Maryland JJ Facilities “Dilapidated”

A scathing report on physical conditions at Maryland juvenile facilities finds most of the state’s centers to be unsafe, unsanitary, “prisonlike” and in urgent need of repair. According to the Baltimore Sun, “The report includes color photographs showing youths at the facilities sleeping in hallways in long plastic containers called ‘boats,’ broken toilets in bathrooms, mildewed showers, collapsing ceilings in dining halls, rodent and insect infestation, and other problems.”

The authors of the report single out the Thomas J.S. Waxter Children’s Center as the worst of the bunch, and recommend that the facility be closed “at the earliest possible date”–they also suggest closing and replacing the Charles H. Hickey Jr. School and the Cheltenham Youth Facility. “Deplorable conditions in Maryland’s juvenile facilities,” the authors note, “result from many years of severe neglect by the state of Maryland, the public’s ignorance of these conditions, and the ‘forgotten status’ to which we relegate children who have broken the law.”

Update: See also the Washington Post‘s coverage.

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