Activist community

Community Activist – NBC4 Washington

As Prince George’s County prepares to impose a teen curfew in response to the county’s deadliest month on record, a community activist who works with teens says a curfew is what kids need right now.

“They think it’s part of life, part of their neighborhoods and how they grew up, and I have to admit that was my goal when I was that age too,” the Write Now Academy founder said. , Gino LeGrant.

He said he is focused on presenting alternatives to children who have experienced abuse.

“We deal with a lot of life skills and we’re very educationally focused,” he said.

Prince George’s County begins enforcing its curfew for children 17 and under on Friday amid historic violence, with most cases involving minors. Prince George’s County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins follows through on some of the statements and promises made.

He said the rise in teen crime in Prince George’s County is a reflection of a community breakdown.

“I know it’s not the most popular thing to say, but the truth is, where are their parents?” County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said Monday.

“Some kids may not have parents, and they’re here alone,” LeGrant said. “We have a lot of kids like that. Then you have parents who work night shifts, and they don’t have the time or don’t have that oversight of where their kids are all the time because they’re trying to make ends meet.

For children seeking acceptance on crews and learning life lessons on the streets, LeGrant says enforcing a curfew could save their lives.

“We have to make it clear to them that, OK, you’re here at 12 p.m.,” he said. “You may not be doing anything, but you are making yourself available for these things to happen to you.”

Law enforcement can be complicated as tensions within these communities and potential profiling are always real issues for the police.

“How are we going to enforce that and make sure everyone is safe and respectable?” LeGrant asked.

Programs like his work show an alternative to children who need it, but it’s one piece of a more complicated puzzle.

Starting this weekend, enforcement of the Prince George’s County curfew will begin with warnings for children 17 and under. Repeat offenders can be detained and turned over to social services if parents do not respond. Parents and businesses could face escalating fines for second and third offenses when teenagers are caught breaking curfew.