Hennepin County's curfew program is keeping kids' records clean

Instead of getting a ticket, kids get resources.

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office started a new pilot curfew program in June. Now the results are in and Attorney Mike Freeman is calling it a success.

The Attorney's Office partnered with The Link – which supports Twin Cities Youth – for curfew diversion pilot program. The idea was to keep kids' out of the judicial system.

It worked by diverting curfew cases from court – unless the youth had a pending juvenile delinquency case.

“We don’t want children in the system. Once they are in, it can have consequences that tarnish their reputations, their records and it can lead to more crime down the road,” said Freeman

Between June and November, there were 313 curfew cases. Two-thirds of those were deferred to The Link, which followed up with the child and the child's parents.

Before the program, kids picked up for being out late could get ticketed. Then the kid's information would be logged into the juvenile court system, building the juvenile's record.

Leaders with The Link say kids who are out late often don't know the laws – neither do a lot of parents. And sometimes kids aren't home because they're facing other issues.

“Our goal is to intervene early so that a curfew violation does not grow into a bigger problem,” Beth Holger-Ambrose, executive director of The Link, said in a statement.

The Hennepin County Attorney sees the results of this pilot "encouraging," so the curfew diversion program will continue.

You can see the results here.

Hennepin County's curfew

There is a curfew for anyone under 18 in Hennepin County.

Kids under 12 need to be off the streets by 9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

For kids 12-14, it's extended an hour. And curfew is extended another hour for teenagers 15-17.

There are exceptions for school, employment and religious observances. You can read more about the curfew here.

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