Juvenile Justice - Curfew Reform

Background

Park Hill Collective Impact brainstormed unintended consequences surrounding the current curfew ordinance in Denver. Some of those unintended consequences were introducing juveniles to the criminal justice system, profiling juveniles based on appearance, and incurring an unexpected expense without taking into account home circumstances, leaving work late, or lack of transportation. As a result of the passionate juvenile justice work of the partners in Park Hill Strong, PHCI staff and youth met with Denver Police Department, Chief of Police - Paul Pazen to discuss concerns.

Data shows that hispanic and black juveniles are disproportionately targeted for these violations.

Denver Population by Race, Children under 18 years

US Census, 2017

Curfew Citations by Race

Denver Department of Safety, 2018

Action

Park Hill Collective Impact created a survey that asked questions about the understanding about curfew. The survey was distributed among our network which included schools, community, youth advocacy organizations, social media, friends, and family. The survey gathered 197 valid responses from 42 middle schools and high schools that encompassed the Denver Metropolitan Area. The survey found that there is a large education and communication gap regarding the specifics around curfew.

Takeaways

  • Most youth do not have a curfew at home

  • Most youth and parents don’t know the specifics around curfew

  • Most youth are unaware or unsure of where to find information about curfew

Result

Park Hill Collective Impact took the data that was collected and put a PowerPoint presentation together to present to Department of Safety executives and decision makers. Recommendations provided as part of the presentation were to have a consistent time across the board to lessen confusion, communicate accurate information to students and parents, collaborate with community organizations to continue conversations about curfew, and to have consistent messaging. This sparked a continued conversation to include community voice and to look more closely at messaging and education around curfew.