Role of DJS in Maryland Juvenile Justice System

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The juvenile justice process in Maryland begins when a youth is brought to one of DJS's intake offices across Maryland either because he or she was arrested by the police or is the subject of a citizen complaint.

The Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) is involved in each stage of the Juvenile Justice process in Maryland. However, DJS is not alone in the process. DJS collaborates with law enforcement, courts, attorneys, other state agencies, and service providers at various stages.

Step-by-Step Flow Chart of the Juvenile Justice Process in Maryland​

The Department of Juvenile Services Does:

  • Assess every youth who is brought to one of DJS's juvenile intake centers in the areas of public safety, flight risk, prior court records, family/home life, and medical and mental health issues.
  • Assign one or more case managers to every youth involved in the juvenile court system.
  • Provide intensive community supervision for youth deemed most vulnerable to become perpetrators or victims of crime.
  • Coordinate services, such as substance abuse programs and mentoring, for youth in DJS's care living in the community.
  • Operate seven juvenile detention programs throughout Maryland.
  • Operate six juvenile treatment programs throughout Maryland.
  • Provide medical services to every youth residing in DJS-operated facilities.
  • Provide mental health services to every youth residing in DJS-operated facilities.
  • Provide schooling, in collaboration with the Maryland State Department of Education, to every youth residing in DJS-operated facilities.
  • Offer vocational training opportunities to youth who reside in certain DJS-operated facilities and youth residing in their community.
  • Develop re-entry and aftercare plans for every youth returning to their community from an out-of-home treatment program.

 

The Department of Juvenile Services Does Not:

  • Arrest youth.
  • Serve youth with arrest or search warrants.
  • Investigate crimes with juvenile suspects.
  • Charge youth with offenses.
  • Make final decisions as to whether a youth will be detained in the community or a secure juvenile detention facility.
  • Make final decisions regarding whether a youth will receive treatment in the community or a secure juvenile treatment facility.
  • Make final decisions regarding whether a youth will be released from secure juvenile detention facility or secure juvenile treatment facility.
  • Emancipate minors from their parents.