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Silver Oak Academy near Taneytown is a privately-contracted residential facility for juvenile offenders. It has been hailed as a model for educating and rehabilitating juvenile delinquents, providing young men a rigorous education and vocational training for the future. (Baltimore Sun video)

Baltimore Sun coverage of juvenile justice issues in Maryland along with related commentary.

Before Michael ever saw the inside of juvenile lockup, caseworkers recommended he be sent home. The 13-year-old came from a stable, two-parent home in Columbia. He watched over his three younger siblings, did chores around the house, and enjoyed playing in his youth football league.
State lawmakers say they will seek to increase funding and services for young female offenders in the next General Assembly in an effort to address long standing gender disparities in the juvenile justice system.
Two state agencies have placed a moratorium on sending youth in their custody to Good Shepherd Services, a Baltimore County residential treatment center cited
Two state agencies have put a moratorium on sending youth in their custody to Good Shepherd Services, a Baltimore County residential treatment center cited by regulators for not providing proper supervision — after one patient reported being sexually assaulted and others showed signs of overdose after taking medicine stolen from a medical cart.
Advocates, lawmakers convene for first task force meeting on reforms
The union representing Department of Juvenile Services workers is protesting
Lawmakers debate whether further legislative efforts will be needed
Maryland should stop cuffing and shackling juvenile offenders
Maryland's second-highest court has ruled that youths should not appear shackled in juvenile courtrooms, a decision that cements long-standing efforts to curb the controversial practice.
In a state where the government-run system for educating and rehabilitating juvenile delinquents has been failing, Silver Oak Academy, a private residential facility contracted by the state, has been hailed by leaders as a model for success.
DJS secretary's criticism of oversight reports is misguided and misleading
Report on Victor Cullen Center got it wrong
Md.'s only maximum security juvenile detention facility is failing the state's troubled youth
Public defenders in Maryland are arguing that juveniles sentenced as adults should have another day in court — and another chance at a shorter sentence. The Maryland Office of the Public Defender has filed about a dozen motions statewide, including in cases of rape and murder, arguing that lengthy sentences for juveniles are "constitutionally suspect" and "fundamentally unfair."
Legislation that sought to overhaul strip-search and shackling policies and to improve education in the Maryland's juvenile justice system stalled in the General Assembly this year. But officials will spend the rest of the year studying the matters.
The ACLU of Maryland has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the state's parole system for juveniles sentenced to life in prison, alleging that the current set-up is unconstitutional because youths don't have a meaningful chance for release.
State lawmakers are moving to withhold $1 million from the state's juvenile justice department budget as they await answers from department administrators about the routine use of strip searches and shackles on youths in state custody.
State lawmakers are exploring legislative action, including budgetary restrictions, to limit the practice of routinely shackling and strip searching youths in state juvenile justice facilities.
Maryland's juvenile justice system needs to limit the use of restraints and strip searches lest it re-traumatize already troubled kids.
Thousands of youths detained in the state's juvenile justice system experience the same shackling and strip search practices as an adult convicted of murder. While state officials say they need to ensure safety, there is a growing movement nationwide to curb the widespread use of these methods, which medical and legal experts say are humiliating, traumatizing and often unnecessary with juveniles.
A 17-year-old convicted of killing a man during a Dundalk home invasion is believed to be the first juvenile in Maryland sentenced to life in prison since the U.S. Supreme Court held that such sentences deserve a second look.
Maryland lawmakers said Monday that they are planning stepped-up budget oversight and possibly new laws to respond to shortcomings in the state's system for providing education to juvenile offenders.
Maryland needs to make investments in education for young offenders a top priority.
State education officials pledged Wednesday to hire new teachers, fill vacancies and make other changes to improve the beleaguered school system that serves Maryland's juvenile offenders.
The Baltimore Sun has found that in overseeing the roughly 5,000 students a year in Maryland's state-run juvenile facilities, the state's Department of Education has failed to meet the very standards it enforces in public school districts. And though laws say that juvenile offenders are entitled to the same education as their peers in public schools, interviews and records show serious shortcomings.
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