DC summer youth curfew targets juvenile crime in high-risk areas

In an effort to reduce juvenile crime, the nation’s capital is enforcing a youth summer curfew for July and August. 

The city has identified seven focus areas where young people are frequently involved in crimes such as carjackings and robberies. The goal of the curfew is to keep kids out of trouble.

Kids under the age of 17 are not allowed to be out between 12:01 a.m. and 6 a.m., seven days a week.

"I think it’ll make a change," said Jawanna Hardy, founder of Guns Down Friday, a non-profit in the District providing mentorship and resources for young men who have witnessed or experienced violence. "Every child’s story is different, every situation is different. Not all kids are out there causing trouble."

The Juvenile Curfew Enforcement Pilot began in September 2023. 

Since then, officers have taken 69 minors to the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services for curfew violations. Of those, 45 were released to a parent or guardian.

"Instead of sending them home, a lot of them … There’s a reason they don’t want to be in their home," Hardy said. "I’ve been in a lot of homes where kids do not want to be there… so sending them home… Find out what’s going on in their home, why does that kid not want to be home?"

Penalties for curfew violations include up to 25 hours of community service for the child. 

Parents or guardians could face a fine of up to $500 or be required to perform community service.

Hardy believes more needs to be done to support youth. 

"What activities, what services are we providing for these kids as an alternative to being on the streets?" she asked.

Families looking to keep their children engaged while they’re out of school can visit summer.dc.gov for activities to keep them positively involved.