Baltimore officials are required to submit a draft report in March detailing the city’s efforts to decrease the number of youths in the criminal justice system to the independent monitoring team overseeing the police consent decree.
The youth assessment is part of a draft of a nearly 60-page first-year plan released by the monitoring team this past week. It sets deadlines for the police department, the city and the monitoring team to meet a number of policing reforms.
The consent decree, reached between Baltimore and the U.S. Department of Justice last year, was the result of a U.S. Department of Justice investigation that found wide-ranging discriminatory and unconstitutional policing in Baltimore, particularly in poor, predominantly black neighborhoods. The investigation was prompted by the April 2015 death of Freddie Gray from injuries sustained in police custody.
The youth plan should include an assessment of the city’s current efforts, including existing “diversion programs, community-based alternatives to incarceration, and treatment options for youth in need of mental health treatment, drug treatment, or other services,” the consent decree says.
The draft plan is due March 26, according to the first-year plan.
The youth plan also must include recommendations to “improve the City's supports for Youth and its diversion programs,” the consent decree says.
Maurice Vann, director of juvenile justice policy for Advocates for Children and Youth, said the group “plans to closely follow the monitoring process to assure that the interests of Baltimore City youth are protected.”
A final youth plan is due Sept. 14. The city is then expected to hold public meetings on the youth report’s findings.
The first-year consent decree plan also sets deadlines for the review and revision of police policies on the use of force, body cameras and officer misconduct investigations.
The plan also requires the police department to develop new training curriculums on community policing and on “stops, searches, arrests and voluntary police-community interactions.”
The public is invited to review the monitoring team’s first-year plan and offer feedback until Jan. 29. A final first-year plan is scheduled to be submitted to a federal judge for approval on Feb. 5.