(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser is reminding the community that the Juvenile Curfew Enforcement Pilot, announced at a public safety situational update earlier this month, will begin on Friday, September 1. The pilot program will include support from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD); Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS); Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA); Department of Behavioral Health (DBH); and Department of Human Services (DHS).
“The vast majority of our young people are doing the right thing – they are back in school, they are involved in extracurriculars, and in the evenings and at night, they are where they need to be – supervised and safe. But we need that to be true for all of our young people, and if we have kids and teenagers who are not in safe situations, we need to connect with those families,” said Mayor Bowser. “I’ve shared before that when I was young, my father used to tell me: there’s nothing good in the street after 11 o’clock. We want our kids home, we want them safe, and if they’re not – we want families working with us to get their kids the help that they need.”
Under the Pilot program, MPD will be able to bring youth in seven focus areas to DYRS, which will monitor them until they can be reconnected in the morning with a parent or guardian. This will free MPD officers of this responsibility, allowing them to return to patrol during critical hours. Currently, when MPD encounters a youth in violation of curfew, an officer brings the youth to a MPD District station, where the officer will remain with the youth until they are able to locate a parent or guardian. Under the Pilot, MPD officers will be able to bring the youth to a safe place and return to the community to resume patrol.
By proactively introducing youth and their families to DYRS services, agency staff will be able to identify and intervene with youth in crisis and partner with District human services agencies to offer necessary services, including rehabilitation and ongoing support.
“No group is at higher risk of harm than youth engaging in the most risky and dangerous criminal activity,” said Lindsey Appiah, Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice. “Our goal is to engage with young people and their families before that happens and to provide them with the kinds of interventions that we know help. This pilot will offer us one tool to do just that.”
Curfew hours for those under 17 in the District of Columbia are Sunday through Thursday from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 12:01 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. Per District of Columbia code, a minor commits an offense if they remain in any public place or on the premises of any establishment within the District of Columbia during curfew hours. Several actions by minors are permissible during curfew hours and are listed here.
The seven focus areas included in the Juvenile Curfew Enforcement Pilot cover the following areas:
- District 1: Chinatown and Navy Yard
- District 3: U Street area
- District 3: Howard University/Banneker
- District 4: 14th Street between Otis and Spring Road, NW
- District 4: 4000 Georgia Avenue, NW
- District 6: 4400-4600 Benning Rd, SE
- District 7: 1300 Congress Street, SE
Focus areas were selected by MPD and cover neighborhoods that have experienced a substantial increase in the number of young people involved in criminal conduct such as robberies or carjackings over the summer.
Mayor Bowser has prioritized investment in youth services across District government and encourages youth and their families to take advantage of these offerings, including:
DYRS Achievement Centers
- The DYRS Achievement Centers provide youth with free access to support, resources, and social opportunities designed to develop their strengths and confidence, in addition to free meals.
- Programs include life skills training, mentorship opportunities, vocational skills training, work readiness and job placement, community service and more.
- Achievement Centers are located in Chinatown and Anacostia.
- Interested families can learn more by visiting dyrs.dc.gov/service/achievement-centers or calling (202) 576-7299
CFSA Family Success Centers
- Serving families in Wards 5, 7, and 8, CFSA’s Family Success Centers offer programs to help families thrive and build on positive skills.
- Programs include nutrition workshops, professional development training, stress management, and parenting classes.
- Interested families can visit cfsa.dc.gov/page/families-first-dc to learn more.
DHS Parent and Adolescent Support Services (PASS)
- The PASS program assists youth who are currently in crisis, skipping school, violating curfew, leaving home, and/or experiencing extreme family conflict.
- Functional Family Therapy, community-based services, and more are used to address these behaviors.
- Interested families should email [email protected] or call (202) 698-4334 for more information.
DBH Mental Health Hotline
- DBH operates a 24/7 mental Health Hotline to support District residents of all ages who need assistance.
- Trained mental health specialists are provided at no costs to assist with depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues.
- Families experiencing a mental health crisis can contact the hotline at (888) 793-4357
DBH Children and Adolescent Mobile Psychiatric Service (ChAMPS)
- ChAMPS provides on-demand psychiatric services to families when youth ages 6-18 are experiencing a behavioral health crisis.
- Families in need of support should call (202) 481-1440
Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Youth Development & Out-of-School Time Programs
- Recreational programs for District youth include athletic programs in soccer, gymnastics, competitive swim, tennis, and basketball.
- Additionally, DPR’s Supreme Teens program focuses on teen development and enrichment.
- Interested families can view a full catalog of programs and activities by visiting dprprograms.com.
- Eligible families can also receive up to 75% off fee-based programs through the Reduced Rates Application.