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Posted at 6:11 PM ET, 11/18/2010

O'Malley's juvenile services secretary stepping down

By John Wagner

Thumbnail image for Devore.jpgMaryland Juvenile Services Secretary Donald W. DeVore announced Thursday that he is "pursuing an opportunity in a different state" and will not be returning for Gov. Martin O'Malley's second term.

DeVore is one of a handful of Cabinet secretaries who could be replaced in coming weeks, now that the election is over and O'Malley (D) is preparing for another four years in office, his advisers have said.

Prior to his arrival in March 2007, DeVore held a similar position in Connecticut, overseeing that state's agency responsible for delinquent youths. DeVore took over a department in Maryland with a history of troubles that continued under his watch, including the murder of a teacher at the Cheltenham Youth Facility in Prince George's County.

In a statement, O'Malley wished DeVore well and offered tepid praise for his tenure, saying "despite inheriting a long-troubled agency, important strides have been made in the last four years."

Matthew Joseph, executive director of Advocates for Children and Youth, said Maryland remains well behind many other states, including Missouri, in adopting reforms that research has shown lead to lower recidivism rates. During his tenure, DeVore made only limited progress on such reforms, Joseph said.

"In our mind, there's no question that the agency remains very dysfunctional," Joseph said.

O'Malley spokesman Shaun Adamec said O'Malley will conduct a national search for a replacement, with the goal of naming DeVore's successor by mid-January, when the next legislative session starts. Adamec said DeVore will assist with the process.

By John Wagner  | November 18, 2010; 6:11 PM ET
Categories:  Governor, John Wagner  
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This is the worst job in MD. Let's remember the now Chief of Bowie Police wrote a report of how bad it was and she was chastised by then Gov. Ehrlich's administration (they bought her on board because of her passion and she wanted to make a difference). If you know the Chief's history and how passionate she is on this topic you would realize this is a political nightmare.

Posted by: agwilson1399 | November 18, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

I agree with agwilson1399.I applaud the efforts Sec. DeVore has made during the last four years. Sec. DeVore can not be blamed for the agency's "dysfunctional" state when the laws and policies that govern are obviously failing the state's youth. The recidivism rates speak for themselves. Look at other states that enable their direct care staff to protect themselves, the youth, and other staff, and enforce "no tolerance" policies and then ask yourself why Maryland's juvenile system has so many issues. When employees' hands are tied, and delinquent youths are "babied," what else should be expected? Hopefully this will be a wake-up call!!

Posted by: BR27 | November 18, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Good bye Sec. DeVore, thanks for nothing...Thanks for your lack of commitment to the job that you were hired to do. As for the Missouri model, this IS NOT Missouri!! It is Maryland...Let's create our own best practice model...another man who got to build his resume on the backs of the poor! Good riddance. Gov. O'Malley...let's get back to work and hire the best candidate for this thankless job called juvenile justice!!

Posted by: whatsreallygoingon | November 18, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Please help me out here with this up & down plan to replicate Missouri-like programs. MD closed O'Farrell (40 beds). Then riot at Cullen (48). Embarrassed by DOJ report of sexual abuse at Backbone (40). DeVore failed in operating a MO-like 40-bed program but succeeded in influencing the entry of large warehouse operator (Rite Of Passage-300+ beds)into MD. Research on ROP raises red flags everywhere. A restraint death in NV (Child meets violent death in desert boot camp San Fran Chronicle 2/18/92); abuse charges over 20 yrs ago (Delinquents Face Tough Rite of Passage, Camp for Troubled Youth Faces Charges of Abuse 3/3/86 LATimes); rights violations (Youth Camp Is Cited for Rights Violations 10/15/02 LATimes); violent outbursts (At Least 3 Arrested After Queen Creek School Brawl East Valley Tribune 6/25/09); staff problems (Jail Worker Suspect in Sex Assaults 7/31/09 The Durango Herald); neighbor problems everywhere they go (Neighbors Seek To Boot Rite of Passage School The Record 7/19/07 & Runaway Concern Aired During Hearing on ROP Permit 12/11/09 Reno Gazette Journal). ROP has had problems for a long time& everywhere they go, yet desperate Donald W.Devore insisted ROP was a good match for MD. Lose DeVore, send warehouse operator ROP back home to NV & make Missouri guru (Stewart) an offer he just can't refuse.
I'll bet ACY and the state's big foundations will kick in to get the MO guru and end this continuing revolving door of ineptitude.

Posted by: gilspenser | November 21, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

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