Some youth offenders need to be shackled

Barring the use of restraints puts police and juvenile authorities at risk.

Your report on the shackling of youth offenders shows the lack of knowledge some lawmakers have regarding the current situation facing police and juvenile authorities ("Maryland lawmakers demand limits on strip-searching and shackling juvenile detainees," March 16).

Some of these young men, possibly age 14, 15 or 16, are the size of NFL linemen and many are in custody for violent behavior. Many of the young women that are in custody, according to recent news reports, just came from fist fights, incidents using firearms or other weapons.

All juveniles in custody do not meet these criteria. However, at the time of their initial detention, it is not easy to separate the various degrees of violence that maybe involved.

Removing the ability to properly search and restrain those in custody is only going to increase the number of injuries and deaths among police and juvenile authorities. It would be wise for lawmakers to get the entire story before making such decisions.

Herb Norfolk, Glen Burnie

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