The Juvenile Series: What does placement in the juvenile system mean?

When the court decides to send a child to placement, it means the child will be taken away from their parent or guardian’s home and sent to a placement home or what I call “kiddie jail”. This recommendation is reserved for the most egregious crimes or for repeat offenders. Cheltenham Youth Facility, a boys’ detention center in Maryland is one of the many placement homes in the DMV area. Sometimes, depending on the child’s needs, they may be sent to a placement home out of state. I went on tour of Cheltenham Youth Facility some years ago, where the State seeks to reform the troubled youths. The facility has barbed wire on its walls, and the children are not in cells but in rooms. The children are ordered by the Court to stay in the detention facility for as long as the Court deems necessary for reformation. The children have regular court appearances during their detention for the Court to check on the status of their progress.

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