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.
Friday, December 6 2013 1:15 PM EST2013-12-06 18:15:19 GMT
LEWES, Del.- Guests staying at the Red Mill Inn in Lewes were forced to leave their rooms and belongings after a fire ripped through the lodge's building. According to the Lewes Volunteer Fire Company,More
Guests staying at a hotel in Lewes were forced to leave their rooms and belongings after a fire ripped through the building late Thursday night.More
Friday, December 6 2013 12:59 PM EST2013-12-06 17:59:21 GMT
WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Gov. Jack Markell and environmental officials are joining DuPont Co. officials to tout completion of a solar energy project. Officials will gather at DuPont's Chestnut Run facilityMore
Gov. Jack Markell and environmental officials are joining DuPont Co. officials to tout completion of a solar energy project.More
Friday, December 6 2013 8:36 AM EST2013-12-06 13:36:45 GMT
SALISBURY, Md.-Late last week Salisbury City Council President, Jake Day was pulled over in Anne Arundel County. According to online Maryland Court records he's accused that day of driving 73mph in aMore
Late last week Salisbury City Council President, Jake Day was pulled over in Anne Arundel County.
According to online Maryland Court records he's accused that day of driving 73mph in a 55mph zone.
Friday, December 6 2013 9:01 AM EST2013-12-06 14:01:47 GMT
MILFORD, Del. - It was like a scene from a Hollywood movie.A high speed chase through Eastern Sussex County that eventually ended near Milford, but not after a 70-mile cat-and-mouse game with police. PoliceMore
Police officers chased 45-year old Jorge Vasquez for almost two hours through multiple towns. That has some people questioning whether police should have stopped the pursuit.More
A high-speed police chase that traversed eastern Sussex County ended in Milford on Wednesday afternoon, authorities say. Georgetown Police say they've arrested 45 year old Jorge Vasquez for reckless endangering, resisting arrest, failure to stop on command of a police officer and numerous other traffic offenses, in connection with today's chase.More