SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio Council members will soon revisit the city’s curfew ordinance with possible changes that will make it less criminalizing.
Current ordinance prohibits youths under age 17 from being out during school hours, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 11 p.m.-6 a.m., unsupervised.
Those in violation could face a class C misdemeanor and a fine of up to $500.
Council members are looking into ways to be more productive with the punishment rather than potentially “ruining their lives with a criminal record," Councilman Greg Brockhouse said
Brockhouse said the court system is exploring rehabilitation efforts to keep youths in school or employed during those hours.
The possible changes are set to be discussed in May.
What Councilman Greg Brockhouse is saying:
“We want to be very careful to not immediately criminalize somebody and stick them into the juvenile system. That costs money but also starts a process where we begin to ruin people's lives. We need to engage them and hopefully get them on the right path.”
“The current ordinance is a bit extensive, but don’t get me wrong, no kid has any business being out at all hours of the night. They are still breaking the law, which is still really bad, but there needs to be accountability there for them and the parents.”
What Akeem Brown, chairman of My Brother's Keeper San Antonio, is saying:
“I am happy the council is looking at a change. We have been pushing for this for three months now. I am really excited about the engagement center, but I am more excited about having that conversation with both the city and the citizens to find out how and what this model will look like.”
“If this ordinance is in place in the future, I want to see our law enforcement with uniform training on how to engage with our youth. And I want to see our community more aware and educated when they are engaged, so they will know their rights.”