Policies

GRIEVANCES

Youth may file a grievance about the behavior of another youth, employees, or the conditions in the facility. Additionally, someone (family members, attorneys, fellow youths, and outside advocates) may assist the youth or act on behalf of a youth to file a grievance. Grievances may be filed for Department of Juvenile Services facilities and contracted facilities.

Grievance forms are available at each facility and once complete, a youth can put them in the secure locked box. No one may retaliate against a youth for filing a grievance.

Only the persons necessary to resolve a grievance are aware of the contents of a grievance from filing through final appeal to the Department of Juvenile Services Secretary.

If a youth files a grievance alleging abuse, neglect, sexual abuse or mental injury, Department of Juvenile Services reports the incident to Child Protective Services (CPS) and the Maryland State Police in addition to Department of Juvenile Services’ own review.

Department of Juvenile Services Youth Advocates advise youth of their rights and conduct an orientation for youth on the grievance process when a youth is held at a ​Department of Juvenile Services operated facility. The Youth Advocates also function as the youth’s representative when a youth files a grievance or when the Youth Advocate is aware of situations that present possible harm to a youth.

LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENT PERSONS

Department of Juvenile Services provides equal access to services for youth, parents, and guardians with limited English proficiency (LEP). Interpretation services are available at no cost at each Department of Juvenile Services office, Department of Juvenile Services facility, and private provider facility or office.

MAIL

Youth at Department of Juvenile Services fa​cilities may receive unlimited numbers of letters. Letters received by youth will be checked for contraband. Then it will be distributed the same day they are received. Money or valuables mailed to a youth will be placed in their personal property and the youth will be given a receipt.

Youth are provided with two stamps per week and are provided all the necessary paper and envelopes they need. Additional stamps may be earned by youth as they move up the levels in the Challenge Program.

(Kara checking on this) Youth may not write to other youth within the facility or other facilities. For security reasons, youth are not permitted to write letters if they are on seclusion. Youth mail received and sent will be censored. Letters with obvious profanity, gang writing or drawings, or sexual content will not be mailed or received by youth.

Youth may not order magazines, CDs, or any other items or have them delivered to the facility. If they are received, they will be destroyed.

Youth mail to or from attorneys, courts, Department of Juvenile Services officials, case managers, and the facility Superintendents are exempt from restrictions.

For youth at other out of home placements, please check with the provider.

RESTITUTION

Restitution may be ordered by the court against: A) a youth, B) against the parent of a youth, or C) both the parent and youth, to compensate a victim who has suffered financial loss as a result of a delinquent act. Restitution may also be agreed upon as a condition of an informal resolution (Information Adjustment) of a referral to Department of Juvenile Services.

If a schedule for payment of the restitution is not ordered by the court, the Case Management Specialist will develop a Payment Schedule with the youth, parent(s)/guardian(s), or their attorney. Then the Payment Schedule will be dated and signed by the youth, parent or guardian, and the Case Management Specialist.

If restitution is not paid in full by the date ordered by the court, or the date agreed upon in the Informal Adjustment Agreement, collection efforts will be made including referring the delinquent account to the State Central Collection Unit for collection.

TELEPHONE CALLS

Each youth is allowed a minimum of two telephone calls of ten minute duration each week. These calls are not denied for disciplinary reasons. Youth are provided a reasonable amount of privacy while making calls. However, a telephone call may be terminated by program staff if the youth becomes distraught, abusive, uses excessive profanity, or refuses to terminate the call after the time limit.

Additional calls, beyond the minimum of two per week, are earned based upon the youth’s behavior positive program participation or at the discretion of the Treatment Team.

Separate from any other calls, youth are entitled to contact or receive telephone calls from their attorney. Youth are not denied telephone calls with their lawyer for disciplinary reasons. Youth have access to their attorney by telephone at all reasonable times or hours. The telephone contact from a youth’s lawyer may interrupt regular programming, education, group meetings, or work. The lawyer’s telephone call with a youth is conducted in private.

Youth can report sexual abuse or harassment anonymously to a party that is not part of Department of Juvenile Services by using the youth phone system in the facility. Instructions for use of the youth phone system are posted in each living unit of the facility. Reports made to this third party are provided to Department of Juvenile Services so that Department of Juvenile Services can conduct an investigation and address sexual abuse or harassment.

VISITING YOUTH

Department of Juvenile Services encourages family members to visit and keep in touch with youth in the care of Department of Juvenile Services. All Department of Juvenile Services youth are able to receive visitors, subject only to the limitations that are necessary to maintain order and security at the facility. Within safety limits, authorized visitors may have opportunities for physical contact.

All visitors under the age of 21 must be accompanied by a parent: eligible family visitors (with valid photo identification):

  • Mother/ father
  • Legal guardians
  • Grandparents
  • Siblings, stepsiblings (photo identification is not required if under 16 years of age and accompanied by parent or legal guardian)
  • Youth’s child (child must be accompanied by the Department of Juvenile Services youth’s parent or legal guardian)
  • Youth’s spouse
  • Other Eligible Visitors (with valid photo identification and certification/license):
    • A youth’s attorney may visit at any reasonable time.
    • Clergy may arrange visits by contacting the youth’s facility case manager and must be approved by the Facility Superintendent or designee.

 

* All visitors must be cleared by the community case manager.

Visitation Rules:

  • ID is required.
  • Each youth may have up to two visitors at a time.
  • A youth may refuse a visitation.
  • All visitors are subject to a pat down search and a scan with a metal detector.
  • Visitors may not bring personal belongings such as handbags and phones into a facility.
  • Facilities hold regular visitation at least two days per week for a period of two hours each day. View the visitation days and hours for each facility​.
  • Special visits outside the regular schedule may be arranged by contacting the youth’s facility case manager.
  • A particular visit may be terminated or visitation privileges suspended if the safety or security of the facility is involved or a visitor is under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or their behavior is otherwise inappropriate, including:
    • refusal to submit to pat down and metal detector wand search procedures;
    • refusal or failure to provide sufficient identification or the falsification of identification;
    • under the age of 21 not accompanied by a parent or guardian;
    • verbally or physically disruptive behavior by the youth or the visitor;
    • disturbing other person(s) in visiting area;
    • excessive physical contact between the visitor and the youth;
    • bringing contraband into the facility;
    • assisting in an escape (criminal charges will also be filed);
    • failure or refusal of visitor to adhere to dress requirements;
    • refusal of visitation by youth; or
    • violation of facility rules by the youth or the visitor

Appropriate Attire:

  • All visitors must be dressed appropriately. For example: form fitting, revealing clothing or inappropriate slogans on clothing are not allowed.
  • All hats, headdresses, scarves, shawls, coats, including religious apparel must be searched