Houston Considers Tighter Teen Curfew

The city of Houston is considering a tighter teen curfew as a way to fight crime in the city. As Houston Public Radio's Laurie Johnson reports, there is little consensus among city council members on whether this tactic will do any good.

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A tighter teen curfew is under discussion at Houston City Council and one thing is clear: no one agrees on the proposed restrictions. Councilmember Adrian Garcia authored the ordinance which would require all teens 16 and under to be home by 10 on weeknights and 11pm on weekends. He says data shows the majority of teen crimes occur between the hours of 10pm and midnight and enhancing the curfew could prevent crime.

"Part of the goal is here is to demonstrate to young people that if it's -- you know, it's bad to be out at a period of time that it is unsafe and being out at that time of night -- you know, maybe with the wrong crowd, could put you in the wrong circumstances at the wrong time."

But Garcia's colleagues on city council can't agree on the details of the curfew. Garcia hasn't released the details of his ordinance yet, so a lot of questions are floating around. Councilmember Michael Berry says you can't punish an entire segment of society for the bad behavior of a few teens.

"We don't allow people, in making public policy, to make those determinations because there are some people who will look at statistical analysis and paint races, religions, age groups, parts of town and everything else and we have decided as a society that that is inappropriate."

City Council will hold a public hearing on the curfew ordinance in two weeks. Councilmembers are calling for the complete details of the ordinance to be released before that hearing. Laurie Johnson HPR News.

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