Like the annex, the Wyatt Building is split into 24- and 26-bed dorm-style sections, "with single bunks situated around a day room with a television and telephones and an adjacent shower and bathroom area," according to a 2006 report from the National Institute of Corrections Information Center. There will continue to be one officer per dorm, Binetti said.
The youths who have been moved to segregation or are under protective custody will be held on the fifth floor of the women's detention building on the campus, in cells. In the annex, even those in segregation were still living in groups on the second and fourth floor.
The Wyatt Building was cited in a separate 2007 court settlement, called the Duvall agreement, for concerns about mold. State officials agreed in that settlement to take "immediate and effective steps" to remove mold, "followed by appropriate steps to prevent regrowth." Binetti said it has been refurbished with new paint, lighting and plumbing.
Though state officials denied the claims of young detainees who complained of unsafe and unsanitary conditions, the officials said they agree that the current facilities are inadequate to provide proper services to juveniles and want to build a new jail for youths charged as adults.
Maynard, the public safety and corrections secretary, is urging the General Assembly to free up funds to build the new jail, saying it is "designed specifically to meet the needs of youths charged as adults."
Juvenile advocates have blocked such efforts, saying the project was poorly conceived and is too expensive. They are seeking broader juvenile justice reform aimed at reducing the number of youths held on juvenile charges, freeing up space in the state's Juvenile Justice Center.
Even though about 70 percent of youths charged as adults don't end up being convicted in the adult system, many are detained in an adult facility for months or even years. In the juvenile system, the Department of Juvenile Services oversees detention and the system is focused on rehabilitation.
"Many of us think we need to do more to prevent and deter young people from getting involved in the criminal justice system," said state Sen. Nathaniel McFadden, an East Baltimore Democrat. "An alternative approach to diversion, buttressing education and recreational opportunities will go a longer way toward addressing youth crime and violence problems."
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