Maryland suspends plans for new jail for youths

Maryland has suspended plans to build a new jail in Baltimore for youths charged as adults.

The Maryland Department of Juvenile Services and the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services announced an alternative to the proposed 120-bed facility on Thursday.

Officials say a big part of the alternative plan is to find a location in Baltimore for a regional treatment facility by October. The plan also calls for renovating the Baltimore City Prerelease Unit to accommodate youth charged as adults.

Critics had argued that the state should find ways to get more young offenders into treatment instead of spending money to build a new youth jail. The state says the treatment facility should lead to a drop in the population at the city’s youth detention center.

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