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City Council Passes New, Simplified Curfew For Philadelphia Minors

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- This summer is going to look different for minors in Philadelphia. A new curfew law was passed Thursday by City Council.

The city has always had a curfew for minors so that part isn't new. But what this legislation does is streamline the age groups and creates a new space so children out late don't have to spend the night at the police station.

A bill passed unanimously by Philadelphia City Council seeks to reform the city's existing curfew legislation.

"This year, we have seen an unprecedented rate of young people, getting younger and younger, who are involved in criminal incidents simply because they are not home or in a safe environment," City Councilperson Katherine Gilmore Richardson said.

Under the current curfew law, the time a child must be home depends on if they are under or over 13, if it's a weeknight or weekend, and if it is the school year or summer.

"This new iteration of the bill simplifies the times by age," Richardson said.

Under the new bill, the curfew time for those 16 and over is midnight year-round; For minors 14-16, it's 10:00 p.m.; and for kids under 13, 9:30 p.m.

"We are able to invest in a strategic way to not only deal with gun violence, to deal with arts and culture, to deal with all the other issues," City Council President Darrell Clarke said.

The bill comes with an initial $1.5 million investment.

"To help us with evening resource centers that can help our children get off the street and be reunited with their families," Richardson said.

Currently, if a child is found violating curfew and a guardian can't be reached they are taken to the police station.

The bill also does away with monetary penalties for parents.

"I don't think it's fair to penalize parents, many of whom are working two and three jobs to take care of their families," Richardson said.

The councilwoman added that simplifying the curfew law helps businesses better understand that when it's late, children should not be patronizing their stores.

The bill now heads to the mayor's desk.

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