Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Pittsburgh to open a new curfew center in Oakland.
Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl says this one will be more successful than the one that closed in 2004. The city has reached a deal with three rivers youth to run the center for a year at the cost of half a million dollars. The 24-bed facility in and old home on Dithridge street in Oakland will not only take in youth who are violating the curfew and hold them until their parents arrive or the sun comes up but the staff will also go through an assessment process and offer each child a long list of services. Ravenstahl says the goal is to get the kids off the street before they become the victim of violent crime or commit a violent crime. When the parents pick up their children they too will be evaluated and offered services. In the past the centers have been under used. Officers complained that they had to give warnings every night before they could take in a child. That rule has been changed to allow officers to take in a child they believe has knowledge of the curfew law. The officers also complained that it took too long to process a curfew breaker. The director of the center says that process will start while the officer is in route and her staff will take over quickly upon arrival to get the office back o the street. Youth taken into the center will be issued a fine but that fine could be reduced if they enter into treatment programs. Curfew will run from 10pm to 6am weeknights and 12-6 weekends during the school year and then change to 11-6 and 12-6 during the summer.