Strip-Searching and Shackling Kids: Is it Necessary? | WYPR

Strip-Searching and Shackling Kids: Is it Necessary?

Mar 30, 2016

Credit 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.