Coronavirus Latest: Judge Orders Courts To Identify Juvenile Offenders Who Could Be Released Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The chief judge of Maryland’s appeals court is ordering lower courts to identify juvenile offenders who could be released amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a six-page order filed Monday, Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera ordered judges in circuit courts to weigh a number of factors in cases involving juveniles, including the juvenile’s risk for contracting COVID-19, whether releasing a juvenile poses a threat to their safety or the safety of the community and whether supervised release could allow the juvenile to be released safely.

Barbera cited the presence of the virus in juvenile facilities as one of the reasons for the updated guidance.

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: 

State leaders have sparred over whether to also allow some non-violent adult offenders to be released as the virus circulates through jails.

READ MORE: Hogan, Mosby At Odds Over Plan To Release Non-Violent Offenders To Protect Them From Coronavirus

Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby advocated for offenders to be released, while Gov. Larry Hogan has said it’s not a priority of his.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.


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