Community group looks to help families of children caught after curfew

Group called Community Youth Against Violence

By Glenna Milberg - Reporter, David Dwork - Digital Editor

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - As students across Miami-Dade County head back to school, a community group is looking to help keep children safe and at home after the countywide curfew goes into effect. 

That group is called Community Youth Against Violence.

They went to authorities with a plan on how to utilize the county’s juvenile curfew, which has been in place for years. 

The curfew is for anyone under 17 years old and runs from Sunday night to Friday morning from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Then from Friday evening to Sunday morning, the curfew runs between midnight and 6 a.m.

This year, officials from Community Youth Against Violence approached the Miami-Dade Police Department with an idea; let them know when a young person violates curfew and within three days, someone from the group will visit the family.

They want to help figure out why that child is out so late, and to arrange for services to help the family moving forward. 

"It's not just a curfew, it's to develop accountability in a household," said Lorenzo Johnson, founder of Community Youth Against Violence. "We know we're going to get some rejection, but we're going to be so demanding and pushy because you're putting your child in harm's way."

Miami-Dade's curfew is a civil law that makes parents liable when their children are out illegally. 

The law does not apply to any young person with a valid reason to be out of their home past curfew, just those with no good reason to do so. 

One local woman who has a 15-year-old and a 10-year-old gave the idea a big thumbs up.

"It would be better for the kids," said Chriztine Romero. "Keep them off the street. Keep them out of trouble."

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