Lost Boys in Baltimore

Caseworkers in Baltimore have lost track of more than 100 of the young offenders they are supposed to be supervising, an internal review by the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services has found. Baltimore Sun broke the story yesterday and ran a follow-up today with responses from local and state lawmakers. Reasons cited include understaffing, which leads to excessive caseloads; lack of resources and training; mismanagement; a culture of bureaucratic chaos; and a general failure of leadership. The DJS investigation is only half done; more failures will likely surface when the review of the 2,000 case files wraps up next month.

So, just to break down the numbers here: A report of 2,000 cases is half done, which means 1,000 cases have been reviewed. Of those more than 100 have been dropped. That means at least 10 percent of the city’s juvenile offenders are falling through the cracks.

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