City Council mulls changes to Houston's juvenile curfew rule

By Cathy Hernandez - Reporter, Aaron Barker - Senior Digital Editor

HOUSTON - The Houston City Council listened to comments Wednesday about proposed changes to the city’s juvenile curfew ordinance, which some people said criminalizes young people.

The ordinance prohibits minors under the age of 17 to be in public between 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. weekdays, between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Sunday to Thursday and between midnight and 6 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Violators between 10 years old and 16 years old can be ticketed for violations.

During Wednesday’s council meeting, Mayors Sylvester Turner said the changes being floated include eliminating the daytime curfew and lowering the fine from $500 to $50.

READ: Are changes coming to Houston's juvenile curfew?

Turner also said juveniles who are homeless should be taken to a shelter instead of being ticketed. 

“If, for example, that teen may be homeless and on the street, (officers should work) to assist that kid in getting in a house, not giving them a citation,” Turner said. “If they’re just on the street, (take) them home.”

Turner said homeless juveniles who are resistant to being taken to a shelter would be recommended to be sent to court.

The council will vote on the changes later this month or in early August.