A screenshot of the Safety Committee meeting at Cleveland City Hall on Sept. 27.
Safety Committee members propose stricter punishment for parents of children who violate youth curfew law. Credit: Cleveland City Council YouTube

Covered by Documenters Jada Hobson (notes) and Karima McCree-Wilson (notes)

Penalties increase for parents whose children break curfew

Cleveland City Council voted Monday to stiffen penalties for parents and guardians whose children violate the city’s youth curfew law.

Safety Committee Chair Mike Polensek sponsored the legislation.

Council passed the original youth curfew law in 2007, allowing police to ticket parents and guardians. Fines ranged up to $150. 

Under the new law, the tickets carry higher fines and the possibility of jail time. For a first offense, a judge could send a parent or guardian to jail for up to 30 days and fine them up to $150. For repeat offenses, the risk of jail time increased to up to 60 days and up to a $500 fine.

Ward 7 Council Member Stephanie Howse-Jones made a change to the legislation that also requires an assessment of the issue that led to the curfew violation and gives the court the option to order the family to participate in support programs.

Fugitive Safe Surrender hotline available

Council President Blaine Griffin floated the idea of bringing back Fugitive Safe Surrender, a program that created a safer process for people with arrest warrants to turn themselves in and have their cases processed by court officials. 

The first Fugitive Safe Surrender program launched at Mount Sinai Baptist Church in partnership with the U.S. Marshals Office in Cleveland in 2005.

The program is no longer held in-person, but it was recently brought back in the form of a hotline. As of January 2023, people with active warrants in Cuyahoga County can call the Fugitive Safe Surrender Hotline to turn themselves in at (877) 377-8767.

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Service Journalism Reporter (she/her)
Dakotah is a journalist and audio producer dedicated to untangling bureaucracy and providing power (information) to the people of Cleveland. She spent 10 years on the frontlines of direct service working with youth and system-impacted communities before receiving her master's in media advocacy from Northeastern University. Dakotah is part of the Community team whose mission is to listen and amplify the issues Clevelanders care about most.

Cleveland Documenters pays and trains people to cover public meetings where government officials discuss important issues and decide how to spend taxpayer money.