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