Stiffer penalties for parents of curfew offenders

Ordinance pushes stiffer penalties for parents of curfew violators

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A handful of Roseland residents participated in what was called an evening of prayer Friday. It's one of numerous such vigils held throughout the city at 7 p.m. at locations where people have been killed.

Police say the murder rate is down 42 percent compared with the first three months of last year. But with warmer weather on the horizon, there is continued concern about so called "wilding" and flash mobs, especially downtown, where teens last weekend used social media to gather and produce a mini-episode of mayhem.

Next week, the City Council may provide another tool to manage those wayward teens.

"Some of the policeman have picked children up and the parents say, ‘well my kid left the kid dressed one way, they didn't look like that when they left here,'" says 29th Ward Alderman Deborah Graham.

Graham is pushing an ordinance that would require counseling and support services for parents of repeat curfew violators. They could still be fined, but part of their community service could include efforts to strengthen the family. Some kids think it's a good idea.

"It's part of the parents fault why the kids not in the house at a certain time," says student Diamond Fausc.

Alderman Graham says parents can use all the help they can get.

"We're not trying to separate families or penalize families," Graham says. "Sometimes families just don't have a handle, and maybe they need to go to a parenting class to get some of those tools they need to bring their families together."

The curfews in Chicago depends on the age of your children. For kids 12 and under, the curfew is 8:30 p.m. for weekdays and 9 p.m. on weekends. For kids ages 12-16, the curfew is 10 p.m. on weekdays and 11 p.m. on weekends.

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