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O'Malley touts possible end to federal oversight of Md. juvenile facilities


Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) on Thursday sought to highlight what could be a rare bit of good news for the juvenile justice system in Maryland - and to draw attention to an achievement sure to make its way into his campaign stump speeches.

O'Malley said federal monitors had concluded they would soon end federal oversight of the Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center.

Courts are not expected to finalize the decision for months, but it could spell the end of federal monitoring of juvenile facilities in Maryland for the first time in more than four years.

The state's juvenile justice system came under federal scrutiny during former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr.'s (R) administration.

Since early this year, the system has also been under fire since a 13-year-old boy allegedly beat a 65-year-old teacher to death in a detention facility in Prince George's County. The boy was charged last month with first-degree murder and first-degree attempted rape.

It was the latest and most violent episode in a series of escapes, reports of overcrowding and other problems that have continued to plague Cheltenham Youth Center since it was removed from federal oversight in 2008.

O'Malley said the Baltimore facility had become safer and more effective and he credited his administration's use of community placements and other programs to decrease the number of youth sent to detention facilities statewide.

By Aaron C. Davis  |  August 12, 2010; 5:23 PM ET
Categories:  Governor  
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Maryland's independent juvenile justice monitor's last report on overcrowding calls into question the claims about the baltimore city facility.

Posted by: DrivebyCommenter | August 12, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

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