Scott Administration Announces Summer Youth Engagement Strategy
Wednesday May 24th, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The City's BMore This Summer plan goes into effect Friday, May 26, 2023
BALTIMORE, MD. (Wednesday, May 24, 2023) - Today, Mayor Brandon M. Scott, Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement Executive Director Shantay Jackson, and Mayor's Office of Children and Family Success (MOCFS) Executive Director Dr. Debra Brooks were joined by interagency, community, and institution-based partners to announce Baltimore's B'More this Summer youth engagement strategy.
"Our young people are Baltimore's future and we must devote our resources, time, and energy into making sure that they have the opportunities they deserve to grow and develop into their best selves," said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. "This plan is a comprehensive strategy designed to ensure our young people are safe and connected throughout the summer months. We are providing opportunities for them to enjoy their time off from school while participating in activities that we know they want to be involved in and we will be engaging them through Baltimore's curfew ordinances in ways that limit unnecessary interactions with law enforcement to ensure a safe, fulfilling summer for everyone."
The plan, put together by Deputy Mayor for Equity, Health, and Human Services Dr. Letitia Dzirasa, MOCFS Executive Director Dr. Debra Brooks, and MONSE Executive Director Shantay Jackson under the guidance of City Administrator Faith Leach, integrates curfew engagement and a comprehensive schedule of programming opportunities especially tailored to Baltimore's young people to ensure that they are safe and engaged during the summer months.
"Our young people need and deserve our collective support, investment, and love to grow up safe, alive, and free," said MONSE Executive Director Shantay Jackson. "It's not just on individual parents, it's on all of us, the entire village, to look after our young people. Ultimately, this is about communal parenting. We all want this to be a positive experience for our young people and want all of our children to be safe at home or involved in structured programming that will be available across the city throughout the summer."
As part of the City's curfew activation, any young person under the age of 14 out after 10 p.m. and between the ages of 14-16 out after 11 p.m. on weekend or holiday nights, without a parent or guardian will be engaged by non-law enforcement staff where they will first be encouraged to go home or call their parent or guardian before being transported to an engagement center. This excludes young people participating in City-sponsored events, who will be given City-issued wristbands to verify their participation and have an hour to get home after the end of whatever programming event they attended.
Youth Connection Centers will be activated at:
- CC Jackson Recreation Center, 4910 Park Heights Ave, Baltimore, MD 21215
- Rita R. Church Community Center, 2101 St Lo Dr, Baltimore, MD 21213
Young people will be supervised by staff and areas to play, eat, or sleep will be made available while awaiting pick-up. At pick-up, a calendar of summer programming information will be provided to both youth and their guardians to raise awareness of youth-centered summer options and to deter future curfew violations.
Curfew engagement will be in effect on weekends and holidays from Friday, May 26, 2023, to Sunday, September 3, 2023, and will emphasize intentionally balancing positive engagement opportunities with accountability for youth and their parents.
Three primary static locations have been identified for engagement, based on their popularity for youth gatherings post-curfew: Inner Harbor, Fells Point, and Federal Hill. Additionally, through the use of community information and Baltimore Police Department intelligence, Curfew Engagement Staff will mobilize as needed to areas in the city where large crowds of youth may be gathering to encourage them to disburse and return home and/or to share programming information with them.
The following accountability measures will be put in place to limit repeat violations:
- 1st offense: written notice and warning;
- 2nd offense: $50 fine or family counseling;
- 3rd offense: fine of up to $500 or community service for parent / guardian.
This strategy was informed by the input of over 300 young people involved in a series of discussions across eight schools and recreation centers about what they wanted to see from their city.
The City of Baltimore is in the process of contracting with the Center for Adolescent Health within the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health to complete a process and impact evaluation following the completion of summer programming, which will inform future efforts.