PARKVILLE, Md. (AP)- Gov. Martin O'Malley, saying he wants to end "an era of neglect" in juvenile justice, announced Friday he will commit $200 million to build four new facilities that hold youths in trouble with the law.
One detention center will be built on the grounds of the Charles H. Hickey School in 2011 at an estimated cost of about $32 million. The other detention center will be built at the Cheltenham Youth Facility in Prince George's County in 2010 for about $39.2 million. Each will have a 48-bed capacity. The current facilities at Hickey and Cheltenham will be torn down. "We have to reform our juvenile justice system, and we have to do it now, because lives hang in the balance," O'Malley said during a news conference at Hickey, which he described as "a symbol of state failure to do its job." A treatment facility also will be built at Cheltenham at an estimated cost of $42 million. The other treatment center, which will cost about $50 million will be built in the Baltimore area. O'Malley put $5.7 million in the fiscal year 2009 for planning and design of the Cheltenham facilities. Detention centers are used to hold youths before courts decide what to do with them. Treatment centers are used to confine youth offenders who have been committed by a judge. Juvenile justice woes have plagued Maryland for years, creating high-profile problems for state officials. A 2004 Justice Department probe found numerous civil rights violations at both Hickey and Cheltenham. Maryland currently only has one facility to keep youths who are ordered by the court to be confined: the Victor Cullen Center, which was reopened last year in Frederick County after being closed for five years. Former Gov. Robert Ehrlich ordered Hickey closed in 2005, but only the program for committed youths was ended. Children are still detained there while waiting for court decisions. Donald DeVore, secretary of the Department of Juvenile Services, said Maryland desperately needs the new facilities, because the state now has to pay to house 125 youth offenders in other states. Rates vary. But DeVore said one youth costs $413 a day to keep in an out-of-state facility, not counting travel expenses for family and a case manager. Also, DeVore said the distance makes it harder to rehabilitate youths separated from their families. DeVore described the capital projects as a "beginning of a new era." "I've worked for a number of governors," DeVore said. "Never have I received a $200 million capital investment." O'Malley also said he will be pursuing a new juvenile justice model, focusing on smaller facilities and treating children closer to where they live. Of the $200 million for new facilities, about $13 million will be used for grants to buy equipment or hire contractors to work on improvements. State officials also are taking a look at building a new detention center for girls in Laurel to replace the Thomas J.S. Waxter Center. DeVore said he is hoping to wrap up an investigation by late next week into Hickey's acting superintendent, Wallis Norman, who resigned from a similar position in Georgia two years ago after he was found to have hidden allegations that a guard assaulted a youth at a facility near Atlanta. "We're trying to act on it promptly," DeVore said.
Saturday, May 18 2013 10:19 AM EDT2013-05-18 14:19:20 GMT
DELMAR, Del-This week WBOC has been following the discussion about adding two more casinos in Delaware; one of them being in Sussex County. A house committee in the First State put a plan for two moreMore
This week WBOC has been following the discussion about adding two more casinos in Delaware; one of them being in Sussex County. A House committee in the First State put a plan for two more casinos temporarily on hold.More
Saturday, May 18 2013 10:27 AM EDT2013-05-18 14:27:28 GMT
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP)— Powerball officials say the jackpot has climbed to an estimated $600 million, making it the largest prize in the game's history and the world's second largest lottery prize. LotteryMore
A little more than a year after three tickets split a world-record lottery prize, the jackpot for Saturday's Powerball drawing was nearing historic territory.More
Two Ocean City brother, Samir and Basel Ramadan, are behind bars. Federal officals say the two are ringleaders of a cigarette smuggling ring that netted millions. Police have arrested 15 people in this case - and now they're trying to find out where is all the money. As WBOC's LeAnne Matach reports, neighbors of the two brother say they are shocked that something like this was happening in their community.More