When Baltimore police, prosecutors and juvenile justice officials drew up a list in April of the city’s “baddest of the bad” – the kids determined to be the most dangerous and most at-risk – Dontay Monroe, 17, made the cut. He had a record that included numerous drug-dealing charges and several outstanding warrants for failing to appear in court or report to caseworkers. The Baltimore Sun reports that in the months that passed, as officials knocked on hundreds of doors and rounded up dozens of kids, Monroe couldn’t be found. Last week, children came upon his body off a paved footpath near an elementary schoo; he had been shot to death. An uncle said at his funeral:. “The hustle game is the devil’s playground. It may open some doors that are not easy to close back.”
Monroe is the latest young person under the supervision of the Department of Juvenile Services who slipped out of the grasp of caseworkers and back onto the streets, only to lose his life. Last year, six of the 18 juveniles killed in Baltimore were under supervision. A team of prosecutors, police, and juvenile services workers reviewed more than 800 open juvenile warrants starting in April in hopes of serving warrants on kids they determined to be the most dangerous. Most warrants were issued when the youths failed to appear in court or ran away from a low-security detention facility. The police warrant apprehension task force, with other officials, canvassed the city looking for youths in May and June, and again during the last two weeks of September, with the second sweep netting 60 high-risk juveniles. The warrant backlog is now under 500.