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Maryland Juvenile Services recommends setting minimum detention age

November 5th, 2016 by WCBC Radio

Maryland's Department of Juvenile Services is recommending that lawmakers decide how young is too young for a youth to be in a state detention center. It's one of several ways officials have proposed to minimize the impact of the department's controversial strip-search and shackling policies. A legislative task force postponed a vote Thursday on that and other recommendations it will consider sending the General Assembly. The group of advocates, lawmakers and state officials continues to wrestle with how far the department should go to curb its practice of strip-searching and shackling children and teens in their custody. But lawmakers were encouraged that at least one bill with the department's backing could come out of the task force. The department previously supported legislation to prohibit detaining youths under the age of 12. A written recommendation presented to the task force Thursday did not specify an age, but a spokeswoman said the agency thinks that "the General Assembly should address who is eligible for detention."

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