Sun is unfair to DeVore

The Sun editorial slamming departing Department of Juvenile Services Secretary Don DeVore ("Still waiting for Superman," Nov. 21) is unfair, particularly in light of the same newspaper's recent reporting that since 2006, "the number of children killed in [Baltimore] has plunged by 80 percent, and the number of juveniles suspected in killings has dropped by about the same percentage."

As The Sun reported, Mr. DeVore collaborated to supervise the most at-risk youth closely and provide needed services and support. The result is impressive reductions in juvenile homicides and victimization, and improved school attendance and performance.

Secretary DeVore took over an agency that Gov. Martin O'Malley's transition committee had described as "dangerously dysfunctional." He closed facilities and reduced the use of ineffective group home beds. He improved the state's three largest juvenile facilities enough to exit monitoring by the U.S. Department of Justice, something many other states have found impossible to achieve. He modernized assessments and treatment, bringing in evidence-based programs.

More work is needed to improve Maryland's juvenile justice system. But Don DeVore has done a lot to move us along that path.

Meg Ferguson, Towson

The writer is chairwoman of the state Advisory Board for Juvenile Services.

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