Newark to enact new overnight curfew for children 17 years old and younger

Officials say the initiative is aimed at ensuring Newark’s children stay safe, particularly at night.

Naomi Yané

Apr 10, 2024, 12:38 AM

Updated 41 days ago

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A new curfew in Newark hopes to keep kids safe. The Juvenile Safety Initiative goes into effect on Friday. The curfew states that anyone 17 years old or younger must be accompanied by an adult if they are more than 100 yards from their home between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5:30 a.m.
Many parents told News 12 New Jersey that they are in favor of the curfew.
“I don’t feel like kids should be out if they’re under 18 past 11 p.m. anyway,” said Raddisha Gordon. “I think that that would drop the crime rate. I think that it would protect them and I’m all for it."
Newark has always had a curfew, but it’s never been enforced. Officials say the initiative is aimed at ensuring Newark’s children stay safe, particularly at night.
In a statement, Mayor Ras Baraka wrote in part, “We want the children of our city to enjoy the outdoors safely by limiting the opportunity for them to find themselves in harm’s way.”
While most adults are for the curfew, there is a concern particularly relating to young people interacting with the police and potentially being wrongfully criminalized.
Lawrence Hamm is head of the group The People’s Organization for Progress.
"We know that with the police sometimes there are problems. Newark police are still under consent decree so I would not want to see any of our young people be the victims of discriminatory policy,” Hamm said.
The ordinance won’t apply to minors who are running an emergency errand for a parent or guardian, minors traveling to or from work or minors attending extra-curricular school activities or activities sponsored by a religious or community-based organization.
Any minor found in violation of the ordinance will face a verbal warning and be escorted home on a first offense. A second offense within six months could results in the minor being taken to the police youth strategies office, where they would have to be picked up by their parents.
No minors will be arrested, but multiple offenders and their parents or guardians will be referred to the New Jersey Department of Children and Families Office of Child Protection and Permanency.


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