One Baltimore juvenile offender hasn’t been seen by his caseworker since June. Another is “possibly in Florida.” Still others are “AWOL,” and a handful of juvenile offenders in Baltimore “cannot be identified,” says the Baltimore Sun. The state Department of Juvenile Services is halfway through an unprecedented review of its Baltimore case files, and Secretary Donald DeVore is “very concerned” about the results.
The investigation has identified more than 100 juvenile offenders who have had no contact with their caseworkers in the past 90 days, as well as instances in which supervisors failed to monitor caseworkers. The inspection of all 2,000 city case files was prompted in part by news reports of youths under department supervision who were killed or arrested on adult charges for violent crimes. Union officials fear the review will be used to punish caseworkers unfairly and perhaps prompt mass firings. “This is not a witch hunt,” DeVore said. .