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Bed Space Forecast for Baltimore Youth Detention Facility

NCJ Number
Christopher Hartney; Isami Arifuku, Ph.D.
Date Published
May 2011
24 pages
This report presents the National Council on Crime and Delinquency's (NCCD's) forecast of future bed-space needs for youth currently detained in the Juvenile Unit of the City Detention Center in Baltimore, MD.
These youth have either been charged with crimes that require their automatic involvement in the adult justice system (automatic waiver) or have been sent to the adult system by a juvenile court judge (judicial waiver). The State is currently considering options for housing these youth, because the current facility is inadequate. A new facility is in the planning stages and is designed to hold 180 youth, based on a forecast completed by the State in 2007. In a 2010 NCCD report, this earlier forecast was determined to overestimate the number of beds needed in a new facility. The current NCCD forecast was conducted to assist in the decisionmaking process regarding the number of beds for juveniles in the new facility. This report projects that 117 beds will be needed over the next three decades, adjusted for normal inmate population fluctuations. The forecast used data on the youth population, youth arrests, commitments, length of stay, and the average daily population. The report discusses the forecast's methodological assumptions and the results of an examination of trends and circumstances related to arrest and detention rates in Baltimore City and other jurisdictions. The report also explains a set of "scenarios" that give estimates of bed-space needs if certain changes were made in the way youth are processed. These scenarios present a few options among many that the State and stakeholders might consider as a means of reducing the number of youth held in secure custody, as well as ensuring that youth are held in the most appropriate setting when detention is required. 7 tables and 3 figures