Parents could face fines over youth curfew in Prince George's County

Starting this weekend, parents could be hit with fines in Prince George’s County if their kids don’t abide by a juvenile curfew.

"August was the single deadliest month in Prince George’s County history," County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said at a Monday news conference. 

The curfew means kids 16 and younger will have to be home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 11:59 p.m. to 5 a.m. Friday and Saturday. 

It will be in effect for at least 30 days.

Residents react to Prince George's County youth curfew: 'Why did we wait so late?'

"The enforcement of this law is to protect our children," Alsobrooks added.

On Friday in Hyattsville, many county residents endorsed the idea.

"For the most part, it seems like a fairly good idea," Kishia Watkins told FOX 5.

"I think it’s wonderful," added Berta Bradley. "We need some control.

But some researchers said the curfew could have unintended consequences.

"This seems like a really simple, easy, this works kind of policy, and I think that it’s actually a lot muddier than people realize," explained Jillian Carr, an associate professor of economics at Purdue University. She worked on a study published in 2018 which found that juvenile curfews in D.C. actually led to an increase in gun violence.

"If your goal is just purely to take the teenagers out of it, you could be succeeding in that while still observing this increase in the gunshots that we see," Carr said. "We think that by removing, you know, law-abiding citizens from the streets – their children as well as their parents – then you’re removing a lot of people who could be potentially playing a role in preventing crime just by their presence."

In response, Alsobrooks’ office pointed FOX 5 to comments made by the county executive in a newsletter this week in which she said, "We know that a curfew will not end violence. This is just one new tool that we are using in our crime prevention efforts."

For more information about the curfew, including exceptions, civil penalties, and how it will be enforced, you can visit the Prince George's County website.