The Baltimore Sun reports that activists opposed to the building of a new $70 million juvenile detention facility held a rally in downtown Baltimore with the Reverend Jesse Jackson joining the fight. The planned 120-bed facility would hold teens who have been charged as adults. Currently such teens are now held in the Baltimore City Detention Center alongside older inmates charged with felonies. The poor conditions in the facility, such as stifling heat and assaults, were documented in the Sun, and Governor Martin O’ Malley said the plans for the new facility in Baltimore were part of an effort to move the juvenile offenders from the poor conditions.
Youth advocates have agreed that the juveniles in the detention center were not being treated appropriately, but the plans to build the new facility have been panned by a majority of City Council members and a number of state legislators, many of who attended the downtown rally. Activists assert that the current situation could be improved at the existing facility eliminating the need to spend $70 million on a new facility, and that the money could be better used to help steer youth away from crime.
Rev. Jackson adds that the governor could better serve Baltimore and its youth by “reallocating the jail funding to jobs programs, community initiatives, and neighborhood redevelopment.” The crowd of more than 200 gathered in the city’s War Memorial Building to rally against the state plan, and the audience also heard from local and state politicians who spoke passionately about the project. The Reverend met with O’Malley for 90 minutes to discuss the project and possible alternatives, and both men share the same goal of making the community safer.
The criminal defense attorneys in Maryland of Alpert Schreyer understand the need for those accused of crimes to have outstanding legal representation to defend them against excessive penalties, and youth defendants deserve the opportunity to protect their future. Our attorneys and legal staff have the experience needed to get you the best results in your case and will fight for your rights in and outside the courtroom. For assistance with your case, call (866) 444-6363 or use our online Contact Form.