledge that an
or operator
90
91
92
should reasonably be expected to have concerning the patrons
of the establishment. The standard for "knowingly" must be
whether !! reasonable person in the position· of the owner or
operator should have known that the patron
committing !! curfew violation.
@
Defenses.
93
94
95
96
97
98
99
a mmor
ill
It
is not !! violation of this Section if !! minor during curfew
hours was:
®
ill}
accompanied
Qy
the minor's parent;
accompanied
by
an adult authorized
by
the
parent to accompany the minor for !! specified period of
time and purpose in !! specified area;
100
101
102
103
104
105
106
107
108
~
on an errand at the direction of the minor's parent,
without any detour or stop, until 12:30 a.m.;
(Q}
in!! motor vehicle, train, or bus in'-interstate travel
through the County or starting or ending in the County;
®
engaged in employment, or going
~
or returning horne
from. employment. without any
==...::..:::....::=
or
(j)
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EXPEDITED BILL
No. 25-11
109
110
minor must
gyry
~
valid work pennit issued under State
=..:..:....1
law'
111
112
113
114
115
116
117
(E)
(G)
(H)
responding to an emergency;
on the property where the minor resides;
on the sidewalk that abuts the minor's residence, or that
abuts the residence of
~
next-door neighbor if the
neighbor did not complain to the Police Department
about the minor's presence;
ill
attending
an official
school,
religious,
or other
~
118
119
recreational activity sponsored
Qy
the County,
organization, or
~
civic
similar entity that takes responsibility
120
121
122
123
124
125
126
127
128
129
130
131
132
133
l34
135
for the minor, or going
1!b.
or returning home from,
without any detour or stop, an official school, religious,
or other recreational activity supervised
Qy
adults and
sponsored
Qy
the County,
~
civic organization, or
~
similar entity that takes responsibility for the minor; or
ill
ill
exercising First Amendment rights protected
Qy
the
United States Constitution.
It is not
~
violation of subsection (c
)(3)
if the owner or operator
of an establishment promptly notified the Police Department
that
~
minor was present in the establishment during curfew
hours and refused to leave.
ill
Enforcement procedures.
ill
Before taking any enforcement action under this Section,
~
police officer must ask an apparent minor's age and reason for
being in the public place or establishment. The officer must not
=..;;.=-:;..
an
=.;;;..;;;...;. -==-;;;...::..::..
this Section
=-=-:::..::::.
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EXPEDITED BILL
No. 25-11
136
137
138
139
officer reasonably believes that:
(A}
an offense has occurred; and
based on any response and other circumstances, no
condition in subsection
@
applies.
@
140
141
142
143
144
145
146
147
148
149
150
151
152
153
154
155
156
157
158
159
160
161
162
ill
If
g police officer finds that g minor is committing g curfew
offense, the police officer must take the minor to the nearest
available Police facility, substation, or other area designated
Qy
the Police Department, and detain the minor until the minor can
be released to the custody of the minor's parent or an adult
acting in loco parentis.
ill
The minor's parent or an adult acting in loco parentis with
respect to the minor must be called to the Police facility,
substation or other designated area to take custody of the minor.
A minor who is released to g person acting in loco parentis with
respect to the minor must not be taken into custody for violation
of this Section while returning home with the person acting in
loco parentis. If no person claims responsibility for the minor,
the police may take the minor to the minor's residence or place
the minor in the custody of the Department of Health and
Human Services, who may release the minor at
2.
a.m. the next
mornmg.
ill
Penalties.
ill
Any parent or any owner or operator of an establishment who
violates this Section has committed g separate'offense for each
day, or part of g day, during which the violation is committed,
continued, or permitted. Each offense is g Class A violation.
Court may
or
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EXPEDITED
BILL
No. 25-11
163
164
165
166
167
168
169
170
each conviction for violating this Section to complete parenting
classes.
ill
A minor found to have violated this' Section
Qy
the Juvenile
Court may be ordered to perform
!:ill
to 25 hours of community
service for each violation.
Sec 2. Expedited Effective Date.
The Council declares that this Act is necessary for the immediate protection
of the public interest. This Act takes effect on the date when it becomes law.
Approved:
171
172
Valerie Ervin, President, County Council
Date
173
174
Approved:
Isiah Leggett, County Executive
Date
175
176
This is a correct copy o/Council action.
M. Lauer, Clerk of the Council
Date
F:\LA w\BILLS\l1xx Curfew\Bill l.DOC
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LEGISLATIVE REQUEST REPORT
Bill 25-11
Offenses
~
Curfew
-
Minors
DESCRIPTION:
This bill imposes a curfew on youth under the age of 18 years from
Midnight to 5 :00 am on Saturday and Sunday and from 11 :00 pm to
5 :00 am on the remaining days of the week.
This bill is intended to address issues relating to increased gang
activity, violence, and crime involving minors in the County.
Youth under the age of 18 are particularly susceptible, because of
their lack of maturity and experience, to participate in unlawful and
gang-related activities and to be the victim of older perpetrators of
crime. Enactment of this bill will protect the welfare of minors by:
(1) reducing the likelihood that minors will be the victims of criminal
acts during curfew hours; (2) reducing the likelihood that minors will
become involved in criminal acts or exposed to criminal acts during
curfew hours; and (3) aid parents in carrying out their responsibility
to exercise reasonable supervision of minors entrusted to their care.
The bill will also protect the general public from juvenile related
criminal activity.
Department of Police, Office of the State's Attorney
PROBLEM:
GOALS AND
OBJECTIVES:
COORDINATION:
FISCAL IMPACT:
ECONOMIC
IMPACT:
EVALUATION:
EXPERIENCE
ELSEWHERE:
This bill is similar to laws that currently exist in the District of Columbia
and Prince George's County.
Police Chief Tom Manger
Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Kathleen Boucher, 240-777-2593
All except Gaithersburg, Garrett Park, Kensington, Laytonsville,
Poolesville, Rockville, Somerset, Washington Grove
Class A
SOURCE OF
INFORMATION:
APPLICATION
WITHIN
MUNICIPALITIES:
PENALTIES:
F:\LAW\BILLS\1 125 Curfew\LRRI.Doc
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OFFICE OF THE COtJNTY EXECUTIVE
ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND 20850
Isiah Leggett
County Executive
MEMORANDUM
July 11, 2011
-<
TO:
Valerie Ervin, President
Montgomery County Council
Isiah Leggett, County Executive
Proposed Legislation Establishing a Curfew for Minors
FROM:
SUBJECT:
I am transmitting for Council introduction an expedited bill that creates a curfew
for youth under the age of 18 years, as well as a Legislative Request Report for the bill. This bill
is similar to curfew laws that already exist in Prince George's County and the District of
Columbia.
This bill is intended to address issues relating to increased gang activity, violence,
. and crime involving minors in the County.
It
imposes a curfew from Midnight to 5:00 am on
Saturday and Sunday and from 11: 00 pm to 5 :00 am on the remaining days of the week.
Youth under the age of 18 are particularly susceptible, because of their lack of
. maturity and experience, to participate in unlawful and gang-related activities and to be the
victim of older perpetrators of crime. Enactment of this bill will protect the welfare of minors
by:
(1)
reducing the likelihood that minors will be the victims of criminal acts during curfew
hours; (2) reducing the likelihood that minors will become involved in criminal acts or exposed
to criminal acts during curfew hours; and (3) aid parents in carrying out their responsibility to
exercise reasonable supervision of minors entrusted to their care. The bill will also protect the
general public from juvenile related criminal activity.
I would greatly appreciate Council's expedited review of this bill. If you have
any questions about the bill, please contact Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Kathleen
Boucher at 240-777-2593 or Kathleen.boucher@montgmoerycountvmd.gov.
Attachment
montgomerycountymd.gov/311
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OFFICE OF THE COUNTY EXECUTIVE
ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND 20850
lsiah Leggett
County Executive
August 31,2011
TO:
Valerie Ervin
Council President
~'
_ _
.,.."'
FROM:
Isiah Leggett
County Executive
~
SUBJECT:
Recommended amendments to Bill 25-11, Offenses - Curfew - Established
I want to thank the Council for introducing Bill 25-11, Offenses - Curfew­
Established on my behalf on July 12 and promptly holding a public hearing on the bill on July
26. Based on testimony provided at the public hearing and feedback I have received from the
State's Attorney and other County residents, I would like to recommend a number of
amendments to clarify the intent of the bill and the manner in which it would be implemented. I
am attaching an amended version of the bill that reflects all of my recommended amendments.
Each of the amendments is discussed in more detail below.
Legislative Intent
I recommend that language be added to clarify that the intent of the bill is to
reduce juvenile violence, juvenile gang activity, and juvenile crime in the County and prevent
disturbances of the public peace, in addition to protecting minors from each other and other
persons and enforcing parental responsibility for children (see lines 4 and 21-22).
Civll Citation
The bill currently specifies that a curfew violation is a Class A violation but does
not specify whether the violation is criminal or civil. This is similar to other existing County
Code provisions relating to certain types of offenses, which can be enforced either criminally or
civilly. However, based on advice from the State's Attorney, I recommend that the bill be
amended to make a curfew violation a Class B civil offense that is punishable by a maximum
fine of$100 for a first offense and $150 for a second offense (see lines 138-170). lfarrest
authority is needed in a situation involving a curfew violation, the State's Attorney believes that
a police officer could use existing authority granted under §10-201(c)(3) ofthe Criminal Law
Article to arrest an individual who disobeys an order made by a police officer to prevent a
disturbance of the public peace.
montgomervcountvmd.gov/311
@
240-773-3556 TTY
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Valerie Ervin, Council President
August 31,2011
Page 2
Penalties
I recommend that the bill be amended to delete language that allows a court to
require a parent of a minor who violates the curfew law to complete parenting classes and to
order a minor to perform up to 25 hours of community services (see lines 171-176). According
to the County Attorney's office, the County does not have authority under State law to authorize
courts to impose these types of requirements. However, courts already have authority under
State law
to
impose them in some circumstances (e.g., as conditions of probation before
judgment).
Emergency
Under the bill, a minor may not be cited for a curfew violation if the rninor is
responding to an emergency. I recommend that the definition of "emergency" be clarified by
deleting language that could be construed to make the definition internally inconsistent (see lines
39-41).
Parental Responsibility
The bill prohibits a parent from "knowingly" or "by insufficient control" allowing
a minor to remain in any public place or establishment during curfew hours. Based on advice
from the State's Attorney, I recommend deleting the reference to "insufficient control" because it
is too vague (see lines 79-80).
Definition of "Knowingly"
Based on advice from the State's Attorney, I recommend deleting the definition of
"knowingly" from the bill because this is a legal tenn of art that is defined in case law and does
not need to be defined in the County Code (see lines 83-89 and lines 92-98).
Affirmative Defenses
The bill includes a broad list of circumstances under which a minor may be in a
public place or establishment during curfew hours, including situations when a minor is:
(1) accompanied by a parent;
(2) accompanied by an adult authorized by the minor's parent to
accompany the minor;
@
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Valerie Ervin, Council President
August 31,2011
Page 3
(3) on an errand at the direction of the minor's parent without any detour
or stop, until 12:30 am.;
(4) in a motor vehicle, train, or bus in interstate travel through the County
or starting or ending in the County;
(5) engaging in employment, or going to, or returning home from
employment, without any detour or stop (while carrying a valid work
permit issued under State law);
(6) responding to an emergency;
(7) on the property where the minor resides;
(8) on a sidewalk that abuts the minor's residence or the residence of a
next-door neighbor ifthe neighbor did not complain to the Police
Department about the minor's presence;
(9) going to, attending, or returning home from an official school,
religious, or recreational activity sponsored by the County, a civic
organization, or a similar entity that takes responsibility for the minor at
the event; or
(10) exercising First Amendment rights protected by the United States
Constitution.
Based on advice from the State's Attorney, I recommend that the bill be amended
to clarify that all of the circumstances in this list constitute affinnative defenses to a curfew
violation (see lines 100 and 134). I also recommend that this list be expanded to include a minor
who
is
attending or returning home from, without any detour, an event at a place ofpublic
entertainment, including a movie, concert, play, or sporting event (see lines 131-133). Finally, I
recommend that the requirement to carry a valid work permit referenced in item (5) above be
deleted as unnecessarily restrictive because possession of a work pennit is only one way for a
police officer to confirm that a minor is involved in a work related activity (see lines 111-113).
Thank you for your consideration of these recommended amendments.
c:
Tom Manger, Police Chief
John McCarthy, State's Attorney
Marc Hansen, County Attorney
Kathleen Boucher, ACAO
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Expedited Bill No. _--=2!:i:,;S.-!.,1..1.::1:--:_ _
Concerning: Offenses - Curfew -
Established
Revised:
7/11/2011
Draft No.2
Introduced:
July 12. 2011
Expires:
January 12,2013
Enacted: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Executive: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Effective: _--:-_ _ _ _ _ __
Sunset Date:
....!N~o!!.2n!.li!.e_---:-
_ _ __
Ch, _ _, Laws of Mont. Co. _ __
COUNTY COUNCIL
FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND
By: Council President at the Request of the County Executive
AN EXPEDITED ACT
to:
(1)
establish a
curfew
for minors;
(2)
(3)
(4) .
(5)
(6)
make certain findings;
prohibit certain activities during the curfew;
provide for certain defenses;
establish enforcement procedures and penalties; and
generally amend County law relating to offenses and curfews.
By adding
Montgomery County Code
Chapter 32, Offenses - Victim Advocate
Section 32-23A
Boldface
Underlining
[Single boldface brackets]
Double
underlini~g
[[Double boldface bracketsll
* *
*
Heading or defined term.
Added to existing law
by
original bill.
Deletedfrom existing law
by
original bill.
Added
by
amendment.
Deletedfrom existing law or the bill
by
amendment.
Existing law unaffected
by
bilL
The County Council for Montgomery County, Maryland approves thefollowing Act:
1
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EXPEDITED BILL
No. 25-11
(DRAFT
2)
1
2
Sec 1. Sections 32-23A is added as follows:
32-23A. Curfew.
3
4
5
6
7
8.
W
Finding;s and Purpose.
ill
[[There has been an increase in]] A curfew for minpr§
Will
heIR
reduce juvenile violence, juvenile
&ru:!&
activity, and crime
Qy
minors in the County.
ill
Minors are particularly susceptible. because of their lack of
maturity and experience, to participate in unlawful and. gang­
related activities and to be the victims of crime.
9
10
11
12
ill
The County [[is obligated!Q]l shoulg provide for:
(A}
the protection of minors from each other and from other
persons;
13
14
15
.an
©
the
enforcement
of parental
control
over,
and
responsibility for, children:
the protection of the general public; and
the reduction of the incidence of juvenile criminal
activities.
16
.em.
ill
17
18
19
A curfew for minors is in the interest of the public health.
safety, and general welfare and will help to attain these
objectives and to diminish the impact of unwanted conduct
0!1
County residents. including
the
prevention of disturbances tQ
the public peace.
20
21
22
23
ill
A curfew law will protect the welfare of minors by:
fA}
reducing the likelihood that minors will be the victims of
criminal acts during the curfew hours;
24
25
26
.an
reducing the likelihood that minors will become involved
in criminal acts or exposed to trafficking in controlled
2
27
®
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ExPEDITED BILL
No. 25-11
(DRAFT 2)
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
substances during the curfew hours; and
©
c~e.
aiding parents in carrying out their responsibility to
exercise reasonable supervision of minors entrusted to their
.Gil
Definitions.
In this Section, the following terms have the meanings indicated:
Curfew hours
means from
11.
p.m. on any Sunday, Monday, Tuesday,
Wednesday, or Thursday, until
~
a.m. the following day, and from
12:01 a.m. until
~
a.m. on any Saturday or Sunday.
Drug trafficking
means the act of engaging in any prohibited activity
38
39
40
related to controlled dangerous substances as defined in State law.
Emergency
means [[an unforeseen combination of circumstances or
the resulting state that calls for immediate action.
inc1udesll
~
Emergency
41
fire, natural disaster, automobile accident, or any situation
42
43
44
45
46
that requires immediate action to prevent serious bodily injury or loss
of life.
Establishment
means any privately-owned place of business to which
the public is invited, including any place of amusement or
entertainment.
47
48
49
Minor
means any person under
l8.
years old, but does not include
judicially emancipated minor or
~
married minor.
~
Operator
means any individual. firm, association, partnership, or
corporation that operates, manages, or conducts an establishment.
50
51
52
53
54
Operator
includes the members or partners of an association or
partnership and the officers of
~
corporation.
Parent
means:
ill
natural parent:
3
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ExPEDITED BILL
No.
25-11 (DRAFT 2)
S5
56
57
58
59
ill
ill
ill
adoptive parent;
step-parent:
any person who has legal custody or is the guardian of
~
minor
by
court order or marriage;
ill
any person who is at least
21
years old who is authorized
by
~
natural parent, adoptive parent. step-parent, or custodial parent
of
~
child to act as
~
caretaker for the child; or
60
61
62
63
®
~
public or private agency with whom
a
minor has been placed
~
bya
court.
64
65
66
Public place
means any place to which the public, or
substantial
group of the public, has access.
Public place
includes any street.
highway, and common area of
~
school, hospital. apartment house,
office building, transport facility, or shop.
Remain
means to linger, staY2 or fail to leave
~
67
68
public place or
69
70
71
72
73
establishment when requested to do so
by
a
police officer or the
owner, operator. or other person in control of the public place or
establishment
Serious bodily injury
means bodily injury that creates
~.
substantial
risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or
protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or
organ.
l£}
74
75
76
Prohibitions.
77
78
79
ill
ill
Minor.
A minor must not remain in any public place or
establishment in the County during curfew hours.
Parent.
A
parent of
~
minor must not knowingly [[permit,
m:
80
81
by
insufficient contro111 allow, the minor to remain in any
.:,;:...;::::;.=
place or any establishment in
4
==:.,t..
during
curfew
--..
~~/
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EXPEDITED BILL
No. 25-11
(DRAFT
2)
~
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
99
100
101
102
103
104
105
106
107
108
hours.
([The term "knowingly" includes knowledge that
Rarent should reasonably be expected to have concerning the
location of
~
minor in that Rarenes legal ·custody.
This
requirement is· intended to hold
~
neglectful or careless parent to
~
reasonable community standard of parental responsibility
~
through an objective test.
It
therefore, no defense that
~
Rarent did not-know of the activities. conduct; or location of the
minor.))
ill
Owner
m:
Operator.
The owner or operator of an
~
establishment must not knowingly allow
minor to remain at
[[The
an establishment in the County during curfew hours.
term "knowingly" includes knowledge that an owner or
operator should reasonably be expected to have concerning the
patrons of the establishment. The standard for "knowingly'
must be whether
~
reasonable person
in
the position of the
~
owner
ill
operator should have known that the patron was
minor committing
~
curfew violation.]]
@
Affirmative Defenses.
ill
It
is nnot]] an affirmative defense tQ.,J! violation of this Section
if
~
minor during curfew hours was:
(A)
accompanied
Qy
the minor's parent;
accompanied
Qy
an adult authorized
Qy
the minor's
parent to accompany the minor for
~
specified period of
time and purpose in
~
specified area;
lID
.cg
on an errand at the direction of the minor's parent,
without any detour or stop, until
12:30
a.m.;
motor
vehicle.
5
.::==
or bus in interstate travel
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EXPEDITED BILL
No. 25-11
(DRAFT
2)
109
110
111
through the County or starting or ending in the County;
ill
engaged in employment, or going
ill,.
ill
returning home
from, employment, without any detour or stop. [[The
minor must carry
!l
valid work pennit issued under State
lawll;
112
113
114
115
116
117
118
119
120
121
122
123
124
125
126
127
128
129
130
131
132
133
(K)
m
fill.
®
responding to an emergency;
on the property where the minor resides;
on the sidewalk that abuts the minor's residence, or that
abuts the residence of
!l
next-door neighbor if the
neighbor did not complain to the Police Department
about the minor's presence;
ill
attending or returning home from. without any detour,
an official school, religious, or HotherJ] recreational
activity sponsored
Qy
the County,
!l
civic organization.
or
!l
similar entity that takes responsibility for the minor
at the event
n,
or going
ill,.
or returning home from,
without any detour or stop, an official school. religious.
or other recreational activity supervised
Qy
adults and
sponsored
Qy
the County,
!l
civic organization, or
!l
similar entity that takes responsibility for the minor; orll
ill
exercising First Amendment rights protected
Qy
the
United States Constitution[[.]]s;u:;
attending or retuming home from. J¥ithout any detour,
an event at a place of public entertainment. including a
movie, concert, play. or sporting event.
134
135
ill
It
is [[not]]
an
affirmative defense to a violation of subsection
(c
,)(3)
if
operator
of an establishment promptlvQ5;
6
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EXPEDITED BILL
No. 25-11
(DRAFT 2)
136
notified the Police Department that
!!
minor was present in the
establishment during curfew hours and refused to leave.
137
138
l39
llU
Enforcement procedures.
ill
Before taking any enforcement action under this Section,
!!
police officer must ask an apparent minor's age and reason for
being in the public place or establishment. The officer must not
issue
~
140
141
142
143
144
145
146
147
148
149
150
151
152
153
154
155
156
157
158
159
160
161
162
citation [[or make an arrest)] under this Section unless
the officer reasonably believes that:
®
an offense has occurred: and
based on any response and other circumstances. no
condition in subsection
@
applies.
.cru
ill
If
!!
police officer finds that
!!
minor is committing
!!
curfew
offense, the police officer
I
[must take the minor to the nearest
available Police facility, substation, or other area designated
Qy
the Police Department, and detain the minor until the minor can
be released to the custody of the minor's parent or an adult
acting in loco'parentis]] may issue a civil citation and order the
minor to gg home promptly.
u:.c.n
The minor's parent or an adult acting in loco parentis with
respect to the minor must be called to the Police facility,
substation or other designated area to take custody of the minor.
A minor who is released to
~
person acting in loco parentis with
respect to the minor must not be taken into custody for violation
of this Section while returning home with the· person acting in
loco parentis. If no person claims responsibility for the minor,
the police may take the minor to the minor's residence or place
the minor
the custody
7
the
Department
of Health and
/8"
\::/
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ExPEDITED BILL
No.
25-11 (DRAFT 2)
163 .
164
165
166
167
168
169
170
171
172
173
174
175
176
177
178
179
180
181
Human Services, who may release the minor at
l
a.m. the next
morningJI
ill
Penalties.
ill
Any minor.
parent~
or any owner or operator of an
~
establishment who violates this Section has committed
syparate offense for each day, or part of
~
day, during which the
violation is committed. continued, or pennitted. Each offense
i~
.9:
Class
liA.ll
B violation.
lI.(2}
The Court may also require
~
or more parent of
~
minor. after
each conviction for violating this Section to complete parenting
classes.
ill
A minor found to have violated this Section
Qy
the Juvenile
Court may be ordered to perform Yl2 to 25 hours of community
service for each violation.)]
Sec 2. Expedited Effective Date.
The Council declares that this Act is necessary for the immediate protection
of the public interest. This Act takes effect on the date when it becomes law.
Approved:
Valerie Ervin, President, County Council
Date
182
183
Approved:
Isiah Leggett, County Executive
Date
8
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OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET
Istah Leggett
County Executive
Jennifer
A.
Hughes
Director
MEMORANDUM
September 9,2011
TO:
FROM:
SUBJECT:
Valerie t:til:esident, County Council
Jennife~ughes,
Director
Expedited Council
Bill
25-11, Offenses, - Curfew - Established
The purpose of this memorandum
is
to transmit a fiscal and economic impact statement
to the Council on the subject legislation.
LEGISLATION SUMMARY
Expedited BilI2S-11 was introduced on July 12,2011 by the Council President at the
request of the County Executive. This
Bill
would establish a curfew for minors, make certain findings;
prohibit certain activities during the curfew; provide for certain defenses; establish enforcement
procedures and penalties; and generally amend County law relating to offenses and curfew. A public
hearing on Expedited Bin 25-11 was held by the County Council on July 26, 2011 at I :30 p.m.
On
August 31, 2011, the County Executive submitted several recommended amendments to modify certain
provisions of this Bill including:
1.
Definition ofa curfew violation as a Class B civil offense punishable by a maximum fine of$IOO for a
first offense and $150 for a second offense.
2. Expansion of the list of exemptions to the prohibitions against minor remaining in public place or
establishment during curfew hours to include a minor who is attending or returning home from,
without any detour, an event or place of public entertainment, including a movie, concert, play or
sporting event.
3. Deletion ofthe bill's provision that allows the Police to place a minor who has violated curfew in the
custody of the Department of Health and Human Services, who, in turn, can release the minor at 5:00
a.m. the next morning.
FISCAL AND ECONOMIC SUMMARY
Enactment of this bill, as
modifie~
was reviewed by the Department of Police, the
Department of Correction and Rehabilitation, the Department of Health and Human Resources, the
Department of Economic Development, and the Office of State's Attorney and they have determined that the
Bill, as modified, will not result in any fiscal impact to the County in terms of requiring additional personnel
and operational resources.
Office of the Director
to
1 Monroe Street, 14th Floor • Rockville, Maryland 20850 • 240-777-2800
www.montgomerycountymd.gov
montgomerycountymd.gov/311
240-773-3556 TTY
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Valerie Ervin, President, County Council
September 9, 2011
Page
2
The Department of Finance has determined that this legislation will have no quantifiable
impact on employment, personal income, investment, property values or other economic variables.
Finance contacted the various Chambers of Commerce (County, Bethesda-Chevy Chase,
and Silver Spring) for specific information and concerns about the economic impacts. They expressed
some concern about the impact on
arts
and entertainment businesses and restaurants. However, Finance
was unable to quantify any impact and the amendment recommended by the County Executive to allow
minors to attend and return from a place of entertainment (such. as a movie, concert, play, or sporting
event) during curfew hours should mitigate those concerns.
The following contributed to and concurred with this analysis: Terrence Pierce,
Department of Police, Dave Platt and Michael Coveyou, Department of Finance, Kim Mayo, Department
of Health and Human Resources, Tina Benjamin, Department of Economic Development; Lisa Russo,
Office of the State's Attorney, Robert Green, Department of Correction and Rehabilitation, and Ed
Piesen, Office of Management and Budget.
JAH:ep
c: Kathleen Boucher, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer
Joseph Beach, Director, Department of Finance
J. Thomas Manger, Chief of Police
Vma S. Ahluwalia, Director, Department of Health and Human Services
Arthur Wallenstein, Director, Department of Correction and Rehabilitation
John McCarthy, State's Attorney
Gabriel Albomoz, Director, Department of Recreation
Robert Green, Department of Correction and Rehabmtation
David Platt, Department of Finance
Michael Coveyou, Department of Finance
Lisa Russo, Office ofthe State's Attorney
Kim Mayo, Department of Health and Human Resources
Tina Benjamin, Department of Economic Development
Ed Piesen, Office of Management and Budget
Amy Wilson, Office of Management and Budget
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3
Expedited Bill 25-11, Offenses - Curfew - Established
Public Hearing
July 26,2011
Testimony
of Police Chief Tom
Manger on behalf
of the
County Executive
Good afternoon. My name is Tom Manger and I am the Montgomery County Police
Cill:ef--:--I am here totesttfytn
supporCoI-Expedtte(tBm~Y-tl
on behatfof-eountyExecutive
Isiah Leggett. First, I want to thank Council President Ervin for introducing the bill and
scheduling this hearing in such an expeditious manner.
It
is a very important bill and we are
grateful for your assistance in beginning the conversation about the need for a youth curfew in
Montgomery County.
Bill 25-11 seeks to improve the safety ofjuveniles, in particular, and our communities, in
general, by reducing juvenile victimization, reducing juvenile-related crime and helping parents
with their children -- goals that I know we all share. The bill establishes curfew hours for
individuals under the age of 18 from
11 :00
pm to
5:00
am for Sunday through Thursday and
midnight to
5:00
am on Friday and Saturday. The bill does several useful things to help maintain
public order during these hours. First it prohibits minors from remaining in a public place or
establishment during the prescribed hours after being requested to leave by a police officer or
owner or operator of an establishment. Second,
it
establishes expectations and penalties for
parents or guardians who knowingly allow curfew breaking to occur for juveniles under their
control. Third,
it
includes a number of reasonable exemptions that allow minors to be in public
places or establishments during curfew hours, including minors who are
(1)
accompanied by an
adult (2) running an errand at the discretion of a parent until 12:30 am (3) engaged in
employment (4) responding to an emergency or (5) attending an official school, religious, or
other recreational activity.
The County Executive is open to discussing whether the list of exemptions in the bill
needs to be expanded or whether any other component of the bill needs to be modified to strike a
better balance between our public safety goals and the legitimate activities and interests of
minors during curfew hours.
Predatory gang activity is inter-jurisdictional; it crosses municipal and county boundaries
and management of this issue requires coordination among the jurisdictions. If Montgomery
County enacts a curfew bill, it will follow in the footsteps of many other jurisdictions, including
our neighbors, Price George's County and the Districtof Columbia.
It
is important to note that
the existence of curfew laws in those two jurisdictions influences some youth to choose
Montgomery County as their late night gathering place. This happened recently in Silver Spring
over the July
4th
weekend. On Friday July 1, a large group of about 70 youth congregated in the
Central Business District. As police sought to gain control of the situation, the large group broke
g::oups
into
zround
area, avoiding police but alternatively
1
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with each other, and ultimately resulting in a serious stabbing. Despite the immediate and high
number of responding officers, the situation was difficult to control.
It
was later learned in police
interviews that many of the youth had flocked to Silver Spring because of the curfews in Prince
Georges and the District of Columbia.
The need for a curfew is not evidenced just by the disturbing events on July 1. The
following are examples of some of the incidents that have occurred in the last few days involving
youth during the proposed curfew hours, engaging in or being victims of violent crime.
Today, July 26
th ,
at approximately 12:45 am, on Henning Road in Bethesda, 3 juveniles
were arrested after they were observed attempting to break into a car. Our officers later went to
one of their homes and seized a loaded handgun. All live in the area of North Bethesda.
On Sunday, July 24th, at 3:00 am, in Potomac, 2 juveniles along with an adult were
arrested after they attempted to break into Wayside Elementary School on Glen Road.
On Saturday July 23, the previous night, at about 3 :00 am, 2 juveniles were walking near
Broad Aces Elementary School. A group ofjuveniles in a car confronted the juveniles who were
walking. Gang signs were flashed and one of the juveniles was stabbed. This incident is under
investigation.
A couple of days earlier in Olney, on July 21
st,
officers were called to the McDonalds at
about 12:30 am where a group ofjuveniles were fighting.
It
later was learned that this involved a
drug deal and that several of the juveniles involved had been robbed. At least one juvenile was
stabbed.
We have an issue and we need to manage and curtail it. Despite budget hardships, we
have retained many positive youth programs. However, our programs will not prevent youth
displaced by curfews in other jurisdictions from coming to our downtowns and creating
problems as occurred on July 1.
These recent events and other earlier signs indicate the need for immediate action.
Montgomery County, its businesses and residents have made enormous investments of time,
money and effort to create vibrant, culturally rich and interesting venues to which all are
welcome. However, the violence that occurred over the July 4th weekend, the above-described
occurrences, as well as other less serious predatory activity, cannot be left unchecked or our
investment will be for naught. Preventing problems is easier and less costly than fixing full­
blown problems that have the potential to cause great social and economic hann.
As noted, crimes against juveniles occur throughout the County and are not concentrated
in one or two Districts or locations. Similarly arrests ofjuveniles are also spread throughout the
County. Between 2009 and 2010,juvenile arrests increased from 2,035 (16% of all arrests) to
3,222 (25% of all arrests). The County continues to experience gang-related crime. Without
2
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accounting for the number of gang members that visit Montgomery County, an estimated
approximately 1300 gang members currently reside in the County. We also know that those gang
members are well aware that Montgomery County does not have a curfew. A curfew law may
not be a panacea for these problems but it would be a valuable law enforcement tool, and, given
current police intelligence and the existence of such laws in our neighboring jurisdictions, this
law would make the County less attractive place for curfew-displaced youths from neighboring
Perhaps nothing we do in law enforcement is as important as working to increase the
safety of our juvenile population. Studies show that juveniles who are the victims of crime are
more likely to have difficulties later in life. We work closely with our social service partners to
address the issues ofjuvenile crime and success is a combination of effective enforcement,
intervention and prevention tools. We know we can't "enforce" our way out of every 'problem
but we also know that effective enforcement tools coupled with police discretion can help us
remove a juvenile or a group ofjuveniles from a situation that could potentially tum violent or
result in illegal or harmful conduct. Today, when our officers call parents after making contact
with a juvenile in a potentially problematic situation the parents are usually grateful and relieved
they have been c·ontacted. A curfew law would allow us to act preemptively to intercede in some
situations before things get out of control and young people are hurt or worse.
It
will also bring
us in contact with parents to ensure that they are cognizant of their child's conduct and
whereabouts.
As a parent and a Police Chief, I do not want to limit the legitimate opportunities for
entertainment and interaction for our young people. Nor do I want to stand idly by and not have
at our disposal a tool which can help us manage situations before they tum ugly.
I thank the Council for its support of our efforts to address juvenile crime and its
consideration of our need for the new tool created by Bill 25-11.
3
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KIRlLL REZNIK
Annapolis Office
The Maryland
House of
Delegates
6 Bladen Street, Room
225
Annapolis, Maryland
2140l
1-800-49 2-7 I22
Ext.
3039
3°1-858-3°39 . 410-
8
41-3039
Fax
3°1-858-3003 . 410-841-3°03
Kirill,Reznik@houses[J.te,md.lls
39th Legislative District
Momgomery Couney
Health and Government
Operations Comminee
THE MARYLI\ND HOUSE OF DELEGATES
ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND 21401
District
Office
301-540-0054 .
Fax
301-)40-0911
Valerie Ervin, President
Montgomery County Council
100
Maryland Avenue
Rockville, MD
20850
RE: Testimony before County Council on Expected Bill
25-11
Madam President and members of the County Council, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you in
strong opposition to Expedited Bill
25-11,
a bill to establish a curfew for youth under
18
years of age in
Montgomery County. For the record, my name is Kirill Reznik, and I am a State Delegate who represents District 39
in the Maryland General Assembly.
In
the short time I have before you, I would like to highlight 3 brief points in opposition of this proposed County
law.
The first point is financial. Though teenagers do not pack the financial wallop of their parents or even their
20­
something peers, limiting their ability to stay out late at night and patronize movie theaters, all-night diners, video
game arcades (yes there is still one in the county), and other businesses, will not help small businesses in our
County recover any quicker. In fact, forcing small business owners, through this bill, to police their own
establishments is counter-productive. Two weeks ago, my wife and
I
went to the midnight premier of the last
Harry Potter movie. Normally, we patronize movie theaters closer to our home in the upcounty, but they were all
sold out. We went to the movie theater at the White Flint MatI. I'm a little embarrassed to admit, we were the
oldest people in the theater. Most of the patrons were unaccompanied minors. Under this law, imagine the
revenue loss, both to the businesses and to the County's own coffers.
The second point, is the sheer impracticality of this law. Are we really considering asking police officers to
distinguish between
17
year olds and
19
year olds; harassing adults who look like underage minors, burdening the
police processing facilities and HHS with good kids who are out late at night, forcing parents in to parenting classes
because their kids are out late or businesses into curfew police when they would much rather sell another movie
ticket and hamburger? Are we really willing to fine families, assign community service, and otherwise create,
if
not
a criminal record, than a court record, for an otherwise good teenager that could eventually follow them to college
and a professional career?
If the real goal here is to reduce crime, then let's use the tools you have, laws against trespassing, nuisance,
vandalism, loitering, etc. If teenagers are causing trouble, the patrons, neighbors, and business owners can still
call the police. And if these tools are not sufficient, then strengthen them, but do not use a chainsaw to remove a
splinter.
Which brings me to my last point. There is an underlying civil rights issue here that initially sparked my ire and
brought me before you. In no other aspects of crime prevention would we ever consider discriminating against a
whole subset of the population to reduce crime that was being perpetrated by a tiny fracture of that group.
Without even seeing current crime statistics,
I
would bet that men commit crimes far more than women. Why not
impose a curfew on all men? But this body would never even think to impose such limits based on gender, or race,
A
cynic might think that is might have something to do with the fact
religion or national origin. Then why
in
that none of the
~o
'Jete
for the people making the laws. However, I can assure you
(il~\
OJ
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that the 5,000+ individuals signed up on Facebook in protest of this bill and all of the teenagers sitting here today
will all be eligible voters by 2014, and because they are as young as they are, I can also assure you that their
memories are probably better than ours.
The leadership of this County claim without reservation that we produce the best students from the best high
schools in the country. If that is the case, then we should have enough faith in them to be out past llpm. If there
are concerns with crime, then we need to put resources into what actually works; more education, more after­
school and job training programs, and stepped up police presence where crime takes place, and not trample on the
constitutional rights of an entire class of people because ofthe actions of a small few.
This bill is unnecessary, it is demeaning to the youth of our County, and it deserves a "no" vote.
Thank you for your time.
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CHANIBER
Of
CONINIERCE
SILVER
SPRING
GREATER
Testimony of
The Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce
Public Hearing - Expedited
Bill 25-11,
Offenses - Curfew - Established
Montgomery County Council
Tuesday, July 26,2011
Council President Ervin, members of the Council, good afternoon. For the record, my name is Jane
Redicker and I am President of the Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce. I am here today to
express the Chamber's support for Expedited Bill 25-11, which would establish a curfew for minors in
Montgomery County.
We agree with the County Executive and the Montgomery County Police that this legislation is
necessary to address theincrease in juvenile violence,juvenile gang activity, and crime by minors in
our County. We also agree that a curfew law will serve to protect the welfare ofminors by reducing
the likelihood that minors will be the victims of criminal acts during the curfew hours and reducing the
likelihood that minors will become involved in criminal acts or exposed to trafficking in controlled
substances during the curfew hours. And, we agree that a curfew law will serve to help protect the
general public from juvenile related criminal activity.
Similar laws exist in Washington D.C. and Prince George's County, and we understand from County
Police that this creates challenges for Montgomery County, particularly for those areas that abut these
neighboring jurisdictions. We agree that enacting a law that closely mirrors the practice in these
jurisdictions makes sense. It's worth noting that this legislation is not intended to give police a
mandate to "round up" every minor out after the curfew hours.
It
is meant to be a tool for police to
help address youth crime and gang activity.
When the U.S. Conference of Mayors studied cities in which nighttime curfews had been
implemented, they found that ninety-three percent of the survey cities (257) saw nighttime curfews as a
useful tool for police officers. Many felt that curfews represented a proactive way to combat youth
violence. They said curfews are a good prevention tool, keeping the good kids good and keeping the
at-risk kids from becoming victims or victimizers.
We do recommend that the bill be amended to mirror the provision in the District of Columbia that
provides for a later hour during summer months. In addition, we recognize that many of our youth
patronize businesses where events may begin before the curfew hours but end after (e.g. movie
theaters, concert venues). Therefore, we also recommend that the provisions ofthe bill which exempt
youth attending -- or on their way home from -- an official school, religious, or other recreational
activity sponsored by the County or a civic organization, be amended so as to also cover these private
business venues. We understand that this is consistent with the practice in Prince George's County.
Our Chamber applauds the efforts of the Montgomery County Police in keeping our County safe and
secure, and helping making
it
an attractive place to live, work, and play. We strongly support this
effort to give them just one more tool to curb youth crime and to keep our youth safe from crime
during the hours covered by the curfew. We urge you to support Bill 25-11.
8601 Georgia Avenue, Suite 203, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
Phone: 301-565-3777
Fax: 301-565-3377
info @gsscc.org
www.silverspringchamber.com
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/0
DRAFT for July
26,2011
hearing
11115
Fawsett Road, Potomac,
MD 20854
301-983-9738
email-hotyaklcer@gmail.com
Montgomery County Civic Federation
Testimony to on
Bill 25-11 - 1,
Offenses - Curfew - Established
I am Peggy Dennis, President of the Montgomery County Civic Federation. The following
comments were approved for transmittal to Council by majority vote of our Executive
Committee members.
The Montgomery County Civic Federation supports
Bill 25-11
albeit with reservations and
caveats.
The bill is intended to address issues relating to increased gang activity, violence, and
criminal activity involving minors in the County. We support the bill because:
• It
is similar to existing laws in Prince Georges County and the District of Columbia. To
the extent that groups of youth are coming to and remaining in Montgomery County
after curfew hours in their own jurisdictions, those curfew hours must be having some
effect, albeit not a positive one for Montgomery County. Consistency with laws in
neighboring jurisdictions may prove to be beneficial to our youths and public safety.
• It will give the Montgomery County Police an additional tool to deal with individual
minors or groups including minors who are perpetrating offenses.
• It
will give parents a strong justification for requiring that their kids be at home or
somewhere inside in order to meet "the curfew."
It
will no longer be just a case of
saying "you have to be home by the curfew because
I
say so" but because the law says
so.
• It
may help diminish the acts of vandalism by youth to property, automobiles and mail
boxes which have plagued some neighborhoods for years.
At the same time, we have reservations about how the bill was seemingly introduced in great
haste and with no public discussion. We do not believe it will be a "silver bullet," and we think
it may prove as difficult to enforce, especially when it comes to large groups of youth, as the
laws we already have on the books. Jim Zepp, our Public Safety Committee Chairman and a
resident of Silver Spring, has studied the curfew issue and existing laws, and he "remains
concerned that the curfew will be mostly a symbolic gesture or political cover rather than
providing any significant solutions to the range of problems facing Downtown Silver Spring.
We also have reservations about some provisions of the bill as currently written. On the other
. it
is
..
saleh as an
measure to .
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deal with gang activity, crimes and violence perpetrated by minors during curfew hours, then it
may prove beneficial.
The exemptions (circumstances under which minors would not be subject to the Teen Curfew
law) seem generally reasonable with the following caveats:
• The exemption covering youth "engaged in employment, or going or returning home
from employment, without any detour or stop, must have a
valid work permit
issued
under State law" seems unreasonable. Many young people work occasionally as
babysitters late into the night and are capable of walking themselves home when finished.
They will not and should not have to have "work permits" to do this. We presume
however that police would have no cause to stop and question a young person quietly
walking home and breaking no laws anyway.
• The exemption for youth who are "exercising First Amendment rights protected by the
United States Constitution" should not be used as an "out" by those who disturb the
peace with profanity and violent language. The exercise of First Amendment rights
should not trump laws against disturbing the peace no matter what the age of the person
involved.
• We ask that an exemption be added for minors who are returning home lmaccompanied
by adults from late night entertainment venues such as live concerts and movies. The
great majority of well-behaved, law abiding youth should not have their attendance at
these events curtailed because of the bad behavior of a tiny minority.
Having introduced this bill in great haste, we hope we will see an extensive period for public
comment and an additional public hearing to allow for the thoughtful discussion the measure
merits. We also hope the Council and Executive will go beyond simply passing this legislation,
and address the fundamental issues of gang activity, violence, and crimes involving minors, both
as perpetrators and as victims.
An
excellent start would be to delve deeper into the incident or
incidents that prompted this legislation. We cannot hope to prevent gang activity, violence and
crime involving minors without forthright discussion of all the pertinent facts.
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Testimony of Woody Brosnan, vice chairman of Safe Silver Spring
9101 Louis Ave., Silver Spring, Md. 20910
240-481-0309
July 26, 2011
Thank you for allowing me to testify. Safe Silver Spring is a non-profit
organization dedicated to keeping Silver Spring a community where people
of all backgrounds and ages can prosper and en-joy themselves in safety.
Gangs threaten this safety. Most Silver Spring neighborhoods are gang-free
but members of regional gangs do prey on the community, partially
because of the popularity of our entertainment district and the availability
of transit. In one recent incident, two gangs organized a late-night rumble
in downtown Silver Spring, forcing a massive police response that left
neighborhoods as far as Wheaton and Bethesda depleted of patrols. Our
police need tools to try to break up such gatherings before violence erupts.
We support the idea of a teen curfew but the current proposal needs some
important modifications before we can fully endorse it.
The curfew should apply to youths 16 and under, not 17 and under. This
would conform the age to the curfew in Prince George's County and the
District of Columbia. We also believe there should be reasonable exception
to allow youths to attend movies and concerts that extend through the
curfew hour.
We believe the Youth Advisory Council should be consulted on this and
other possible exceptions before the curfew is put in place. There also
needs to be appropriate monitoring to ensure the curfew is not being used
for racial profiling.
We urge the Council and other county officials to work with their
counterparts in DC and Prince George's County on a common curfew. Area
teens need one set of rules to follow when they cross jurisdictions on the
Metro. This will be even more important when we build the Purple Line.
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Gangs are no longer isolated to home neighborhoods either. Using text
messages and email they can organize flash mobs anywhere in the area.
Safe Silver Spring has called for a regional anti-gang summit to plan a
regional strategy for combating gangs.
A curfew alone is not the answer to ensuring a safe environment for teens.
We need positive youth development programs, continued and expanded
truancy court programs, and a teen center in Silver Spring.
We need a system of public security cameras covering key intersections in
the Central Business District. Chief Manger has told us that most
entertainment districts have them. Had this system been in place it is
possible that some of the gang members involved in the July 1-2 incident
could have been charged with crimes later.
The business community also should resist the temptation to make an extra
buck by enticing teenagers to be out after midnight. This last Saturday night
there were 10 PG or G-rated movies at the Regal Majestic in Silver Spring
that started after 11 p.m. The latest was a 12:50 a.m. showing of Captain
America that did not end until after the trains and buses had stopped
running.
Let me just close on an historical note.
For more than 100 years the Progressive Movement in the United States
has been associated with the goal of protecting children. It was the
progressives who passed laws to get children out of coal mines and textile
mills. Progressives pushed for universal education so that every child would
have a chance to succeed.
Protecting children
l
sometimes even from their own foolishness
l
is
progressive.
\3
2\
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Testimony of
The Silver Spring Urban District Advisory Committee
Public Hearing - Expedited
Bill 25-11,
Offenses-Curfew-Established
Montgomery County Council
Tuesday, July 26
th
2011
Council President Ervin, members of the Council, good afternoon. For the record, my
name is Julie Statland and I am the Chair of The Silver Spring Urban District Advisory
Committee. I am here today on behalf of my committee to express our support for
Expedited Bill 25-11, which would establish a curfew for minors in Montgomery County.
On July 21
st
we voted and unanimously agree with the County Executive and
Montgomery County Police that this legislation is necessary to address the increase in
juvenile violence, juvenile gang activity, and crime by minors in our County.
Our board consists of representatives of small business owners, optional method
developers, and Citizens of Silver Spring, several of who are parents of minor children,
all either live and/or work in Montgomery County.
When educated that similar laws exist in Washington DC and Prince Georges County,
jurisdictions directly adjacent to Silver Spring, our committee determined it makes sense
to enact a law that closely mirrors the practices in these jurisdictions. We must avoid
adverse selection, and take preventative measures ensure our county does not become
THE default hot spot and target area for gang activity and crime by minors who have
more difficulty in their home jurisdictions because of the curfew. We recognize there are
already some remedies such as a 12:00 curfew on driving with the provisional license.
Unfortunately this has not deterred gangs and other unsupervised youth from hopping on
the metro to cross over into our county where no curfew exists.
We do recommend the bill be amended to mirror the provision in the District of
Columbia that provides for later hours during the summer months. We also recommend
provisions allowing youth to be able to continue to enjoy events that may end after the
curfew, such as movies, ( in my day, a phrase I never thought I would say, the late night
movie was Rocky Horror Picture show, now it is Harry Potter and our Halloween Zombie
walk) concerts, and social gatherings at local restaurants after a school plays, sports or
other recreational activity sponsored by the county, school, or civic organization. The
objective here is not to penalize good kids or prevent youth in our county from enjoying
themselves, the objective is to give our county a tool to help prevent crime and keep our
county and our youth safe.
The Silver Spring Urban District Advisory Committee Strongly Supports the efforts of
our Montgomery County Police and Executive in keeping our County safe and secure.
We urge you to support bill 25-11.
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~,lELISSA
GOEMANN
LcGISUITIVE
DIRECTOR
Testimony for the County Council for Montgomery County,
Maryland
E~pedited
Bill 25-11, Offenses -Curfew-Established
July 26, 2011
AMERICAN CI\IIL
UBERTIES
UNIO~1
OF
MARYLAND
MA1~1
OPPOSE
The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland (ACLU-MD) opposes
Expedited Bill 25-11, a bill to establish a curfew for minors in Montgomery
County, Maryland. The ACLU-MD is the Maryland state affiliate office of the
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), one of the nation's oldest civil liberties
and civil rights organizations. The ACLU-NID was founded in 1931, and
currently has approximately 14,000 members and supporters statewide. Our
mission is to ensure that all people in the State are free to think and speak as they
choose and can lead their lives free from discrimination and unwarranted
government intrusion. The Bill ofRights and the Maryland Declaration ofRights
guide our work, and we act without partisanship to achieve these goals.
The ACLU believes juvenile curfew laws are unconstitutional because they
violate the rights of both young people and their parents. Like adults, young
people are entitled to what our nation's founders called the "inalienable" right of
liberty. Liberty includes the right to sit outdoors on a hot summer night, to go
jogging early in the morning before school, or to walk home after visiting friends
and family. Such activities do no harm to anyone, and thus cannot be made a
crime. Curfew laws also violate the rights of parents to raise their children as they
think best. Parents may set curfews for their children, and also may decide when
to allow their children to stay out later. The government has no business
overruling a parent's judgment in this area.
While legal decisions about the constitutionality ofjuvenile curfew laws have
gone both ways in courts throughout the country, the most recent decision in
Maryland came in
Ashton v. Brown,
339 Md. 70 (1995), where the Court of
Appeals struck down the City ofFrederick' s juvenile curfew. Because that law
was found to be unconstitutionally vague, the Court declined to address the merits
ofthe plaintiffs' claims, leaving for another day the question of whether
any
juvenile curfew law could survive a direct challenge under the Maryland
Constitution. Earlier in the same case, the Court of Special Appeals held
Frederick's law was an unjustifiable infringement on the fundamental rights of
young people to exercise their constitutionally protected liberty interests and
subverted parents' role in raising their children.
Brown v. Ashton,
93 Md. App. 25
(Md. Ct. Spec. App. 1992).
they
be bad puoiic policy
becausJ~
the majority of studies show no correlation in preventing juvenile crime. In an
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curfew laws were
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AMERICAN CIVIL
UBERTIES
UNiON OF
MARYLAND
extensive study ofthe empirical research on juvenile curfews supported by the
National Institute ofJustice, the author concluded that "the evidence does not
support the argument that curfews prevent crime and victimization." Kenneth
Adams, The Effectiveness ofJuvenile Curfews at Crime Prevention, ANNALS,
The American Academy ofPolitical and Social Science, 587 (May 2003). Studies
in particular ofthe curfew laws in the nearby areas ofthe District of Columbia
and Prince George's County have found little to no evidence that they have
prevented crime.
See
Danny Cole, The Effect of a Curfew Law on Juvenile
Crime in Washington, D.C., 27 American Journal of Criminal Justice, no. 2,217
(Spring 2003) (The curfew law did not reduce total juvenile arrests); Caterina
Gouvis, Evaluation ofthe Youth Curfew in Prince George's County, Maryland.
Final Report, The Urban Institute (2000), available at
https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffilesllnij/grants/200519.pdf (Impact ofthe law on the
target group of youth and on overall victimization was small and not statistically
significant; victimization ofthose between the ages of 22 and 25 reduced but
unclear if resulted from curfew law or other crime initiatives).
While proponents sometimes argue that curfew laws prevent crime because police
do not need to wait for illegal conduct to occur
in
order to act, we think: this
argument demonstrates precisely what is wrong with curfew laws. They allow
police to pick up a child who is engaged in wholly innocent conduct - doing
nothing whatsoever wrong. This is utterly antithetical to a free society.
Additionally, a number of studies have found that juvenile curfews have a
stunningly disproportionate impact on minority children. In New Orleans, for
example, African-American youth are arrested at 19 times the rate ofwhites.
Mary Lou O'Neil, Youth Curfews in the United States: The Creation of Public
Spheres for Some Young People, 5 J. of Youth Stud., no. 1, 49, 61 (2002) (citing
to Brian Privor, Dusk 'Til Dawn: Children's Rights and the Effectiveness of
Juvenile Curfew Ordinances, 79
B.
U.
L. Rev. 415 (1999)). In the case of
Ashton
v. Brown,
339 Md. 70 (1995), discussed above, the disparate racial impact ofthe
law was one of the issues raised. O'Neil reports that "[a]lthough the court did not
decide this issue, arrest records for Frederick, MD showed that 'the proportion of
African-Americans arrested for curfew violations was substantially greater than
the proportion ofAfrican-Americans to the population at large'
(Aston
[sic]
v.
Brown,
1995, note 5)." O'Neil,
supra,
at 61.
See also,
Adams,
supra
at 154
("available research suggests a pattern of disproportionate curfew enforcement
against minorities");
1.
David Hirschel, Charles W. Dean, and Doris Dumond,
Juvenile Curfews and Race: A Cautionary Note, 12 Crim. Just. Pol'y Rev., 197,
208 (2001) (African-Americans are overrepresented among curfew violators in
comparison with their representation in the general population).
Some of the reasons posited for this racial disparity are that curfew laws "have a
discriminatory effect on children from lower socio-economic backgrounds [and
c]hildren in large cities with curfews disproportionately tend to be minorities"
who often do not possess recreational spaces like the "backyards, porches, or
Legislation, 4
~.y.u.
1.
Legis.
&
Pub. Pol'y 175, 195-196 (2000).
~orton
also
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stated that since there is already racial profiling in many communities, "minority
juveniles may be stopped more frequently in a legitimate effort to enforce laws or
under that [curfew] pretext." Norton,
supra,
at 197.
It
would be a waste ofthe County's resources to force police to spend their time
investigating and arresting young people who are doing nothing harmful, when
they could instead be pursuing people of all ages who are committing real crimes.
The Montgomery County police already possess ample authority under Maryland
law to do the job the citizenry wants them to do. Nothing would be gained, but
much could be lost, through the County's enactment of a juvenile curfew law.
Montgomery County would surely be better served by using its resources to create
services for young people, support for their families, and adequate policing for the
community as a whole, particularly in this challenging economic climate that has
already resulted in significant cuts to exactly these types of programs. We urge
you to oppose this juvenile curfew bill.
AMERiCAN CIVIL
'LIBERTIES
Ur,!O~j
OF
iV1ARYU\ND
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Good afternoon Council President Ervin, Vice President Berliner, and other honorable Councilmembers,
My name is Alan Xie and I am the current Student Member of the Board of Education. I, along with my
fellow students, parents, and public officials come before you today to oppose Expedited Bill 25-11. I
regret to inform you that the other 5,000 members of our party are currently occupied with their
respective summer programs, internships, and jobs and will be unable to attend today's hearing.
Time and again, curfews have been proven ineffective at addressing the myriad of social ills that cause
juvenile delinquency. Since they occur at night, they also fail to address the majority ofjuvenile crime,
which occurs in the late afternoon.
When striking down a curfew in Rochester, the New York Court of Appeals noted that "minors are far
more likely to commit or be victims of crime outside curfew hours and that it is adults, rather than the
minors, who commit and are victims of the vast majority of violent crime - 83.6% and 87.8% respectively
during curfew hours."
One IS-year long study performed by sociologist Michael Males at the University of California found no
statistically significant correlation between increased curfew enforcement and decreased juvenile crime.
This study is one of many that refute curfew effectiveness, corresponding with a dearth of empirical
curfew support.
Recently, many curfew supporters have relied purely on anecdotal evidence, repeatedly citing the recent
Fourth of July Silver Spring incident, while others have cited inaccurate surveys. If one considers the
statistics, it is clear Montgomery County does not require a curfew. One day after the curfew's proposal,
County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger reported a 4.6% decrease in total reported crime and a 3.6%
decrease in Part II Crimes, a category that includes juvenile offenses. If citizens of Prince George's
County or D.C. are violating their jurisdiction's laws, then collaboration with their law enforcement
agencies to ensure enforcement of such laws is more than sufficient. The incarceration of all minors in
Montgomery County is wholly unnecessary.
Profligate and irresponsible expenditure of taxpayer resources on curfew enforcement is unacceptable,
especially given our current economic situation and the decrease in crime. Moreover, the proposed curfew
will inevitably discourage patronage from minors at local businesses, resulting in lost revenue and
damage to our local economy.
Many are also concerned about curfew enforcement. At a recent student government meeting, many
middle school students expressed concerns regarding the vagueness ofthe law, questioning whether
children would be detained without probable cause. They also cited a potential violation of the Fourth
Amendment's guarantees against unreasonable search and seizure.
It is incontrovertible that the safety and protection of all citizens in Montgomery County is our greatest
goal. As I have demonstrated, a curfew is the least effective manner of achieving such goals. In February
20 I 0, hundreds of youth attend a Youth Town Hall in this very room and testified on behalf of youth
programs, saying that these programs kept kids "off the streets" during crucial late afternoon hours.
Please do not criminalize an entire demographic without considering the negative implications that
accompany such an action. Our children are the future, and maybe it's time for us to conquer our
irrational fear of the dark, and begin to listen to what they have to say.
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Fraternal Order of Police
Montgomery County Lodge
#35
Testimony Opposing
Bill 25-11
July 26, 2011
The Fraternal Order of Police Montgomery County Lodge #35 is the exclusive representative of police
officers from the rank of Police Officer Candidate through Sergeant. We are here to offer testimony
against Bill 25-11.
The very concept of a curfew is disrespectful to the vast majority of law abiding young members
of our community. It is a horrible lesson in civics to punish the majority for the offenses of a few. To
restrict the freedom and rights of the youth of Poolesville based upon events occurring in neighborhoods
on the border of the District of Columbia is patently unfair.
It
will be a drain on already strained police
resources and may expose our youth to even greater harm.
Ifthere are problems in certain neighborhoods, the solution is to spend police resources on the
problems there and not waste police resources on non-problems in other neighborhoods. When looking to
other jurisdictions for practices we need to look at crime trends and patterns and take into account the
social and economic conditions which feed into their problems, especially those conditions that do not
exist here. We are not Detroit, Michigan. Well crafted, narrowly tailored curfews in areas of high crime
may be options. But blanket solutions to specific problems result in the suppression of the individual
rights of members of our community for no other reason than their age.
Enforcement of a curfew misdirects scarce police resources. There already exist laws allowing
police officers to do their jobs. The pursuit of curfew enforcement will tie up officers who would
otherwise enforce criminal and traffic laws or respond to other calls for service. Police officers will
become babysitters for those whose only offense was to be out of their house beyond a given hour.
Police officers when they are working should be free and available to the entire community, to all
ages, for emergencies and assistance. Currently, there is nothing preventing an officer from confronting
any individual youth or group of youths at night when the officer feels the situation requires inquiry. We
do it regularly.
Our children will be more vulnerable if they conceal their activities from parents and those tasked
with protecting their safety. Neighboring jurisdictions without curfews will become magnets for late
night activities taking our children even farther from home.
It is said, "The more laws, the more offenders." Banning lawful activities of residents of our
County based upon their age is not a solution to problems ofreal crime. We join in opposing Bill 25-11.
Parents are the appropriate authority to determine their children's level of freedom and responsibility, not
government.
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25-11
I\J
r..
j
July 26,2011
I~S
on
Montgomery County Council
100 Maryland Ave
#
6,
Rockville, MD 20850-2367
d
...
PHONE
/
J mannes@nyaamerica.org
Council,
I am John Mannes and I serve as the Maryland State Director of
the National Youth Association. The National Youth Association or
NYA serves as the leading voice for students in issues like
education reform, environmental reform, and youth-related bills.
Today, as a resident of Montgomery County, I can think of no larger
youth related bill that has inspired students to take part in their
political system than the bill presented for discussion today. At this
time there are over 6,000 students and community members that
have signed up to show their disagreement with this bill and to be
kept in the loop on it's legislative progress. As you know better than
I, hundreds of emails have been sent out explaining every reason
humanly possible why this bill will be a failure and do nothing to
increase youth safety, the safety of our community, or the values of
our up and coming youth. The youth Curfew
8m,
which is in
essence, inimical to what we believe all of Montgomery County
stands for. Yes on my level, this bill may mean missing a fun night
with friends, leaving a sporting event early or even a midnight
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movie premiere, but in the end that is not very convincing since it
doesn't address the opposing viewpoint. It seems to me that in the
end the residents who support this bill believe that youth are too
immature to see that this bill is for our own good. Respectfully, I
couldn't disagree more. I see the goal, and more so I support the
goal, I just don't see how this bill is relevant. It is rushed, lacks
sufficient research and doesn't address the root of the problem.
When I first heard about this bill, I would almost have expected it to
come along with some sort of pilot program or data, and I guess it
did, Montgomery County crime is down 4.6 percent. I realize this
doesn't really apply as we are talking about juvenile crime, but yet
another example of how rushed this bill is, no juvenile statistics
have been released. Furthermore, if there is no reason for a minor
to be out at 3 am in the morning, why should an adult. An adult is
less likely to stab someone coming out of a movie premiere at 3
am? The District of Columbia and Prince Georges County have
similar implemented legislation. In a quote from a Greater Greater
Washington blog post by Lynda Laughlin from 2009, 14 years after
the implementation of the Juvenile C,urfew Act of 1995 in the District
of Columbia,
"While crime in the District is generally
decreasing, crimes committed by juveniles remains
a
significant problem across many DC neighborhoods. Some
crimes committed by juveniles appear
to
be
growing in their
intensity and violence.
"1
Because this bill is meant to be
modeled after the bills in Prince Georges County and the District, I
think it is fair to bring in this quote from a study from the National
Criminal Justice Service done in response to the Prince Georges
Curfew bill. The studys conclusion,
"The time series analysis
revealed there was little support for the hypothesis that the
Prince George's County curfew reduced violent victimization
of youth"
2
This was the only other main effort of this bill.
1
Laughlin. Lynda. "Task Force Addressing Juvenile Crime in DC."
Greater Greater Washington.
17 Mar. 2009. Web. 24
July
2011. <hUp'!(greatergreaterwashington org/postll8Q7Itask:fu.rl&:
addressing-juvenile-crime-in-dc!>.
2
GOllvis, Caterina.
Evaluation ofthe Youth Curfew in Prince George's County, Maryland, Final
Report.
no. 200519, The Urban
Institute, 7
July 2000. Web. 24 July 2011.
<C:::.:.:~
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Not just to reduce the crimes done by youth but the crimes done to
youth. Athough I wish this bill was a magic bullet, it's not. It will not
reduce crime, it won't give police another, "Tool in their toolbox", it
will only superficialy solve problems and result in a further
breakdown of the relationship between, youth, police, and the
politicians who are suposed to be fighting on their behalf. I want to
thank the council for hearing our concerns with this bill and hope
the council does its reasearch before acting toward our common
goal.
Thank You,
John Mannes
Maryland State Director Of The National Youth Association
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Before the Montgomery County Council
Testimony of
Alex Koroknay-Palicz
On behalf of the
National Youth Rights Association
on
Youth Curfew
July 26,2011
Over the last two weeks I have been asked the same question many times: "What good
reason is there for teens to be out after II?"
There are a number of good reasons for a young person to be out late. Abigail has
mentioned that she goes swing dancing which lets out after 11 and I know some teens,
especially with the oppressive heat we get here from time to time, like to go jogging late
at night when it is cooler out. Or perhaps a 16 year old is up late studying for an exam
the next day and wants to go for a midnight stroll to clear her head. Or maybe some
teens are having a slumber party and want to run over to CVS and pick up a tub of ice
cream. When I was in middle school, sometimes in the summer I'd stay up late playing
video games with friends and we'd occasionally walk 3 blocks down to the 7-11 to buy
Slurpees. We never did anything wrong or were in any danger.
But the heart of the question assumes that only activities that are "productive" should be
allowed. Have we come so far as a society that recreation and fun are purely reserved for
adults? Is there something sinister about a 17-year-old heading out to the Tastee Diner at
1
am to get a cheeseburger with some friends? We have no problem with adults going
out to eat that late. What about that cheeseburger becomes immoral when it is in the
hands of a teenager?
As long as they aren't committing an actual crime, I don't see anything wrong with a
teenager going out to a restaurant late at night, or bowling, or even standing in a public
plaza talking with their friends. Adults meet each other and talk to each other at bars and
clubs, where do teens go? They go outside since they have no other options. Previous
generations hung out at the drive-in.
If
there is anyone who has any say in how a young
person spends their free time it should be their parents, not the police.
The question flips the debate on its head. The burden of proof is not on teenagers. They
should not have to give you a good reason why they want to walk outside. The burden of
proof is on the Council. You need a very good reason to arrest teens for committing no
crime. You need a very good reason to put an entire generation under house arrest. And
one.
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Study after study show that curfews do NOTHING to reduce crime.
If
a teen is robbing
someone or harassing someone, then arrest them. There are already laws against that.
But you cannot presume that all teens out late are criminals. As Councilmember EIrich
said, 99% of teens do nothing wrong. Why pass a law that penalizes 100% of teens? But
crime isn't even a problem; it has been falling for years.
So cutting through all the rhetoric, what is the "good reason" for passing this curfew?
Quite simply
it
comes down to members of our community being afraid of seeing teens
out in public. Especially black teens.
Montgomery County sees itself as a diverse, multi-cultural and tolerant community.
An
accepting community. This curfew law flies in the face of that image. The law is not
based on crime prevention, or good parenting, or science, it is based on fear. Fear of
youth and fear of minority teens in particular.
Is that a good reason for this law?
Alex Koroknay-Palicz
Executive Director
National Youth Rights Association
1l0115
th
St., NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20005
http://www.youthrights.org
AKPalicz@youthrights.org
Office: 202-835-1739
Cell: 301-738-6769
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~~..
(}(MARYLAN 0
.
...
~
CO M..PTROLLER
J'S;rving
the People
.
Peter
Franchot
Comptroller
September] 3,2011
Members of the Montgomery County Council
100 Maryland Avenue, 6
th
floor
Rockville, MD 20850
Dear Council Members:
As a longtime resident of Montgomery County - one who raised a family here while
representing the
20
th
Legislative District for more than two decades in Annapolis -
I
have
been following the debate over proposed teen curfew legislation as a vested community
stakeholder. As Maryland's Chief Fiscal Officer, I also feel an obligation to offer my
perspective on issues that substantially affect our state's economic vitality and our ability
to sustain good-paying jobs, public revenues and private sector investment.
It
is with each
of those roles in mind that I offer my strong and resounding support of the curfew
legislation as it is currently proposed.
My wife and I moved to Takoma Park because we felt it was an extraordinary place in so
many ways. Over the years, we have enjoyed all that Montgomery County has to offer
and we believe, now more than ever, that
it
is
a special place to live and raise a family.
Much of that can be attributed to our longstanding tradition of identifying and addressing
our challenges in a timely manner.
For example, we simply cannot ignore the rise in disruptive and dangerous activities in
town centers throughout Montgomery County.
It
has often been said that "nothing good
happens after midnight," and in this case I wholeheartedly agree. Recent reports of crime,
teen violence and gang-related activity send a chilling message to the entire region at a
time when our local businesses are struggling to survive our nation's extended economic
downturn.
Whether it is the young family out for dinner and a movie in Downtown Silver Spring, a
couple enjoying a live performance in Downtown Bethesda, or a responsible teenager
working nights at the Rockville Town Center, the consumers and workers who are vital to
the health of Montgomery County's economy will understandably go elsewhere out of a
concern for their well-being and that of their families. We are all proud of the time and
effort that has gone into creating these vibrant centers of commerce; however, they simply
will not remain competitive if we allow them to be perceived as unsafe and unwelcoming.
80 Calvert Street
I, P.o.
Box 466' Annapolis, Maryland 21404-0466·410-260-7801 • 1-800-552-3941 (MD)
Fax: 410-974-3808 • Maryland Relay 711 • TTY 410-260-7157' pfranchot@comp.state.md.us
@
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Letter to Members of the Montgomery County Council
September13,2011
Page Two
As you know, I was actively involved in the renaissance of Downtown Silver Spring, and
have watched with great pride as it has become a regional hub for shopping, fine dining,
live entertainment and the performing arts. I know the extraordinary challenges that had
to be overcome to arrive at this point, and how hard our business, elected officials and
civic leaders worked to make it happen. The same is obviously true for communities in
Rockville, Bethesda, Gaithersburg, Germantown and other places that have dynamic town
centers, just as it is for everyone who has worked tirelessly through the years to preserve
the character of their residential communities.
There is no doubt that we want our children to enjoy all that our county has to offer and to
be able to do so in a safe and welcoming environment. As our neighbors in Baltimore,
Prince George's County and the District of Columbia have shown, you can foster a
dynamic and engaging community for kids while still decisively ensuring public safety.
With the important modifications that have been made to the initial draft, this legislation
represents an even-handed and pragmatic response to issues that, left unaddressed, could
severely compromise those very qualities that have made Montgomery County such an
appealing destination for so many.
For the protection of our children, our families and our communities, I urge the
Montgomery County Council to pass this crucial piece of legislation. Thank you in
advance for your consideration, and for your exceptional service to Montgomery County.
Sincerely,
Ilr/vt
~tkfJY
Peter Franchot
Comptroller of Maryland
cc:
The Honorable Isiah Leggett
The Honorable Valerie Ervin
The Honorable Phil M. Andrews
@
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OFFICE OF THE COUNTY EXECUTIVE
ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND 208.50
Isiah Leggett
County Executive
MEMORANDUM
September 13, 2011
TO:
FROM:
SUBJECT:
Valerie Ervin, Council President
/J~
Isiah Leggett, County
ExeCUtiV~
~
Bill 25-11, Offenses - Curfew - Established
This memorandum responds to questions regarding Bill 25-11, Offenses ­
Curfew - Established that Council staff forwarded to Executive staff on behalf of the Council on
July 28,2011, August 15,2011 and August 19,2011, respectively. Thank you for the
opportunity to provide this input. I look forward to working with Council as
it
moves forward
with its consideration of this bill.
1.
Please explain in detail the justification for imposing this type of measure?
Establishing a limited youth curfew in the County is a proactive step that is
intended to help reduce juvenile violence, juvenile gang activity, and juvenile crime in the
County, prevent disturbances of the public peace, protect minors from each other and other
persons, and support parental responsibility for children.
A youth curfew will help police head off juvenile crimes before they occur,
protect minors from being lured into participating in criminal activity or becoming the victim of
crimes, and promote parental involvement in a child's upbringing. The youth curfew established
by Bill 25-11 is a balanced approach that includes various exemptions for youth who are
engaged in necessary and worthwhile activities during curfew hours.
Montgomery County
is
particularly vulnerable to becoming a place where youth
congregate
in
large numbers late at
night
because Prince George's County and the District of
Columbia already have curfew laws. One recent example of that vulnerability was an incident
over the July
4th
weekend which involved a large group of about 70 youth who congregated in
the Silver Spring Central Business District (CBD). As police sought to gain control ofthe
situation, the large group broke into smaller groups and began moving around the area, avoiding
the police but alternatively fighting with each other and ultimately resulting ina serious stabbing.
Despite the immediate and high number ofresponding officers the situation was difficult to
control.
It
was later learned in police interviews that many of the youth had flocked to Silver
Spring because of the curfews in Prince George's County and the District of Columbia.
montgomerycountymd.gov/311
/~31~)'
240-773-3556 TTY
'
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Valerie Ervin, Council President
September 13,2011
Page 2
The public safety challenges associated with youth who congregate late at night in
public places are not limited to areas of our County that are easily accessible from neighboring
jurisdictions or to situations involving youth from other jurisdictions. The recent "mass theft"
which occurred in August involving approximately 25 County youth at a 7·Eleven store in
Germantown just before 2:00 a.m. is a glaring example of the challenges that exist in various
parts of the County.
Police are not able under current law to adequately manage large groups ofteens
that gather for the purpose of intimidation, violence, or criminal activity. A limited youth curfew
law is an important tool to help police officers prevent problems that arise out ofthese
challenging situations. A curfew would help prevent our youth, other residents, and businesses
from becoming victims of unlawful behavior close to and during the curfew hours. Preventing
problems is easier and less costly than fixing problems after they escalate.
Bil125-11 would give County poiice officers the same tool that Prince George's
County and District of Columbia police officers have to prevent unlawful behavior and
victimization.
It
would help the County manage the influx of youth coming from those curfew­
regulated jurisdictions who engage in criminal activity as well as problems that arise when large
groups of our own County youth congregate late at night. It would protect minors from being
lured into crime or becoming a victim of crime. A by-product of the curfew law could be
assisting parents and guardians who have difficulty getting their teens to adhere to family­
established curfews.
2.
What data do we have on juvenile crime
in
the county?
Is
it trending up?
What about crime against juveniles? What data do we have on the time of
day that crimes committee by or against juveniles occur?
In recent years the number ofjuvenile arrests and the number ofjuvenile arrests
as a percent of total arrests have increased in the County. The total number ofjuvenile arrests
increased from 1,548 in 2006 to 2,626 in 201 0 (see Attachment
A).
During that same time, the
total number of adult arrests declined. As a result, juvenile arrests as a percent of total arrests
increased from 12% in 2006 to 21% in 2010 (see Attachment A).
Between 2009 and 2010, the total number ofjuvenile arrests increased by 730.
As shown in the table below, that increase is due in large part to the increase in the number of
juveniles arrested for larceny, assault, and controlled dangerous substance (CDS) offenses.
Larceny
Assault
CDS
2009
438
143
440
2010
691
293
594
Change
57.8%
104%
35%
@
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Valerie Ervin, Council President
September 13,2011
Page 3
The number of adult arrests during curfew hours remained fairly steady in 2009,
2010, and 2011, with a slight decrease from 2,046 to 1,972 between 2009 and 2010. See
Attachment
B. Regardless of that decrease, these numbers indicate that there is significant
adult criminal activity during curfew hours which poses a risk to the safety of minors who may
become victims or be lured into participating in criminal activity. Juvenile arrests during curfew
hours decreased somewhat from 774 to 646 between 2009 and 2010 but are still at unacceptably
high levels. See
Attachment B.
With one caveat,
Attachment B
shows the number of arrests (adult and juvenile)
for all crimes that were made during the proposed curfew hours in 2009,2010, and the first
seven months of2011. In the aggregate, there were 5,139 adult arrests and 1,766 juvenile arrests
made between January 2009 and July 2011 during the 6-hour period between 11 :00 p.m. and
5:00 a.m.
The one caveat relates to available data for juvenile arrests as captured in the
Juvenile Justice Information System (JJIS). The actual time of arrest is.not captured in JJIS, only
the "start time" of the crime. Typically, for crimes such as robbery or assault, the nature of the
crime allows for collection of better data regarding the exact time of the crime. Arrests for
"crimes against a person" are more contemporaneous with the occurrence of the crimes so the
"arrest time" is more likely to be accurately related to the "start time" for the crimes. However,
for a crime such as burglary or theft, the exact time ofthe occurrence is not known and a suspect
typically is not seen. For these types of crimes, if an arrest is made at any time, the "arrest time"
is shown as the "start time" for the event. For example, if a report shows that
a
burglary
occurred between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and the juvenile was arrested at midnight, the arrest
would not be reflected in
Attachment
B. On the other hand, if a burglary or theft occurred
at midnight and the juvenile was arrested at 8:00 a.m., the arrest would be reflected in
Attachment B.
Attachment
C
provides a strict "apples to apples" comparison of available data
by showing the number of arrests (adult and juvenile) for all crimes except burglary and theft
that were made during the proposed curfew hours in 2009, 2010, and the seven months of2011.
In the aggregate, there were 4,609 adult arrests and 1,515 juvenile arrests made between January
2009 and the first seven months of 2011 during the 6-hour period between 11 :00 p.m. and 5:00
a.m.
In addition to adult and juvenile arrests that occur during curfew hours, police
officers receive thousands of calls for service each year during the proposed curfew hours that
result in written reports of crime for which no arrest is made or for which criminal or civil
citations are issued without an arrest.
Attachment D
shows data relating to calls for service in
2009,2010, and first seven months of2011 between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
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Valerie Ervin, Council President
September 13, 2011
Page 4
In terms of data relating to juveniles who are victims of crime, the table below
shows that for 2008, 2009, and 2010, juveniles accounted for approximately 4% of all victims
who reported incidents of crime in the County.
2008
2009
2010
All Victims
58992
55,292
49,537
Juv. Victims
%
Juv. Victims
2475
4.2%
2075
3.8%
2,009
4.1%
This table is based on
cns
incident data for all reported events with an event classification of
less than 2900 (and excludes reported incidents that were later determined to be unfounded). For
a list of event classification codes, see
Attachment
H.
The following table shows the number ofreported robbery incidents with a
juvenile victim that occurred between 11 :00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. during 2008,2009, and 2010:
Robbery incidents with a
juvenile victim occurring
between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00
am
2008
35
2009
32
2010
32
This table reflects the number of robbery incidents with at least one juvenile victim.
It
does not
reflect the actual number ofjuvenile victims ofrobbery incidents because an incident could have
more than one victim.
The following table shows the number of assault incidents with a juvenile victim
that occurred between 11 :00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
2008
Assault incidents with a
juvenile victim occurring
between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00
am
2009
71
2010
97
100
I
This table reflects the number of assault incidents with at least one juvenile victim.
It
does not
reflect the actual number ofjuvenile victims of assault incidents because an incident could have
more than one victim.
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Valerie Ervin, Council President
September 13, 2011
Page 5
3.
What alternative strategies exist to combat the issues the blll is designed to
address? Have other alternatives been tried? What was the result?
Nothing other
than
a youth curfew law will eliminate the vulnerability that exists
for Montgomery County because Prince George's County and the District of Columbia have
curfew laws that incentivize youth to congregate in Montgomery County late at night. Nothing
other than a youth curfew law gives police officers the authority to require youth who are
congregating late at night in large groups to go home. However, a youth curfew is only one tool
for addressing challenges relating to juvenile crime and victimization.
It
is not a panacea.
It
is incumbent upon the County to take all reasonable steps to reduce the
personal, social, and economic costs associated with criminal activity. A youth curfew is not a
substitute for vigorous and creative law enforcement activities and positive youth development
programs. However, it is a widely accepted and cost effective tool for helping to reduce
juvenile crime and protect juveniles from becoming the victims of crime.
The County is involved in numerous efforts to support positive youth
development and to serve youth along the continuum of prevention, intervention, and
suppression. The Police Department, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS),
Recreation Department, State's Attorney's Office, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS),
and Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation all have a role in these efforts. Although
significant budget constraints in recent years have restricted important components ofmany
County programs relating to positive youth development, my goal is to return to more vigorous
programs as soon as possible.
In recent years, Executive staff participated in various Council briefings on the
County's efforts to support positive youth development, including the:
(1)
November 10,2009
full Council briefing on programs and activities aimed at decreasing incidents ofjuvenile crime,
increasing student performance, and creating a better environment for County youth; (2) June 24,
2010 joint briefing of the Public Safety and Health and Human Services Committees on
coordination of prevention, intervention, and suppression efforts for individuals who are or have
been gang-involved; and (3) October 21,2010 joint briefing ofthe Public Safety and Health and
Human Services Committees on coordination of gang prevention activities, including strategies
and services provided to youth and their families to prevent gang involvement at all levels. For
further information relating to the programs and activities discussed at these meetings, see the
following Council staff packets:
November 10, 2009 - Council Briefing
http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/contentlcounciVpdfJagendaicol/20
09/091110/2009111
0 1O.pdf
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Valerie Ervin, Council President
September 13, 2011
Page 6
June 24, 2010 - PSIHHS Committee Meeting
http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/content/councillpdf/agendalcm120
1011
00624120100624 PSHHS l.pdf
October 21,2010 - PSIHHS Committee Meeting
http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/contentlcouncillpdf/agendalcml20
101101021120101021 HHSPS1.pdf
The Police Department uses a variety of crime prevention, intervention, and
suppression strategies throughout the County. These strategies are targeted to the challenges and
needs that exist in particular areas of the County. The Police Departmenfs resources have been
constrained by our fiscal challenges in recent years but I am committed to implementing the
Police Department Staffing Plan developed several years ago as soon as fiscal ,conditions allow.
That plan calls for a phased-in increase in the total number of police officers from a previous low
of 1,100 to a high of 1,350. Although budget difficulties have precluded the' County from
attaining that goal over the recommended five-year period, the County now has approximately
1,150 police officers and I am committed
to
reaching the goal of 1,350 police officers as soon as
possible. This would allow the County to reinvigorate important programs relating to our youth,
including our community liaison officers and school resource officers.
DHHS has taken a leadership role in three programs that are particular relevant .
here: (1) the Countywide Youth Violence Prevention Coordinator (YVPC) Strategy; (2) the
Central Business District (CBD) Intervention Strategy; and (3) the Regional Intervention
Strategy.
The YVPC Strategy includes a Street Outreach Network (SON) comprised of
4 full-time staff that have engaged a total of 380 gang-involved youth in the past two years. The
SON staff have targeted hot spot communities like Maple Avenue, Bel Pre, Briggs Chaney,
Lockwood, White Oak, Downtown Silver Spring, Wheaton, Rockville, Gaithersburg,
Montgomery Village, Germantown, and Damascus. These strategies include weekly projects
that engage youth in positive, life affirming activities such as:
DJlLife Skills Program which serves 40 youth per week;
Boxing/Life Skills Program that serves about 20 youth per week;
Graffiti alternative/Life Skills Program which serves about 15
youth per week;
Young Women's Support and Empowerment Group which serves
about 20 youth per week; and
Soccerrream buildingILife Skills Program that serves about 30
youth per week.
@
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Valerie Ervin, Council President
September 13,2011
Page?
In addition, SON staff maintains daily engagement in County schools, malls,
recreation centers, libraries, youth programs, homes and neighborhood of gang-involved youth.
Finally, one part-time grant-funded SON staff member provides 2 weekly job training and
readiness sessions to 20 youth. This initiative began in March of this year under ARRA grant
funds. Currently eight youth have been successfully hired and continue to maintain
employment.
The YVPC continues to educate youth and parents about the consequences of
gang activity throughout the County. This work is done in partnership with a detective from the
County Gang Unit. In addition, the YVPC continues to work with many community partners
and community associations in order to build their capacity to address gang and youth violence
throughout the County. The YVPC has provided workshops and trainings to over 200 parents in
MCPS on accessing intervention services in the County. The YVPC has provided workshops on
the consequences of gang life and bad choices to over 100 youth in MCPS.
As a result of a couple of high profile incidents that occurred last summer in the
Silver Spring CBD, the YVPC along with SON staff were engaged by you to be a part of a
multi-agency response team to address these incidents. A CBD Intervention Strategy was
initiated which included SON staff doing targeted engagement of youth from Maple Avenue
Crew, Hampshire Towers (HT), and 38 Mob from Briggs Chaney. The SON also sought to
implement community-based intervention projects in Takoma Park and the Briggs Chaney
Community; however, SON staff faced logistical issues that made it extremely difficult to
maintain those efforts consistently. In addition, the Crossroads Youth Opportunity Center
(CYOC) focused on serving youth from these communities as well. Last year prior to the high
profile incidents which led to development of the CBD Intervention Strategy, the CYOC served
about 8 youth from these communities. SON staff now serve 44 youth from these communities.
Through these efforts the ongoing disputes between these communities de-escalated.
In addition to the CBD Intervention Strategy, HHS developed a Regional
Intervention Strategy which calls for the YVPC to meet on a quarterly basis with counterparts
from Prince George's, the District of Columbia, and Northern Virginia in order to discuss
regional activity by these particular groups. In addition, there was a proposal to have street
workers meet on a quarterly basis to share information and develop strategies to address the
regional nature of this activity. Due to the many budgetary challenges faced by all of the partner
jurisdictions, this effort became logistically difficult to maintain, although the coordinators from
each jurisdiction continue to meet on a quarterly basis.
As
a result of increased conflict between
Montgomery County youth and District of Columbia youth, the SON and District of Coh.unbia
intervention workers will be meeting bi-weekly starting this fall to develop a regional strategy
for engaging youth and reducing conflicts among the various groups.
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Valerie Ervin, Council President
September 13, 2011
Page 8
The Department of Recreation has carried out successful evening programs
targeted to adolescent youth for a number of years. Programs targeted to at-risk adolescent youth
have included battle of the bands, dances, hosting post-prom parties, midnight basketball,
midnight soccer, late movies, pool parties, and more. These events have been credited by law
enforcement personnel, youth advocates, and youth themselves for providing positive and
supervised activities that have led to a reduction in juvenile delinquency.
At the height of its budget, the Department of Recreation had dedicated staffing
who were charged with administering a wide variety ofteen programming which included
weekend and evening activities every month throughout the County. However, as a result of the
budget challenges over the last four years and reductions to the Department's budget, these
programs and staffing have been significantly scaled back. The program budget for after-hour
events in FY12 was cut completely. These programs are well regarded deterrents to juvenile
delinquency and I support the reestablishment ofthese efforts with appropriate resources as the
County's fiscal situation improves.
In
the meantime, the Department is leveraging some existing
resources
to
carry out an evening indoor league during the winter months and has established a
Youth Cafe model in partnership with Councilmember Navarro and DHHS.
4.
How will the law be enforced when a movie or show at the Fillmore lets out
late (near or after curfew hour). Are minors allowed to walk home? Are
they allowed to
walk
to the Metro to get home? Are the Pollee really only
looking to use this when a group is hanging out rather than moving along?
I submitted recommended amendments to Bill 25-11 to the Council on August 31,
2011.
See Attachment
G. Those amendments included a recommendation to expand the list of
exemptions to the curfew to include a minor who is attending or returning home from, without
any detour, an event at a place of public entertainment, including a movie, concert, play, or
sporting event. Under this amendment, if a movie or show at the Fillmore lets out close to or
after the start of the curfew, youth will be allowed to walk directly home or to the Metro to go
home.
Under Bill 25-11, a police officer may issue a citation for a curfew violation only
after (1) the officer determines that an individual is under the age of 18 and not engaged in
activities that are exempt from the curfew, and (2) the juvenile refuses to go home after being
asked to do so. In situations where an officer finds a need to enforce the curfew violation, the
officer would
try
to ascertain what the juvenile is doing. If the juvenile can explain his or her
presence and is either eligible for a curfew exemption or on the way home, the officer would be
expected allow the juvenile to go on his or her way.
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Valerie Ervin, Council President
September 13,2011
Page 9
5.
Related to question #4, should there be an exception for movies, concerts,
and other entertainment activities?
See answer to Question 4.
The County does not have authority to require a municipality to adopt a curfew
law. However, if Bill 25-11 is enacted, it would apply by default in some municipalities unless
they pass laws rejecting
it.
According to the County Attorney, Bi1l25-11 would apply by default
in all municipalities ex.cept Gaithersburg, Garrett Park, Kensington, Laytonsville, Poolesville,
Rockville, Somerset, and Washington Grove. These eight municipalities could pass laws to
make Bill 25-11 applicable in their jurisdictions. Likewise, any municipality to which Bill 25-11
would apply by default could pass a law to reject it.
6.
If
the law as proposed requires a minor to be charged with a criminal
offense, should the County seek State legislation to make violation of a
curfew by a minor an offense that remains a juvenile matter rather than
creating a permanent arrest record?
The bill currently specifies that a curfew violation is a Class A violation but does
not specify whether the violation is criminal or civiL This is similar to other existing County
Code provisions relating to certain types of offenses, which can be enforced either criminally or
civilly. However, based on advice from the State's Attorney, I have recommended that the bill
be amended to make a curfew violation a Class B civil offense that is punishable by a maximum
fine of $1 00 for a first offense and $150 for a second offense. See Attachment
G.
If arrest
authority is needed in a situation involving a curfew violation, the State's Attorney believes that
a police officer could use ex.isting authority granted under §1O-201(c)(3) of the Criminal Law
Article to arrest an individual who disobeys an order made by a police officer
to
prevent a
disturbance of the public peace.
7.
The bill allows the Police to place a minor who has violated curfew in the
custody of the Department of Health and Human Services, who can release
the minor at 5:00 a.m. the next morning. Is this feasible? How would this
work? Where would HHS keep them?
According to the County Attorney, the County does not have authority under
State law to take a juvenile into custody for a curfew violation unless, the violation is a criminal
offense and the police officer is using arrest authority. As discussed in my answer to Question 7,
I have recommended that the bill be amended to make a curfew violation a civil offense. That
amendment includes deletion of any language in Bill 25-11 that relates to placing a juvenile in
the custody of DHHS.
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Valerie Ervin, Council President
September 13,2011
Page 10
8. Have curfews been effective
in
other jurisdictions that have adopted them?
What bas been the effect
in
Prince George's County and the District of
Columbia?
Many cities have adopted youth curfew laws. Attachment E shows the results of
a 1997 survey of347 cities with a population over 30,000 conducted by the U.S. Conference of
Mayors. Four out of five cities in that survey (276) had a nighttime curfew. Of those cities:
90% (247 cities) said that enforcing a nighttime curfew is a good
use of a police officer's time;
93% (257 cities) said that a nighttime curfew is a useful tool for
police officers; and
88% (236 cities) said that nighttime curfew enforcement helps to
make streets safer for residents.
The survey included comments from numerous city officials which reflected a
belief that a curfew is a proactive way to combat youth violence, involve parents, deter future
crime, prevent "gathering" (which also meant fewer calls for service to the police), keep the
"good" kids good and the at-risk kids from becoming victims or victimizers, reduce late-night
traffic, make residents feel safer, make it easier to find runaways, make it harder for criminals to
hide from the police during curfew hours because there are fewer people with which to blend in,
reduce graffiti and vandalism, and reduce opportunities for gang recruitment and gang activities.
In
2000, the Regional Community Policing Institute at Wichita State University
conducted a survey of 446 police departments serving populations of at least 15,000. See
http://webs,wichita.eduidepttools/depttoolsmemberfiles/rcpi/Policy%20PapersiCurfew%20Resea
rch.pdf. This report concluded that "[t]he data strongly support the belief among respondents
that curfews were an effective tool for reducing various crimes." Most noteworthy, according to
the report, was that 93.5% ofrespondents agreed that curfews had an effect on reducing
vandalism, 89.1 % agreed they had reduced graffiti, 85.7% agreed curfews contributed to the
reduction of gang activity, 84.7% agreed that curfews reduced rates of nighttime burglary, and
81.1 % agreed that curfew en,forcement had reduced auto theft.
Numerous jurisdictions have reported success after implementing curfew laws.
Dallas and New Orleans provide two examples of such self-reporting. The Dallas Police
Department reported that three months after the enactment of a curfew law juvenile victimization
during curfew hours declined by 17.7% and juvenile arrests during curfew hours dropped by
14.6%. New Orleans reported that a dusk-to-dawn curfew enacted in that city was influential in
decreasing the incidents ofjuvenile arrests by 27% in the year after its adoption.
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Valerie Ervin, Council President
September 13,2011
Page 11
The
study available through the following
link
provides an example of research
that supports the effectiveness of curfew laws:
http://www.econ.berkeley.edul-pkline!papers!curfews resubmit.pdf
The
Impact ofJuvenile Curfew
Laws
on Arrests ofYouth and Adults
(August
2011), Patrick Kline, UC BerkeleylNBER.
This study reviewed data from 54 cities with curfew laws and concluded that: "Overall) curfews
appear to have important effects on the criminal behavior of youth. The arrest data suggest that
being subject to a curfew reduces the number ofviolent and property crimes committed by
juveniles below the curfew age by approximately 10% in the year after enactment, with the
effects intensifying substantially in subsequent years for violent crimes."
However, it is important to note that the scientific and statistical research on the
effectiveness of curfew laws is mixed and studies can be found to support both sides of the issue.
Numerous stakeholders and academics have noted that there has been no comprehensive
statistically valid study regarding the effectiveness of curfew laws. Such a study would be
extremely difficult to conduct, time consuming, and expensive because it would have to account
for all of the different variables relating to:
(1)
demographics of particular jurisdictions
(popUlation size, income, employment rates, age distribution, etc.); (2) differences in the curfew
laws
in
various jurisdictions (curfew hours, age of individuals subject to the curfew, exceptions, .
etc.); and (3) crime rates in any given jurisdiction (laws in place in neighboring jurisdictions,
other law enforcement initiatives, etc.).
In
considering the existence of studies on both sides of
the issue, one court noted that this reality "simply illustrates that proving broad sociological
propositions by statistics is a dubious business." See
Schleifer et. al.
v.
City ofCharlottesville,
159 F.3d 843,849 (4
th
Cir. 1998).
In
this regard, it is important to note that courts do not require
legislative bodies to have scientific or statistical "proof' before acting on a policy decision.
Legislative bodies may act on the basis of information from many sources, including (but not
limited
to)
local crime data, surveys ofpublic opinion, news reports, national crime data, and
experience in other jurisdictions.
With regard to Prince George's County, a 2003 study showed that arrests of
curfew-age youth decreased after the curfew was implemented but concluded that it could not
prove with certainty that the curfew was the cause of the decrease in juvenile arrests. For a copy
of that study, see following link: https:llwww.ncjrs.gov!pdffilesl/nij/grants!200520.pdf. With
regard to the District of Columbia, Police Chief Cathy Lanier advised me that the District
experienced a 50% reduction in juvenile victims of violent crime in public spaces and a 43%
reduction in juveniles arrested during curfew hours after the District imposed a 10:00 p.m.
curfew during a 2006 crime emergency. Although a number of public safety initiatives were
launched during that emergency, the decreases in juvenile victims andjuvenile arrests during the
curfew were significantly higher than the decreases during non-curfew hours. During non­
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Valerie Ervin, Council President
September
13,2011
Page
12
curfew hours, the District experienced only a 3% reduction in juvenile arrests and a 5% reduction
in juvenile victims of violent crime in public spaces.
On a related note, Chief Lanier and Prince George'
9
County Police Chief Mark
Magaw both personally advised me last week that their respective curfew laws are very
important law enforcement tools in their respective jurisdictions.
10.
One option could be to limit the curfew to certain parts of the County.
Is
this
a feasible option?
If
so, which portions of the County would you apply the
curfew?
I believe that the curfew law should apply Countywide. A curfew that applies in
only certain parts of the County would simply incentivize some youth to congregate
in
the parts
ofthe County that do not have a curfew. The problem would shift across the street,just outside
the CBD, or to other parts ofthe County.
Crimes committed by or against juveniles occur throughout the County and are
not concentrated in one or two police districts or locations. The County estimates that
approximately
1300
gang members currently reside in
th~
County and gang-related crime can
occur anywhere. The County, its businesses and residents have made enormous investments of
time, money and effort to create vibrant, culturally rich arid interesting venues to which all are
welcome. However, the violence that occurred in Silver Spring over the July
4th
weekend, the
mass theft that occurred in Germantown in August, and other types of criminal activity and
victimization can occur anywhere.
11.
What
is
the estimated fiscal impact of Bill 25-11?
Bill
25-11
would have no fiscal impact on the County. See Attachment F for the
Fiscal and Economic Impact Statement prepared by the Office of Management and Budget for
this bill.
12.
What is the estimated economic impact of Bill 25-11?
It
is not expected that Bill
25-11
will have an economic impact on private
businesses in the County. See Attachment F for the Fiscal and Economic Impact Statement
prepared by the Office of Management and Budget for this bill.
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Valerie Ervin, Council President
September 13, 2011
Page 13
13.
To our knowledge, there are 2 court cases about curfews that are
particularly on point:
Schleifer v. Charlottesville
(4th circuit) and
Ashton v.
Brown
(Maryland Ct of Appeals). How does Bill 25-11 match up with the
criteria in those cases?
Bill 25-11 is similar to the curfew law upheld by the Fourth Circuit in
Schleifer v.
Charlottesville,
159 F.3d 843 (4