On March 24, 2022, Associate Policy Director D’Paul Nibber provided written testimony to the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee in support of HB 877 – Juveniles Charged as Adults – Confinement with amendments. This bill, as amended by the Maryland House of Delegates, would require local correctional facilities to maintain sight and sound separation between juvenile and adult inmates, potentially without the use of restrictive housing facilities.
From the MACo testimony:
HB 877, as amended by the House, would remove the flexibility exercised by county correctional facilities by requiring both sight and sound separation and removing the ability to use “seclusion and isolation” to achieve said separation. Without additional clarity, the newly added “seclusion and isolation” provision would likely result in correctional facilities avoiding the use of restrictive housing to segregate juveniles and achieve sight and sound separation. Unfortunately, without the occasional use of restrictive housing, these facilities simply do not have the space to make sight and sound separation a reality, nor do they have budgets to construct new, more accommodating cells…
Altogether, HB 877 changes county correctional facility practice at great cost, likely resulting in unintentional noncompliance. MACo’s amendment language would attack the source of this conflict, and alter sentencing policy to avoid court-mandated commingling of detained populations.
More on MACo’s Advocacy:
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