Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley, a potential candidate against Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.’s, attacked the governor’s effort to fix the troubled state juvenile justice agency and unveiled a 10-point package of reforms, the Baltimore Sun reports. “The system cries out for leadership,” O’Malley said. Part of Ehrlich’s 2002 platform was to reform the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services.
“I trust O’Malley’s plan will work better than his plan to solve the homicide crisis in Baltimore, which is what he ran on,” said an Ehrlich spokesperson. O’Malley announced yesterday that he was doubling the $1 million budget of a city program called Operation Safe Kids, which provides education, mental health, and drug treatment services for juvenile criminals. The city reported drastic reductions in arrest rates and improvements in school attendance for youths involved in the program. Most found jobs and received mental and substance abuse treatment. The mayor’s 10-point state plan calls for delivering comprehensive mental and substance abuse services as well as intensive follow-up on requirements for rehabilitation.