Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Curfew Center

Pittsburgh delays action on proposed curfew center: "Pittsburgh delays action on proposed curfew center"

What is the cost-benefit break down of a curfew center in Pittsburgh?

Cost $500,000 for the first year. Picked up only a few kids in the past.

Look at city streets and see kids 10, 11, 12 at 11, 12, 1 and 2 AM. It is part of a deeper problem in their lives. Not criminalize. Goal of police is to address needs.

Say what?

Where is the packet of information?

RFP, 3RY, Arrests #, victimization, age groups, time spans of day, etc.

Learned about previous mistakes. Changed type of facility. Looks like a residential home, not a jail. Changes in policy and warnings. ??

Want to implement curfew ordinance but can't without the curfew center.

Proposal concentrates on other things in the day. Police are going beyond with a drop-in center, outreach, counseling.

Identify kids that need intervention! OMG.

What happens in year 2? (Kraus question about renewal of contract.)

$500K is a lot of money. Will review statistics. Enforcement. Placements happens. That 3RY does track the kids. What? They won't wait for young people to come in -- I guess they'll go out and nab and nag the youth.

Accountability model has 5 point system to measure affects. Permanency. Number of families. How to value. Looking to increase level of social functioning. Deterred from making at risk decisions. Education another metric. Not engaged in education when out of school. Follow-up 30, 60, 90 days. Concern of safety and life skills. Linking them.

Additional info is a resource index by type, just delivered today.

Have a continumem of services. Run a drop in and homeless center in Strip District. Yadda, yadda about all the other good things they do -- but way beyond the curfew center. You have to go to where they congregate. Not to be a night facility only. Intend to be a broad program.

It will be a program we will all be proud of.

Age group we are targeting is 16 and under, I think.

None from the mayor's office is at the discussion for this major policy discussion. Sheilds want to get to the thinking behind the program. Wants to know about the research of effectiveness and data. The police were asked to prepare the RFP, not a body of work. Others are higher up -- make the decision.

Curfew centers are not wise, IMHO.

Reduce crime and victimization. Address the needs of the kids. Get them in touch with the contacts that they need.

Nothing on gang suppression.

Shields: Curfews are popular. Sound wonderful. Public expectation is not

Numbers of 46 in 1996. Lesser in 97.

A public education opportunity. Accomplished by the outreach efforts. A different level of engagement.

Shields says you don't need a curfew nor curfew center to intervene. Curfew center is 16 and under. So, getting that age group needs to happen in the wee hours of the day??? Golly.

Every paper Doug Sheilds looks at does not support the curfew center. It is a feel good program that is politically smart where the people eat it up and it shows no benefit at all.

This is about a RFP response.

We've had no money. Nada. Loose bit of $500,000 that would be good to target at youth. But, not to curfew center. Not even marginally effective.

Crime stats show that juvenile crime, under 16, it is 10:30-11:30 am or right after school. The crime in that age group disappears in the late hours.

Truancy center is different and what 3RY is getting at.

Shields want to nix it. Put the $500,000 in parks and rec and do an outreach program. In the past, the police didn't do the outreach as it was a nuisance to them. Police say it isn't my problem and not what I need to focus on. Rather, worry about 18, 19, 20 year olds on the street.

Policy without analysis is folly. FOLLY. There is one of my favorite words! Thanks Doug. Finally, who took the biggest hit in the city's crisis? The kids. They saw reduction in crossing guards, closed pools, closed rec centers. Gone. My kids wants to see money invested in kids -- not in a curfew center. I'd rather open rec centers and help agencies. Not the suspension of civil liberties.

Jim Motznik will support the bill. The old numbers were a failure. But what was then and what will happen is much different. We are not able to pick up those kids on the street. There is a need for the curfew center? Sensitive matter. In the past it was jail-like. Police would give warnings. Give more warnings. Didn't work. Now there is no warnings.

Theresa Smith has lots of concerns. In the past, it was in the West End. It was not successful. The ones that needed to be picked up were 18 and older. So, the police couldn't pick them up. The community resource list is missing lots of names too. That is a lot of money. Not one rec center in West. What is the role of CYS? Lots of un-clarity. For me, parenting is huge. Work with the parents. Address them. Otherwise, putting a band-aid on the problem.

Darlene Harris asked lot of questions then. Still. How many hold? 24 over night. Undetermined number in the day. Bed capacity is up to 24. Don't think 24 is going to be necessary. Will take kids home if parents can't get them.

Policy is still under review. Command staff and FOP need to make input and get cheif's approval. City council does not have to worry about the police policy. City Council won't have a say, other than NOW, at the purse string level.

D. Harris wants to know what the policy is before voting. Good go! Policy is in step with the ordinance.

Police hand-off to curfew center after de-brief. Hungry? Phone numbers?

I would like to eliminate the curfew ordinance. That can be done by an act of city council. Darlene wants to see something more well rounded, for 17 year olds, for truency. I want to see something evaporate. A truancy center is not a curfew center.

Patrick Dowd talks about the amazing history of 3RY, of 129 years. Facility is already obtained. Would open in June. Lot of work has already happened. Mayor said it would be opening and city council had not approved it. The 3RY contract is for 1 year and then a review occurs and all bets are off. Burn the mid-night oil.

The RFP got only 2 bids. But only 1 qualified bidder.

They don't know how to anticipate the "demand." Depends upon the police.

What about crime reduction? Well, they'll look at interactions with services. This is public safety document not a youth policy effort. This is being billed as a curfew center that is going to reduce crime. Few crimes are with those ages and very few at those times.

Want to provide healthy alternatives and preventative measures. So, don't do a curfew center. Do recreation.

Homeless of youth in city? Trend lines? Population growing? Data is in the shadows of city.

Dowd: This should not be done by the city by itself. Use county, school, 3RY, and surround the kids. The others are not part of this RFP. Before we authorize this, we need to talk more clearly about the roles of others (school district, county) in this. Wants more people plugged in that is going to put kids in the center.

Dowd sounds like a 'no' vote.

Tonya Payne: What is the intent of the bill? Was there an increase in numbers of violators since we closed the old center? Perhaps there was some chatter in the community for it. We probably should be looking for collaboration with county. Often the actors are not from the city, but outside the city.

The $500,000 should be spent proactive to open rec centers and hiring more youth in summer. That's the track I want. Payne is perplexed about why they are down this path. Look at doing a public hearing. Hear from the administration. Where is Director Huff?

Great suggestion. Hold a public hearing. Holding for a vote for other long-winded comments.

Ricky Burgess: We have an ordinance on books that can't be enforced because we don't have a curfew center. The line-item is in the budget. Some $300K or more is just in the housing component of the yearly contract.

I'm interested in an engagement center for the youth. We need a 24 hour place to call to get social services. Wants to mold the curfew center into a youth engagement center with links to a complete, total program. He is not sure how to carve this out. Willing to offer his services to craft this. The curfew center is only one of the components.

We need a curfew center PLUS. Case management, educational concerns. Part of this can be shifted to the day part. Adjust it for social services.

Wants a public hearing. Wants to craft something that will be more effective for that population.

Bill Peduto: Yadda, yadda. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Peduto thinks it might help way into the future. Would be willing to vote YES for this right now.

Bill Peduto's accountability level will come one year later.

A public hearing is going to come.

Doug Shields is going to get exercised about this because there is no data to support the curfew. We put more analysis in how to tear down a house in Hazelwood than we put in to the decisions on care for our youth.

Nonsense to couch this as a curfew center.

Don't embrace the idea of a failed policy of a curfew in America.

Talk ends about 1 pm.


Anonymous said...

Make it a couch dentention center...with all of the unwanted couches...

Mark Rauterkus said...

Those are not unwanted couches -- they are unlawful couches and easy chairs.

But, I do think you are onto something.

Do you think more kids will be out on the street because they don't have a comfy places to plop down upon on their porches?

Mark Rauterkus said...

Last night I gave a bit of a recap of the action in Pgh City Council
about the possible opening of a new curfew center.

I blogged about it yesterday.

I'm going to make this into a big issue for myself -- and we had good
agreement that it was a ripe one for the Libertarian Party as well.

I asked Doug Shields, Pres of City Council to get me a peek at or
copies of all the info he can spare so I
can get u to speed on the curfew ordinance(s) -- and how they should be revoked.

Doug wrote in an email to me:

- - snip starts - -

I can have that gathered up for you next week. The file is somewhat
dispersed at the moment. Now that the Council wants a public hearing
that puts me in charge of scheduling. I have to schedule in 30 days
then I have I think 90 days to schedule so we are in control of the when
action is taken.
That gives us time to organize opposition and an alternative i.e.
enhanced and consistent application of what I like to call educational
recreational programming. We have some support in Council but there are
some uncertain ones as well. If we have a cogent alternative to this
curfew center it makes it easier to sway votes.

- - end snip - -

We'll have some time. We'll have plenty to say about liberties. It can
be a good issue to latch upon and sway some votes on council as there
is plenty of doubt on many fronts about this whole process and
proposed outcome.

Thoughts and insights welcome.

A similar fight is happening in Florida. They will network with us too.