City kids need more recreation programs, not a curfew [Letter]

June 04, 2014

Plans to expand the youth curfew signal a recognition that kids in Baltimore City need more community services, employment opportunities and structured recreational activities ("Council approves stricter curfew," June 3).

This recognition offers a chance to meaningfully empower kids and connect them with the services they need.

However, the planned expansion of the curfew will increase contact between kids and police and is likely to undo successful efforts to reduce the inappropriate use of secure detention in Baltimore.

The Juvenile Justice Monitoring Unit therefore urges city officials to look beyond the framework of criminal justice for ways to meet the needs of kids in Baltimore.

Plans to expand the curfew should be abandoned and replaced by enhanced partnerships with the school system, area service providers and local sports franchises to increase the available resources in communities and recreation centers.

Nick Moroney, Baltimore

The writer is director of the Maryland Juvenile Justice Monitoring Unit.

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