Night Light Curfew Program
Jackson County Family Court (16th Circuit Court)
The Night Light Program (NPL) is utilized to assist primary Juvenile Probation Officers in maintaining or stabilizing youth in the community by conducting late night curfew checks, encouraging compliance and community safety through the law enforcement presence in various communities of Jackson County. Evening and late-night operations occur between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. at a rate of five to seven nights per week.
2729 Gillham Rd. • Kansas City, MO 64108
816-881-6503 • 16thcircuit.org/family-court
2021 COMBAT Funding: $53,200.00
In Family Court's Own Words
The Night Light Program (NLP) is utilized to assist primary Juvenile Probation Officers in maintaining or stabilizing youth in the community by conducting late night curfew checks at the youths' residences, encouraging compliance and community safety through the law enforcement presence in the various communities of Jackson County. Evening and late night operations occur between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. at a rate of five to seven nights per week. Telephone checks are conducted as well, as a means to fortify the face-to-face checks with the probation officer/sworn staff team.
Because of COVID-19, there are current restrictions that have been put in place to ensure the safety of the community, households, and staff.
Leaning On Program Due To Pandemic
The Family Court has leaned on Night Light during the pandemic due to social distancing restrictions which limit youth and families’ ability to attend court and office visits in person. Officers are connecting with their assigned youth in the field and conducting virtual programming. Night Light is now an even more vital mechanism to allow officers to determine if there are problems at the home, as well as to assess how youth are adjusting in the community.
We understand that stress levels are high because of financial challenges, and in many cases, housing, health and food insecurities. The Night Light officer checks on kids and reports back to the Juvenile Probation Officer if any assistance is needed as identified by child or parent.
These random, regular contacts also ensure that youth are complying with the rules and conditions of their Court ordered supervision. Youth are also referred to the program as a condition of re-entering the community from the Hilltop Treatment Center or other Court ordered private placement facilities.
A Collaborative Effort
The Night Light Program is a collaborative effort between the Jackson County Family Court and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department. Officers from the Sheriff’s Department voluntarily sign up for extra duty shifts to accompany Night Light Juvenile Probation Officers in the community to conduct curfew checks at the residence. Nightly ride outs are scheduled between the Kansas City metro area and Eastern Jackson County, and most typically occur in the crime mapping “hot spots.”
The continuation of funding from COMBAT pays the contractual salary to the Sheriff’s Department. No other administrative, program or operational costs or overhead expenditures are supported with COMBAT funds. Grant funds do not cover the total cost of our ride outs. Due to the increased violence in the community, we have no choice but to ride with two Sheriff’s deputies, which increases the cost. The community respects the Sheriff’s deputies and the family court staff appreciate and recognize them as vital resources in our community.
Random Drug Testing
As a secondary service, the Night Light Program’s stated program objectives includes the random administering of drug screens and tests, as well as checks on school attendance. As kids go back to school, the Night Light staff will then provide school checks as they have done previously.
We are also helping our youth find work with the court Educational Liaison engaging them with education and/or vocational assistance and to facilitate Drug Education and Anger Management groups.
The Night Light officers, in conjunction with the assigned Juvenile Probation Officer, have assured that each youthful offender in the program has drug screens and the necessary treatment and or education referrals. The drug testing procedures have been changed to provide the detection of more substances. Where officers formerly tested urine for 10 substances, they now utilize mouth swabs, which test for 15 different substances. The Night Light officer and deputy teams are also vital to assist the Family Court by conducting courtesy residential checks on AWOL youth with pending capias (warrants).
Two Full-Time Probation Officers
The Night Light Program is staffed with two full time, tenured Juvenile Probation Officers, a Program Manager and administrative/clerical support. During 2019-20, six additional juvenile probation officers were trained and utilized as back-up Night Light officers, allowing the Family Court’s Field Services Department to expand surveillance and curfew checks. The result has been increased compliance and adherence to Court-ordered rules and conditions of supervision. The program is provided with ongoing program and research evaluation by the Family Court's department of Assessment and Development.
From the Family Court Assessment and Development Department for 2019 - only 6% (5/77) of program youth received new legally sufficient referrals. This is a success rate of 94%, exceeding the goal of 90% for 2020.
These are the agencies that have a COMBAT-funded program with a youth-oriented emphasis or component.
» Prevention Programs
» Integrated Arts Violence Prevention Program
Blue Springs School District
» Eastern Jackson County Schools Collaborative of Greater Kansas City
Bridge Leadership Academy
» Bridge Anti-Bullying & Life Skills Program
Calvary Community Outreach Network
» Helping Youth Plan For Excellence
Centers for Conflict Resolution
» Reducing Compound Trauma In Hot Spots
DeLaSalle Education Center
» DeLaSalle Violence Prevention
» Community Connections Youth Project
Hickman Mills Prevention Coalition
» Hope Hangout
» Violence Prevention For Jackson County African-American Males
Independence Youth Court
» Peer Diversion
Jackson County Family Court
» Night Light Law Enforcement Curfew Program
Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey
» AileyCamp & AileyCamp The Group
Kansas City Municipal Court
» KC Truancy Intervention Program (TIP)
Mattie Rhodes Center
» Mattie Rhodes Violence & Intervention Program
» STEM Educational Programs
Rose Brooks Center
» Project SAFE
Sisters In Christ
» Safe Zone
United Inner City Services (UICS)
» Arts@UICS - Child Centered Creativity (C3)
Urban Ranger Corps
» Urban Ranger Program
Whatsoever Community Center
» Whatsoever Youth Services
Youth Ambassadors, Inc.
» Youth Ambassadors Summer & School Year Programming