The federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, or JJDPA, tries to protect young people by requiring officials to avoid holding them in the same jail or prison as adults. The law prohibits states from keeping young people in the same jail or prison as adults for more than six hours (or 24 hours in rural areas), whether they are waiting to see a judge, to be “booked,” or are serving a sentence after being convicted. The purpose of the JJDPA is to prevent minors, or juveniles, from dangers like abuse or suicide, which are more likely to occur if imprisoned alongside adults.
In the past several years, however, Maryland jails and prisons have violated the JJDPA requirement several times, according to The Daily Record. In 2009, for example, 287 separate violations occurred, in which young people were kept in adult facilities for more than six hours.
After working with the federal government and facing the loss of federal funding for jails and prisons, Maryland cut its rate of JJDPA violations down to just 83 violations in 2010. Over half of the remaining violations, however, occurred in just nine different facilities. Maryland officials are now focusing on these facilities to ensure they also comply with the law.
Several Maryland criminal laws require or allow a sentence of jail or prison time if a person is convicted. Being convicted of a crime may also mean facing other penalties, like fines, probation, or community service. If you’ve been charged with a crime in Maryland, the experienced Maryland criminal defense attorneys at Alpert Schreyer can prepare you for the road ahead and fight for the best possible outcome in your case. For a confidential consultation, call Alpert Schreyer today at 866-444-6363.