August 15, 2012
Regarding your recent editorial on holding juvenile offenders in adult detention centers, here are some specific recommendations that might assist in salvaging the lives of some of these misguided youth ("A broken system", Aug. 7). •Discipline and respect could be inculcated by engaging a local military reserve unit for drilling exercises, and eventually organizing the youth into military like groups to perform these exercises themselves. •Community involvement to develop a positive attitude among residents could be strengthened by having juveniles choose to donate half their lunch or dinner each week to a local organization that serves the needy.
August 31, 2011
When writer Lisa Kawata mentioned the term “social enterprise” to me a few months ago, I nodded vaguely, wondering to myself if that had something to do with Facebook. Once she'd explained the concept to me, I was enamored with it. These are people who value giving back so much that they've built it into their business model. Or, as Loyola professor Peter Lorenzi puts it, they have a sense of “intangible wealth.” Greenbridge Pottery in Dayton is one such local business.
February 4, 2011
The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services has suspended its diversion programs for troubled youths, a decision that officials said is not related to a recent portrayal on the A&E network show "Beyond Scared Straight. " The programs, which typically send youths into prisons with hopes of deterring them from a life of crime by having them interact with inmates, were stopped last week, said Rick Binetti, the department's director of communications. In a Jan. 20 episode of the A&E show, set at the state's Jessup facility, an inmate threw a teenager into a bathroom to show what happens behind bars.
October 7, 2010
Is anybody in charge of Maryland's chronically disorganized and dysfunctional Department of Juvenile Services? You'd be hard-pressed to think so given two scathing reports this week. They found the DJS is plagued by sloppy paperwork and lax security procedures that may not only have contributed to the death last year of a youth detention facility staff member but also caused the agency to needlessly waste millions of dollars while failing to rehabilitate troubled youth or safely reintegrate them into their communities.
August 16, 2010
It's certainly welcome news that conditions in the Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center have improved enough to persuade the U.S. Department of Justice to lift federal oversight of the youth lockup it has held under scrutiny since 2007. But just because the facility has been found to be "in substantial compliance" with minimum federal standards doesn't mean officials there won't continue to face huge challenges dealing with the city's most troubled youths. The center, which opened in 2003, was originally intended to house up to 144 youths, most of whom were either awaiting trial in the juvenile court system or long-term placement in a rehabilitation program.
August 11, 2010
Federal monitoring of the long-troubled Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center is likely to end soon, state juvenile services officials said Wednesday, making it the third youth facility in Maryland to be lifted from such oversight in little more than two years. The officials said a U.S. Department of Justice monitor has told them the city facility appears to be in "substantial compliance" with an oversight plan laid out in May 2007. Federal officials sought to make the facility safer by improving suicide prevention programs, education and behavior management, said Jay Cleary, a spokesman for the state Department of Juvenile Services.