[photo, One Center Plaza, 120 West Fayette St., Baltimore, Maryland] The Department of Juvenile Services provides care and treatment, consistent with the public safety, to boys and girls under the age of eighteen who violate the criminal law, or are likely to violate the law, or whose behavior is such that they may endanger themselves or others. Whenever feasible, the Department serves troubled youth in their homes or in residences within the community (Code Human Services Article, secs. 9-101 through 9-410).

Department of Juvenile Services, One Center Plaza, 120 West Fayette St., Baltimore, Maryland, March 2014. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

Probation, that is, the supervision of youngsters who are adjudicated delinquent but not institutionalized, is the responsibility of the Department of Juvenile Services, as is aftercare, the supervision and counseling of minors for a prescribed period of time upon their release from an institution. The Department also administers community-based residential programs, and nonresidential and residential services provided by private vendors.

Since 1969, through field offices located in each county and Baltimore City, intake officers from the Department of Juvenile Services also receive and process complaints filed against juveniles. Most complaints come from the police after a juvenile has been arrested, but parents, teachers, social workers, or any citizen may file a complaint.

In Fiscal Year 2017, the Department received approximately 21,500 juvenile complaints. These usually are received from the police, citizens, schools, or the courts. From those complaints, 1,196 juveniles were committed to the care of the Department, either in contractual facilities, evening reporting centers, or community detention centers, or through evidence-based services. While awaiting disposition of their cases, 4,805 youths were detained in the Department's seven secure detention facilities.

Upon receipt of a complaint, the intake officer makes a preliminary inquiry as to whether court proceedings are in the child's best interest, and then may resolve the complaint out of court through informal supervision or diversion to community-based services, file a petition for court action, or dismiss the complaint. Many complaints are resolved without court action. When a petition for court action is filed, the intake officer recommends whether detention is necessary prior to adjudication, and a detention hearing is held in juvenile court. Pending adjudication, youths may be placed in community detention - with or without electronic monitoring; day and evening reporting centers; and private alternative programs. Next, an adjudicatory hearing determines whether the child is delinquent or in need of supervision. Then, a disposition hearing decides on adequate treatment for the child, either at home, under community supervision, in an out-of-home residence, or for those categorized as dangerous to themselves and others, through commitment to a secure institution.

The Department is responsible for providing care to youth adjudicated delinquent or children in need of supervision (CINS) and developing programs for the "predelinquent" child, one whose behavior is likely to lead to contact with law enforcement agencies (Chapter 480, Acts of 1971). For children in need of assistance (CINA), local departments of social services are responsible for their care (Chapter 343, Acts of 1991). Youth committed to the care of the Department may be placed in traditional and treatment foster homes; group homes; independent living programs; residential treatment centers; and intermediate care centers for addicted youth, which include the Department's Youth Centers.

Since the 1980s, the State has altered the way it cares for troubled youth. Maryland no longer relies solely on custodial care in institutions to treat juveniles who have violated the law. The reform initiatives of the Department are characterized by the 1988 closing of the Montrose School, the 1991 privatization of the Charles H. Hickey, Jr., School, and expansion of community-based alternatives to institutionalization. Nonetheless, juveniles who pose a risk to public safety still may be confined in detention centers. For juveniles awaiting trial or court disposition, the Department's detention centers also provide short-term residential care.

Since 2007, the Department is required to provide services to the youth in its care on a regional basis, and may only place a child outside of the child's home region if the child requires specialized services not available in the home region. Also, any facility in which the Department detains or commits a child must not have more than forty-eight children committed or detained at the same time. Further, Department services to youth must ensure the safety both of the community and the child served; hold delinquent children accountable to victims and communities; and assist the children in its care to develop skills to become successful members of society (Chapter 498, Acts of 2007; Code Human Services Article, sec. 9-238.1).

Public and private residential programs serving troubled youth are licensed by the Department.

[photo, One Center Plaza, 120 West Fayette St., Baltimore, Maryland]


One Center Plaza, 120 West Fayette St., Baltimore, MD 21201

Appointed by the Governor with Senate advice and consent, the Secretary of Juvenile Services heads the Department of Juvenile Services (Code Human Services Article, sec. 9-202).

One Center Plaza, 120 West Fayette St., Baltimore, Maryland, March 2014. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

The Secretary of Juvenile Services serves on the Governor's Executive Council; the Children's Cabinet; and the Advisory Council to the Children's Cabinet. The Secretary also is a member of the Behavioral Health Advisory Council; the Cease Fire Council; the State Child Fatality Review Team; the State Coordinating Council for Children; the Correctional Training Commission; the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, Baltimore City; the Interagency Disabilities Board; the Governor's Family Violence Council; the Interagency Council on Homelessness; the Judges, Masters and Juvenile Justice Committee; the Juvenile Grant Planning and Review Council; the State Advisory Board for Juvenile Services; the Coordinating Council for Juvenile Services Educational Programs; the State Council for Interstate Juvenile Supervision; the Council for the Procurement of Health, Educational and Social Services; the Work Group to Study Safe Harbor Policy for Youth Victims of Human Trafficking; the Commission on the School-to-Prison Pipeline and Restorative Practices; the Sexual Offender Advisory Board; the Interdepartmental Advisory Committee on Small, Minority, and Women Business Affairs; the Maryland Commission on Suicide Prevention; the Task Force to Combat Habitual Student Truancy; the Vehicle Theft Prevention Council; the State Board of Victim Services; the Governor's Workforce Development Board; and the Youth Apprenticeship Advisory Committee.

Under the Secretary, the Department is organized by two main functions: Operations, and Support Services. The Chief of Staff and three offices report directly to the Secretary: Inspector General; Legislation, Policy, and Communications; and Preadjudication Services and Reform. The Office of the Secretary also is assisted by the State Advisory Board for Juvenile Services; the Female Population Task Force; the Judges, Masters, and Juvenile Justice Committee; and the State's Attorneys Liaison Committee.


The Chief of Staff oversees Fair Practice and Equal Employment Opportunity, and the Office of Family Engagement.

In 2015, the Office of Family Engagement was created.

The Office of Inspector General began in July 2000 as the Office of Professional Responsibility and Accountability. It was created to ensure internal accountability and professionalism throughout the Department and its institutions. In March 2004, the Office moved under the Chief of Staff, and in December 2004, under Administration. The Office reorganized in June 2007 as the Office of Investigations and Audits. In January 2008, its audit function was separated out, and the Office reformed as the Office of Investigations and Advocacy. In July 2008, it reorganized again under its present name, and in July 2011 was placed under the Office of Secretary.

Under the Office are four main units: Child Advocacy; Internal Audit; Investigations; and Quality Assurance.

In January 2018, the Office of Preadjudication Services and Reform organized within the Department of Juvenile Services.

Under the Office are Community Detention and Electronic Monitoring, and the Office of Equity and Reform.

[photo, One Center Plaza, 120 West Fayette St., Baltimore, Maryland]


One Center Plaza, 120 West Fayette St., Baltimore, MD 21201

In 2000, Operations first organized as Restorative Justice Operations, reformed in January 2002 as Admissions and Community Justice, and reverted to its original name in January 2003. It restructured as Programs in March 2004, as Operations in March 2005, as Regional Operations in December 2008, and again as Operations in February 2009.

Under Operations are five offices: Behavioral Health and Victim Services; Commitment Facilities; Community Operations; Detention Services; and Somatic Health Services. Operations also oversees six regional offices. Each region is responsible for State-operated facilities and the delivery of community services within its geographic boundaries.

One Center Plaza, 120 West Fayette St., Baltimore, Maryland, March 2014. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


In December 2004, the Office of Behavioral Health and Victim Services began under Programs as Behavioral Health Services. It transferred to the Deputy Secretary for Operations in March 2005, moved in December 2008 under Program Services, and became part of the Office of Professional Services in February 2009. It was renamed the Office of Behavioral Health and Victim Services in July 2011, when it again was placed under the Deputy Secretary for Operations.

The Office of Behavioral Health and Victim Services provides behavioral health assessment and treatment to youth in Departmental facilities, and ensures their smooth transition to community-based treatment.

Three units are overseen by the Office: Evidence-Based Services, Substance Abuse Services, and Victim Services.


Substance Abuse Services was initiated by 1992 and reorganized as a separate unit under Health Services in March 2004. In December 2004, it was placed under Behavioral Health Services; in December 2008 under Program Support; and in February 2009, returned to Behavioral Health Services, which reformed as the Office of Behavioral Health and Victim Services in July 2011.

All juveniles in a detention or committed facility are screened by Substance Abuse Services. Treatment programs are provided for those youths diagnosed as in need of services. Substance Abuse Services also provides preventative education, and works with the eleven Juvenile Drug Courts that operate under the county circuit courts in Maryland.


In May 2015, the Office of Commitment Facilities formed under the Deputy Secretary for Operations.

The Office oversees programming, safety and security, education, and transportation services for the Department's seven commitment facilities. These facilities include:


Under the Office of Community Operations is the Resource Office. The Office of Community Operations also is assisted by the Interstate Compact on Juveniles.

The Resource Office began as Placement Services under Community Justice Programs, and was transferred to the Office of Professional Services in February 2009 as Placement. It assumed its present name in February 2010, when it transferred to Operations.

For the placement of juveniles in residential and nonresidential programs, the Office establishes policy and standards. At area offices of juvenile justice throughout Maryland, the Office's resource coordinators meet with case managers to assess a child's needs for education, socialization, and health services. They determine which Department program best meets these needs while protecting public safety. The Office monitors the case until the minor is accepted into a program, and placement and other services are funded.


In May 2015, the Office of Detention Services formed under the Deputy Secretary for Operations to oversee education, programming, safety and security, and transportation services for the Department's six detention centers. Detention facilities house youth awaiting disposition or post-disposition and awaiting placement in a committed program.

The Department's detention facilities include:


Within the Residential Services Division, the Office of Somatic Health Services began as Health Services and transferred to Health Care Services as Medical Services in 2000. It joined Program Support in December 2008, and as Somatic Health Services moved to the Office of Professional Services in February 2009. It transferred to Operations in February 2010.

The Office of Somatic Health Services coordinates and oversees somatic health and nutrition for youth admitted to the Department's care and custody. Somatic Health services include an assessment of immediate medical needs by a nurse, a physical examination and health history, immunizations, laboratory tests, dietary services, dental care, sick care, and emergency treatment.

Many youth entering Department facilities have behaved irresponsibly and face complex health problems, such as chronic untreated medical conditions, sexually transmitted diseases, illnesses related to drug or alcohol abuse, tuberculosis, teenage pregnancy, or a poor self-image. Somatic Health Services teaches youth to prevent disease and take responsibility for their health.

Somatic Health Services provides clinical, managerial and administrative guidance to health service personnel in Department facilities and programs. The nurse manager at Somatic Health Services advises nurses at juvenile facilities on treatment. The nurse manager also tracks youth from one juvenile facility to another, monitoring their health care. For physicians who treat youth in the Department's care, and for pharmacy and medical laboratory services provided to these youth, Somatic Health Services writes and manages contracts. It also oversees intergovernmental agreements for health care to youth in Department facilities. In addition, Somatic Health Services monitors expenditures for services and organizes continuing education seminars for clinicians.

As Best Practices, Special Reviews began. It adopted its present name in February 2010, when it was placed under the Office of Somatic Health Services.

Special Reviews works to implement the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative statewide. Developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Initiative's core strategies seek to: eliminate unnecessary use of secure detention; minimize the rearresting and failure to appear in court of juveniles pending adjudication; improve the conditions where youth are confined; and redirect funding from detention towards sustainable system reform.

Under the Initiative, Special Reviews also works to reduce racial and ethnic disparity in the juvenile justice system in accordance with terms of the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 2002. By that law, each state is required to have a disproportionate minority contact coordinator. To reduce the numbers of ethnic and racial minorities who interact with the juvenile justice system in numbers not proportionate to their numbers in the general population, the coordinator receives federal grants to develop and implement strategies that ensure all children are treated fairly and equitably.


Under Operations, the State is divided into six regions: Baltimore City, Central, Eastern Shore, Metro, Southern, and Western. In each region, a regional director is responsible for core services, such as intake, probation, aftercare, community detention, and treatment services.


The Baltimore City Region is responsible for the Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center.

[photo, Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center, 300 North Gay St., Baltimore, Maryland]

Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center, 300 North Gay St., Baltimore, Maryland, June 2007. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

Providing centralized intake, assessment, and court and detention services, the Center's three-story structure holds three circuit courtrooms; hearing rooms for juvenile masters; offices for state's attorneys, public defenders, the Baltimore City Department of Social Services, and Baltimore City Police; a booking facility; and 120 beds for delinquent youth requiring detention. For detained youths, the Center has a full-size gym, and educational and medical services (Code Human Services Article, sec. 9-229).


Included in the Central Region are Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties where the Department of Juvenile Services is responsible for the Charles H. Hickey, Jr. School, and seven offices. In Baltimore County, the Department has offices in Arbutus, Eastern Baltimore, Owings Mills, and Towson; in Carroll County at Westminster; in Harford County at Bel Air; and in Howard County at Ellicott City.


[photo, Department of Juvenile Services, 12155 Elm St., Princess Anne (Somerset County), Maryland] The Eastern Shore Region serves the counties of Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne's, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico, and Worcester. There, the Department of Juvenile Services oversees the J. DeWeese Carter Center, and the Lower Eastern Shore Children's Center. On the Eastern Shore, the Department also has nine offices: one each in Cambridge, Centreville, Chestertown, Denton, Easton, Elkton, Princess Anne, Salisbury, and Snow Hill.

Department of Juvenile Services, 12155 Elm St., Princess Anne (Somerset County), Maryland, May 2017. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

[photo, Lower Eastern Shore Children's Center, Department of Juvenile Services, 405 Naylor Mill Road, Salisbury, Maryland] The Center holds youth who are committed by the court, or are awaiting adjudication. The facility provides secure detention for up to 18 boys and six girls, from the Lower Shore counties of Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester (Code Human Services Article, sec. 9-238.1). It offers educational services, a drug and alcohol program, anger management and conflict resolution groups, and a Young Fathers program.

Lower Eastern Shore Children's Center, 405 Naylor Mill Road, Salisbury, Maryland, June 2018. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


The Metro Region includes Montgomery and Prince George's counties, where the Department of Juvenile Services is responsible for the Cheltenham Youth Facility, and the Alfred D. Noyes Children's Center. There, the Department also oversees three offices: one in Montgomery County at Silver Spring, and two in Prince George's County in Largo, and Upper Marlboro.


The Southern Region encompasses Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties. There, the Department of Juvenile Services is responsible for the Thomas J. S. Waxter Children's Center, and four offices: one each in Annapolis, La Plata, Leonardtown, and Prince Frederick.


1 James Day Drive, Cumberland, MD 21502

The Western Region organized in July 2006 as Western Regional Operations, established as a pilot program in the Department's plan to convert to integrated regional delivery of services. The service area encompassed by the Western Region includes seven counties: Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Howard, Montgomery, and Washington.

The Western Region oversees the western Maryland Area Offices, which provide community-based services, such as intake probation and aftercare. Western Regional Operations also is responsible for six facilities: Backbone Mountain Youth Center; Victor Cullen Center; Green Ridge Regional Youth Center; Meadow Mountain Youth Center; Savage Mountain Youth Center; and Western Maryland Children's Center.

Victor Cullen Center, Sabillasville, Maryland, July 2007. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


In March 2004, Support Services was created as Administration, and reformed as Support Services in 2008.

Headed by a Deputy Secretary, Support Services is responsible for seven offices: Budget and Finance; Capital Planning; General Services; Human Resources; Information Technology; Professional Training and Education; and Research and Evaluation.


Budget and Finance began as Special Programs and reorganized as Specialized Operations in 1996. Functions of Specialized Operations were assigned to Budget and Finance in January 1997. In 2002, it was renamed Fiscal Planning and Management, and in March 2004, became Budget and Finance.

This office oversees Accounting; Budget; Capital Planning; Grant and Resource Development; Grant Finance; and Youth Assistance.


Information Technology formed as Information Technology and became Information Technology and Telecommunications in 2000. As Information Technology, it was placed under Administration in March 2004, transferred to the Office of Business Services in February 2009, and moved under the Office of Resource Management in January 2010.

The Department's client database (ISYS) is operated and maintained by Information Technology. This office provides technical assistance on all computer-related matters, and supports, procures, and maintains the Department's personal computers and associated applications. For the year 2000, Information Technology set up a statewide computer network to enhance communication capabilities and support a new work flow system.

Information Technology is responsible for three units: Data Processing Functional Analysis; Data Processing Technical Support; and Telecommunications and Security Systems.



In February 2009, the Office of Research and Evaluation originated as the Office of Strategic Analysis. It was renamed in January 2010 as the Office of Research, Evaluation, and Planning, and in May 2011 as the Office of Research and Evaluation. It received its current name later.

The Office oversees Program Evaluation; Research; and StateStat.

In March 2004, the research function from Research and Program Development became Research and Planning under Equal Justice and Policy. In July 2005, Research and Planning moved under Departmental Support, and in June 2007 transferred to Quality Assurance and Accountability. In December 2008, it reformed as Research and Evaluation (Code Human Services Article, sec. 9-220). In February 2009, it moved to the Office of Strategic Analysis, which reformed as the Office of Research, Evaluation, and Planning in January 2010. Research and Evaluation as a unit reformed as Research under the Office of Research and Evaluation in May 2011.

Research provides data and research to support Departmental planning, policy, and budgeting. Also, it is responsible for annual statistical reports, quarterly reports on juvenile detention alternative initiatives, and other critical documents.

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