Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) administers detention,
delinquency intake, predisposition investigation, probation,
correctional, and aftercare services. To
facilitate the delivery of services, the state is divided
into five geographic areas. An area usually covers several
counties and is overseen by an Area Director. Supervisors
manage DJS offices in each county (often, but not always,
located in courthouses) and answer to the Area Director. Juvenile
counselors in regional offices provide intake, probation,
and aftercare supervision.
with Delinquency Jurisdiction
Circuit Courts exercise jurisdiction over delinquency proceedings.
A circuit court is located in each county and in Baltimore City.
Circuit courts are general jurisdiction trial courts. For more information,
visit the Maryland
Judiciary web site.
Maryland Department of Juvenile Services has embarked on major
juvenile justice reforms to impact service delivery to youth
offenders in both community-based and residential settings.
The department has established the goals of treating Maryland's
youth in Maryland, sustaining reforms by implementing best
practices to improve conditions of confinement in all juvenile
facilities and improving outcomes for youth, their families
and communities. The department is engaging stakeholders to
maximize use of alternative community resources, expand evidence-based
services and to implement best practices to further improve
conditions of confinement.
participates in Annie E. Casey Foundation's Juvenile
Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI). JDAI is first
and foremost dedicated to keeping communities safe. The goal
is to ensure that only those youth who pose a community safety
risk or are at risk of failing to appear for their next court
appearance are detained in our detention facilities. JDAI
helps set up detention alternatives for youth who are not
appropriate for secure detention. JDAI works to strengthen
juvenile justice systems, make communities safer, help youth
and save tax dollars. The department has implemented a series
of enhanced intake and assessment practices aimed at providing
an accurate assessment of youth to aid the staffing process
and influence decisions about ongoing care, treatment and
placement. To that end, the department has begun the implementation
of CASII and has started implementation, validation and localization
of the Detention Risk Assessment Instrument (DRAI) as part
of the ongoing JDAI efforts.
legislative support, the department has increased salaries
for direct care workers by approximately 12%, and continues
to aggressively recruit the most qualified applicants. Considering
past recommendations, the department is committed to develop
capital projects for smaller, regional residential facilities.
The department has closed long-term and committed programs
at The Hickey School and downsized the population at the Cheltenham
Youth Facility. Most recently, DJS opened the Victor Cullen
Center, a 48-bed treatment facility in Frederick County, and
two 24-bed regional detention facilities in the Western and
Eastern regions of the State. State-certified teachers with
well-developed academic programs are currently providing education
at the Baltimaore City Juvenile Center, the Lower Eastern
Shore Children's Center and the educational program for detention
youth remaining at Hickey. The Maryland State Department of
Education (MSDE) will oversee all juvenile residential educational
programs by 2012.
address ongoing interest in decentralization of departmental
functions, the department has established an internal Regionalization
committee to review the outcomes of the Regionalization pilot
in Western Maryland. The Regionalization committee will make
recommendations on what resources are needed to implement
department has established an Office of Quality Assurance
and Accountability (QAA) to increase internal improvements;
further expand monitoring activites; and implement evidence
based programs with positive outcomes for juvenile offenders
such as Multi-systemic Therapy (MST), Functional Family Therapy
(FFT), and Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care (MTFC).
The Disproportionate Minority Confinement (DMC) Coordinator
position is housed in QAA at DJS. Stakeholders in the five
largest jurisdictions are studying decision points with the
help of the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the W. Haywood Burns
Institute. Other immediate reforms include enhancing family
involvement in the planning and treatment of youth by establishing
the new Office of Community and Family Partnerships.
improve inter-agency coordination, the department is currently
facilitating a Joint Startegic Plan between Maryland's child
serving agencies (which include DJS, Department of Human Resources
(DHR), Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) and
Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE)). The final
report will be available in July '08. Over the coming months,
the department looks forward to developing a more comprehensive,
long-range strategic plan for the next three years. On February
1, 2008, the department will submit a three year strategic
plan that will define the objectives, strategies, goals, and
outcomes the department expects to achieve for fiscal years
2009 through 2011.
During the last legislative session DJS submitted
to the Governor and Maryland General Assembly a ten-year Facilities
Master Plan - the roadmap for "The Maryland Model"
- to correct longstanding deficiencies and poor conditions
in DJS facilities.
DJS proposed an 18.1% (231.8 million) increase in the FY07
budget. The House and Senate cut $1.9 million from that request.
State Operated Facilities
DJS has evolved from a system that primarily provided custodial
care to a comprehensive service delivery system which provides
for a range of programs and services designed to address the
needs of the diverse population served. DJS utilizes a continuum
of services and treatment for juveniles who have broken the
law. Not all young people, however, can be treated effectively
in a community-based program.
The Maryland Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) Residential
Services Division oversees the following juvenile facilities:
J. DeWeese Carter Center; Cheltenham Youth Facility; Lower
Eastern Shore Children's Center; Alfred D. Noyes Children's
Center; Thomas J. S. Waxter Children's Center; Western Maryland
Children's Center; the Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center
(BCJJC), the Charles H. Hickey, Jr. School, Victor Cullen
and the Youth Centers comprised of four separate residential
facilities in Western Maryland. Youth are held in detention
when they are determined to be at risk to public safety to
ensure their presence at court hearings. Youth are held in
detention pending adjudication or disposition. Juveniles cannot
be sentenced to secure detention.
At detention intake, DJS staff administers a needs screening
tool to briefly review possible needs. It is not meant to
diagnose specific problems, but rather to assess the immediate
needs of these youth in areas of functioning (e.g., education,
mental, and substance abuse). Depending upon the results,
youth may be referred for clinical/educational/vocational
evaluations to be conducted in conjunction with a program
of treament/services. Maryland House Bill 692 mandates assessments
for juveniles with mental health or substance abuse problems
or who are mentall retarded. Continuum of services reform
efforts include less reliance on residential and institutional
programs and more emphasis on non-secure residential and in-home
programs, reserving institutional care for the most serious
or chronic offenders.
Delinquency Intake Screening
Anyone may file complaints of alleged delinquency. Upon referral,
intake officers, working for the Department of Juvenile Services,
screen youth to determine the appropriate course of action. Intake
officers screen youth for risks and needs by reviewing
the presenting offense and the youth's alleged involvement, assessing
risk to public safety, communicating with victims to determine victim
impact and need for restitution, and interviewing the youth and
parent/guardian/custodian. This interview includes an initial needs
screening in the areas of somatic health, mental health, substance
abuse, educational status, and individual and family functioning.
When the results of a screening indicate further attention is warranted,
the intake officer will refer the youth and family for an assessment
and/or other services.
intake officer may: (1) disapprove the case based on insufficient
evidence; (2) otherwise resolve the case; (3) place the juvenile
on informal supervision for up to 90 days; or (4) forward
the case to the State's Attorney's Office with a recommendation
to begin formal court action. The State's Attorney files the
petition. The State's Attorney's Office initially reviews
cases when juveniles are charged as adults.
Informal community supervision is the most common diversion approach
for youth who are low risk and non-violent, requiring minimal supervision
by juvenile counselors. Informal supervision may entail referral
to another agency or individual for specialized counseling, coordinating
payment of restitution for damages to victims, directing community
service, and/or supervising the youth as needed.
Baltimore, the Community
Conferencing Center (CCC) is facilitating conferences as part
of a court diversion program for juvenile nonviolent offenders and
juvenile first-time felony offenders and as an alternative to school
suspension and an aid in re-entry into family and community after
incarceration. CCC uses the three-part restorative conference structure.
Community conferences are always voluntary. In a diversion case,
the offender must admit to wrongdoing, and all parties must agree
to go through the conferencing process instead of sending the case
to court. If community conferencing resolves the case, the offender
will not have a court record.
Juvenile counselors, working in Maryland Department of Juvenile
Services' regional offices, conduct predisposition investigations.
The Classification Assessment Tool for Adjudicated Youth helps
guide classification, out-of-home placement decisions, and
case management decisions about adjudicated juveniles (prior
to disposition). This tool also assists court decision-making
prior to a disposition hearing. An assessment is conducted
on all youth for whom a disposition is scheduled. The results
of this assessment are provided to both the Institutional
Case Manager and/or the juvenile counselor to use when developing
the Treatment Services Plan and making recommendations to
the court at disposition.
FY 2002, the Department of Juvenile Services developed the
Treatment Service Plan (TSP) format in consultation with the
University of Maryland and the Johns Hopkins University. Essentially,
the TSP serves as a case management guide for service referral
and youth accountability. The TSP format contains elements
essential for documenting services in the following five major
domain areas: education; mental health; somatic health; substance
abuse; and family functioning. The TSP also captures data
pertaining to assessments, violations and sanctions, and supervision
requirements. Juvenile counselors are also required to complete
Treatment Service Plans, which provide specific information
to the court about treatment and/or rehabilitation of an adjudicated
juvenile in order to aid the court in making disposition decisions.
Recent legislation (House Bill 821 enacted in October 2003)
made specific demands on juvenile counselors preparing Treatment
Service Plans, including increased documentation of a family’s
willingness or unwillingness to meet with the juvenile counselor.
If the court adopts a Treatment Service Plan at a disposition
hearing or disposition review hearing, the Department of Juvenile
Justice is required to implement that plan within 25 days
of the date of that hearing.
Rights and Services
In 1998, the Maryland General Assembly enacted the Rights
of Victim or Witness of Delinquent Act. This measure provides
guidelines for agencies within the juvenile justice system
on how to treat a victim or witness of a delinquent act. The
Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) provides direct assistance
to victims of juvenile crime; however, limited information
about victim’s rights in Maryland is available online.
DJS does manage a computerized statewide tracking system to
monitor restitution paid by adjudicated youth and expedite
disbursement to victims. For additional information on victim
services, call the Director of Victim Services at the Maryland
Department of Juvenile Services at (888) 639-7499.
Juvenile counselors in Department of Juvenile Services' regional
offices operate as case managers and supervise juveniles placed
on probation. Probation caseload size is not statutorily mandated.
Treatment Service Plan (TSP) documents supervision requirements.
For more information on TSP, please see the Predisposition
Probation Officer Qualifications, Certification, and Training
Juvenile Counselor I, II, or III must have either a bachelor's
degree or an Associate of Arts degree with two years' experience.
Experience requirements vary for the three levels: Juvenile
Counselor I requires no experience; Juvenile Counselor II
requires two years of experience; and Juvenile Counselor III
requires four years of experience.
must be licensed with the state of Maryland after they obtain employment.
In addition, all juvenile counselors must be certified. In order
to be certified, they must complete an entrance-level training program
which consists of a minimum of 160 hours of training in the following
mandated subject areas: juvenile justice in the criminal justice
system; human growth and development; laws and regulations; assessment;
integrated case management; counseling; documentation; safety and
security; and first aid.
The court commits juveniles to the custody of the Department
of Juvenile Services (DJS). DJS conducts an assessment and
develops an Individual Service Plan that is presented to the
court for review. The court commits adjudicated youth for
an indeterminate time period ranging from 30 - 120 days. This
time period can be increased or decreased based on the youth's
behavior in placement as determined by the juvenile counselor.
Placement reviews should be conducted within the youth's fifth
month in placement and every five months thereafter.
does not have blended sentencing provisions.
All youth are committed to the Department of Juvenile Services
Institutional staff and the Department of Juvenile Services' Community
Justice Division jointly recommend to the court when a juvenile
should be physically discharged from a residential program, and
where he or she should go.
Maryland Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) juvenile counselors
supervise all youth released from placement. High risk/high
need youth are assigned to a minimum of six months of intensive
aftercare supervision (see below for description). A Treatment
Service Plan is developed for youth assessed as high risk/needs.
Aftercare for youth is also provided at high, medium, and
low supervision levels as determined by a risk/needs assessment
entitled Risk Assessment for Detained/Committed Populations
(2001). For detailed information concerning aftercare, the
Department of Juvenile Services published Aftercare
Strategy (2003), a report that details the types
of aftercare services provided to juveniles in Maryland.
Bill 767, enacted in 2004, requires that all youth, upon
discharge from a Department of Juvenile Services residential
program, have a step-down aftercare plan. Aftercare services
are designed to provide a range of support to ease the youth's
re-entry into his or her community and decrease the number
of repeat juvenile offenders.
also operates an Intensive Aftercare Project to reduce the
rate of recidivism of youth released from commitment. Under
this project, DJS assigns a juvenile counselor and teams of
social workers, family intervention specialists, and mental
health professionals to counsel youth released from a commitment
program, provide interventions for the youth, address family
functioning, and serve as referral sources for family members.
Juvenile Code and Rules (Title 11. Juvenile Causes)
State Bar Association
To read Maryland's purpose clause for delinquency proceedings, click
Delinquency Jurisdiction (as of the end of the 2005
Lower Age: 7
Upper Age: 17
Age of Delinquency Jurisdiction: 20
For information on Maryland's juvenile transfer laws, click
Office of Crime Control and Prevention
Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention, as the
designated state agency State Advisory Group, allocates and
disburses federal funding and insures compliance with the
core requirements of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
Prevention (JJDP) Act. In accordance with Executive Order
01.01.2005.37, the Juvenile Justice Specialist for Maryland
is housed in GOCCP and is responsible for staffing the Juvenile
Grant Planning and Review Council (Juvenile Council).
for Children and Youth
to its web site, Advocates for Children and Youth's (ACY) mission
is "to identify problems, promote policies and programs that improve
results for Maryland children in measurable and meaningful ways,
and evaluate the effectiveness of programs and policies for the
state's children and youth." ACY staffs the Maryland Juvenile Justice
of Professional Responsibility and Accountability (OPRA)
is charged with ensuring that the Department of Juvenile Services
employees and service providers perform their duties and responsibilities
in accordance with professional standards and practices, applicable
law, rules of conduct, regulations, policy, procedures, and
written directives. OPRA consists of four units working cooperatively
in the best interests of the juvenile justice system: Auditing;
Investigations and Child Advocacy; Professional Standards;
Management Services and Quality Assurance.
to the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, 42
U.S.C. § 5633, and Maryland Governor's Executive Order
#01.01.2005.37 Maryland has a state a state advisory group,
the Juvenile Council, that performs the duties required by
the state advisory group under the JJDP Act.
for Children and Youth
Office of Crime Control and Prevention
Police and Correctional Training Commissions
State Bar Association
Eastern Region Chief & Juvenile Justice Specialist
Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention
300 E. Joppa Road, Suite 1105
Towson, MD 21286-3016
Fax: (410) 321-3116
National Center for Juvenile Justice strives to make each State
Profile as accurate as possible. Please bring any errors, updates,
or additions to the attention of the State
Profiles project manager. Persons listed as state contacts are
not responsible for information contained in these profiles.
© 2000 (original copyright); © 2006 (most recent copyright) National Center for Juvenile Justice
Center for Juvenile Justice. 2006. "." State Juvenile
Justice Profiles. Pittsburgh, PA: NCJJ. Online. Available: http://www.ncjj.org/stateprofiles/.