(Annapolis, MD) - During the 2016 legislative service, Sen. C. Anthony Muse introduced a bill to examine the treatment of youngsters in the juvenile justice system. The bill entitled the Task Force to Study Restraints, Searches and Needs of Children in the Juvenile Justice System will be the subject of a third hearing on
Wednesday, October 5, 2016 at 10:00am
The Task Force is required to: review the policies and practices of the Department of Juvenile Services regarding shackling and strip searches of children within the juvenile justice system; examine when, by whom, and for what purposes a child in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Services is strip-searched or shackled; determine the capital expenditures that are necessary to address issues regarding the restraint and searches of children within the juvenile justice system; and make recommendations regarding changes in policies, practices, or capital expenditures that are necessary to address issues involving the restraint and searches of children within the juvenile justice system.
Senator Muse said, "This Task Force is extremely relevant and important to young people as well as advocates across the state of Maryland, especially after our very own
Court of Special Appeals issued an order during the summer which requires judges and magistrates to unshackle youth during juvenile court proceedings unless the juvenile poses a security threat.
According to the National Juvenile Defender Center, the practice of restraining youth who pose no safety threat can humiliate, stigmatize and traumatize young people.
The upcoming hearing October 5th will focus on "shackling." The hearing will also be live-streamed and public comment is encouraged.
Future Task Force hearings are scheduled for October 20th and November 3rd.