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Strip-Searching and Shackling Kids: Is it Necessary?

MIKE/Flickr via Creative Commons

Shackled and handcuffed. Forced to strip naked in front of a stranger. Advocates are urging the Department of Juvenile Services to end the routine shackling and strip searching of youth, practices they say leave a lasting impact on children who often have histories of trauma. According to the Department of Juvenile Services, two-thirds of youth are in facilities that prohibit mechanical restraints and strip searches. But some young people, deemed low-risk enough to go home for the weekend, are shackled for transportation and face a strip search upon their return. Are these procedures necessary to ensure the safety of both youth and staff? Could alternative methods maintain security without dehumanizing young people?

Our guests: Nick Moroney, director of the Maryland Juvenile Justice Monitoring Unit; Melanie Shapiro, chief attorney for the Baltimore Public Defender's Juvenile Court Division; Audra Harrison, director of the Office of Public Information for the Department of Juvenile Services; Sue Esty, legislative and political director for AFSCME Council 3.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Maureen Harvie is senior producer for On the Record. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and joined WYPR in 2014 as an intern for the newsroom. Whether coordinating live election night coverage, capturing the sounds of a roller derby scrimmage, interviewing veterans, or booking local authors, she is always on the lookout for the next story.