PJC In The News

Pretrial Detention of Youths Prosecuted as Adults

In the November/December 2011 issue of the Maryland Bar Journal

By Terry F. Hickey and Camilla Roberson

Who would've thought I'd see prison at a young age Caught my charge at 16 went in at 17 Got ship straight to the farms, up the old jail Around nothing but lifers who catch no mail Everyday got to eat the same ol'trays I done seen people fight for the microwave First time in prison homie I done seen it all People get beat down and run to the law It's survival of the fittest in the belly of the beast And I refuse to be the one to fall to my knees I'm doing 7 years in prison homie I never had a juvenile life, I was in and out detention homie Gangsta, what I was called But being a gangsta got me doing time behind bars.
 
       --Excerpted from a song by “David,” age seventeen
 
       Every year approximately 1,200 youth under the age of eighteen are charged criminally as adults in Maryland. These youth are generally detained in adult jails pending trial, for a period of time often lasting from six months to more than a year. The ramifications of this practice are far-reaching. National studies consistently indicate that the prosecution and detention of juveniles in the adult criminal justice system places youth at increased risk of harm, is an inefficient use of public funds and does little to reduce recidivism or deter criminal activity. In fact, it often has the opposite effect. And yet the practice continues, in part due to a lack of public education and informed dialogue on the subject.

Members of the Maryland Bar can log in to read the full article, "Pretrial Detention of Youths Prosecuted as Adults." 



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