NO MORE NEW JAILS: Educate yourself about the situation in Maryland

1. What is happening?

In response to the US Department of Justice’s complaint about the status of the youth at the Baltimore Jail, the State of Maryland plans to spend $104 million to build a new jail to house 180-230 youth charged as adults instead of the current jail, the Baltimore County Detention Facility (BCDC), also known as “The Castle.”

2. We don’t need this jail.

We understand the state’s intention in building a new facility but we believe it is the wrong way to address the problem at hand. The federal government, the State and the community want youth to be held in better conditions than they are currently facing at BCDC. This does not require a new jail because these youth would receive better services and treatment in the juvenile justice system.

Current practices show that the adult jail is an unnecessary holding ground for youth. Over half of the youth detained in the current adult jail get sent back to the juvenile justice system. They some times spend up to 4 months in adult jail before they have been convicted of anything.

The State does not have the budget to staff and run this new facility once it is built.

3. There was no community input in the decision to build this facility.

The “community input” for this facility was one meeting that 12 people attended. Advocates, elected officials and our communities have not had a meaningful opportunity to weigh in on this facility.

4. Adult jails are not for youth.

Housing youth in adult jails does not help public safety (and the experts agree). Judges and State’s Attorneys think that most of these youth should NOT be in the adult criminal justice system. The Centers for Disease Control and other reliable studies have found that youth who are prosecuted as adults are more likely to commit crimes than their youth counterparts who are retained in the juvenile justice system.

Kids are psychologically, economically and educationally impacted by incarceration, even when they’re only detained for a very short period of time.

5. We can invest this money in better ways.

Community groups who work with Maryland youth every day and policy experts and advocates are ready to work with the State of Maryland to identify more effective programs for young people that deserve funding.

TAKE ACTION. Help stop the construction of this facility. Tell elected officials this is the wrong move.

Corey Bauer

Campaign For Youth Justice

1012 14th ST, NW, Suite 610

Washington, DC 20005

202.558.3580/202.386.9807 [fax]

410.299.7694 [cell]

Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourself were suffering!! Heb:13:3

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