Maryland lawmakers held hearings on juvenile reforms

Julia Eisen – WMAL News | September 14, 2023

While it may feel like teenage crime is getting worse in our region, a new report from Maryland’s Department of Juvenile Services said it’s been just the opposite. The report claimed overall youth violence in the state has declined for more than a decade, following a national trend.

The report stated arrests are down 17 percent this past year compared to 2020, Agency Lead Vincent Schiraldi blamed the media for perceptions that say otherwise.

However, the Maryland House Judiciary Committee held a meeting to review current legislation on how juveniles are handled in the state justice system.

Baltimore’s state’s attorney said he’s concerned police are limited under current law. Delegate Luke Clippinger called the hearing and said the state doesn’t have a plan to deal with kids of are in possession of guns.

“We need them to do more than just check a box. We need them to follow up with these kids. We need to bring groups of people together,” Clippinger told 7 News.

Governor Wes Moore agreed that something must be done.

“We need to take action,” Moore told Fox 45 in Baltimore. “The laws need to be adjusted so we can ensure accountability where we know you’re not just going to have repeat violent offenders back on your street.”

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