In Maryland, the Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) is responsible for managing, supervising, and treating youth who are involved in the juvenile justice system. The agency is charged with providing individualized care and treatment to youth who have violated the law or who may pose a safety risk to others or themselves.
Unfortunately, a large percentage of the youths that reside in these facilities face some type of sexual victimization. In fact, the U.S. Department of Justice has reported that as many as 12 percent of juvenile hall residents are sexually abused.
At Maryland Sexual Abuse Lawyers, we have clients who have reported sexual abuse at a number of juvenile hall, treatment, and detention facilities. Given the scope of the problem, it is likely that there are survivors who were residents of – or who currently are residents of – each and every one of them.
As of 2023, the Maryland DJS operates 12 juvenile detention and treatment facilities. However, four of the facilities are either closed or temporarily closed – Alfred D. Noyes Children’s Center, Garret Children’s Center, Mountain View, and Thomas J.S. Waxter Children’s Center. Two others were closed in 2020 – Meadow Mountain Youth Center and J. DeWeese Carter Center.
Maryland Department of Juvenile Services Facilities
Alfred D. Noyes Children’s Center
Status: Temporarily closed
Rated Capacity: 29 (female) as of March 27, 2020; the previous rated capacity was 57.
9925 Blackwell Road
Rockville, MD 20850
Phone: 301-315-1610, 301-762-7800
The Alfred D. Noyes Children’s Center opened in 1977 and was named after a judge who served on the juvenile court in Montgomery County in the 1970’s. Formerly co-ed, Alfred D. Noyes Children’s Center is currently a female-only detention center that provides secure detention services to 29 female youth primarily between the ages of 12-18 who are waiting to go to court or be placed in a treatment facility.
Backbone Mountain Youth Center
Capacity: 21 Males* (Capacity was reduced from 24 to 18 on August 20, 2021, and increased from 18 to 21 as of May 23, 2022.)
124 Camp 4 Road
Swanton, MD 21561
The Backbone Mountain Youth Center is an all-male treatment program run by the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services. The facility is staff-secure and is located in Garrett County. Backbone Mountain Youth Center serves up to 21 youths from across the State.
In 1964, the General Assembly appropriated funds to establish a forestry camp near Backbone Mountain in Garrett County. The Backbone Mountain Forestry Camp for Boys opened in May 1966. The camp was renamed Backbone Mountain Youth Center (BMYC) in 1977.
In 2010, Backbone Mountain Youth Center had the highest rate of sexual abuse in a nationwide study, prompting the state Department of Juvenile Services to launch an independent investigation of the claims.
Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center
Rated Capacity: 120 Males
300 North Gay Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
On October 30, 2003, the Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center (BCJJC) opened its doors as a multi-purpose juvenile justice building. The DJS also operates a secure detention facility for male youths here. Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center can serve up to 120 youth and primarily holds male youth from Baltimore City.
Charles H. Hickey, Jr. School
Rated Capacity: 72 Males
9700 Old Harford Road
Parkville, MD 21234
The Charles H. Hickey, Jr. School is an all-male detention center run by the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services and is located in Baltimore County. Youth are held here while they await their court date or placement. ✳Hickey can serve up to 72 youth and primarily holds male youth from Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Harford, and Howard Counties.
The Charles Hickey, Jr. School opened as the House of Refuge in 1850, before changing its name three times. First to Maryland School for Boys in 1910, then to Maryland Training School for Boys in 1918. Finally, it adopted its current name in 1985.
From 1991 to 2004, the Department of Juvenile Services contracted with private companies to operate Charles H. Hickey, Jr. School, before assuming direct control in April 2004.
New Directions, a private vendor that operates a treatment program for low-level juvenile sex offenders, also operates on the grounds of CHS.
Charles H. Hickey, Jr. Structured Shelter Care Program
Capacity: 6 youth total (4 male and 2 female)
Charles H. Hickey, Jr. School West Campus, Building #9
9700 Old Harford Road
Parkville, Maryland 21234
Phone: Shelter Main Office # 410-663-7724
The Charles H. Hickey, Jr. Structured Shelter Care Program is a male and female, ages 13-20, shelter care program run by the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services and is located in Baltimore County. The program is run at the Charles H. Hickey, Jr. School and can serve up to 6 youth total (4 male and 2 female) and serves youth from Maryland.
Cheltenham Youth Detention Center
Capacity: 72 Males
11003 Frank Tippett Rd.
Cheltenham, MD 20623
The Cheltenham Youth Detention Center originally opened in 1870, before being renamed to Cheltenham School for Boys in 1937. Twelve years later, it was renamed Boys’ Village of Maryland before undergoing a name change again in 1992 when it was called Cheltenham Youth Facility. In 2016, a new facility was opened as Cheltenham Youth Detention Center.
Cheltenham Youth Facility is a co-ed detention center run by the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services and is located in Prince George’s County. Youth are held here while they await their court date or placement. Cheltenham Youth Detention Center can serve up to 72 youth and primarily holds youth from Prince George’s, Montgomery, Charles, Anne Arundel, St. Mary’s, and Calvert Counties.
Garrett Children’s Center
Formerly Savage Mountain Youth Center
Status: Temporarily closed
Capacity: 8 Males (When ongoing renovations are complete, capacity will be 24.)
164 Freedom Lane
Lonaconing, MD 21539
The Garrett Children’s Center was opened as Lonaconing Forestry Camp for Boys in 1957, before being renamed Savage Mountain Youth Center in 1977. Beginning in 2020, it became known as Garrett Children’s Center. Garrett Children’s Center is an all-male treatment program run by the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services. The facility is hardware-secure and is located in Garrett County. Youth work toward completing identified treatment goals as noted in their individualized treatment service plans. Garrett Children’s Center can serve up to 24 youth from across the State.
GCC provides a six- to nine-month treatment program for male youth primarily between the ages of 14 to 18 who have been ordered by a court to receive treatment services.
Green Ridge Youth Center
Capacity: 21 Males* (Capacity increased from 18 to 21 on May 23, 2022.)
10700 Fifteen Mile Creek Road
Flintstone, MD 21530
In 1955, Green Ridge Foresty Camp for Boys opened and was operated by the State Department of Public Welfare. In 1977 the camp was renamed Green Ridge Youth Center and is currently operated by the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services. Located in Allegany County, Green Ridge Youth Center is an all-male treatment program and can serve up to 24 youth from across the state. The treatment program serves male youth primarily between the ages of 14 and 18 and typically lasts six to nine months.
Lower Eastern Shore Children’s Center
Rated Capacity: 18 Males and 6 Females (The facility became male only as of 6/1/2022.)
405 Naylor Mill Road
Salisbury, MD 21801
The Lower Eastern Shore Children’s Center opened in 2002 and is located in Wicomico County. Lower Eastern Shore Children’s Center serves as a secure detention facility for male youth who are waiting to go to court or be placed in a treatment facility, primarily from the Eastern Shore Region.
Capacity: 6 Females
124 Camp 4 Road
Swanton, MD 21561
In June 2020, the Mountain View facility opened as a staff-secure, six-bed, staff-secure female-only treatment program on the grounds of Backbone Mountain Youth Center. The facility was named by the youth from the former J. DeWeese Carter Center, which recently closed as well. Before closing in 2022, the program served female youth, typically between the ages of 14 and 20 years, and usually six to nine months in duration.
Thomas J.S. Waxter Children’s Center
Rated Capacity: 42 Females
375 Red Clay Rd., S.W.
Laurel, MD 20724
Thomas J.S. Waxter Children’s Center was originally named the Southern Maryland Children’s Center before being renamed in 1963 to honor Thomas J.S. Waxter, the Director of the State Department of Public Welfare from 1953 until his death in 1962.
Before being shuttered, Waxter previously served both secure detention and secure committed treatment populations of female youth. The Department of Juvenile Services closed the secure treatment program for girls in December 2011.
Victor Cullen Center
Rated Capacity: 48 Males
6000 Cullen Dr.
Sabillasville, MD 21780
The Victor Cullen Center began as a state-funded tuberculosis sanatorium before becoming a reform school for boys in 1965. Now run by the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, the Victor Cullen Center houses a co-ed treatment program and an all-male secure detention facility in Frederick County. The Victor Cullen Center can serve up to 48 youth from across the state.
In 2021, former Victor Cullen Center staff member Jessica Margaret Irving was indicted by the Frederick Grand Jury on March 19, 2021, on three counts of sexual abuse of a minor and three counts of sex offense of a juvenile detainee.
Western Maryland Children’s Center
Rated Capacity: 24 Males
18420 Roxbury Road
Hagerstown, MD 21740
The Western Maryland Children’s Center is an all-male detention center run by the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services and is located in Washington County. ✳Youth are held here while they await their court date or placement. ✳Western Maryland Children’s Center serves 24 youth primarily from Allegany, Garrett, Frederick, and Washington Counties.
Former Juvenile Hall and other Facilities
Throughout history, there have been a number of facilities that have operated to help or reform youth. Many have undergone name changes or been shuttered. Below is a selection of those that either are no longer in operation or exist outside the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services purview.
Montrose School for Girls
Opened initially in 1866 as the Maryland Industrial School for Girls, the Montrose School operated under various names before being closed in 1988.
William Donald Schafer House
The William Donald Schafer House opened in 1972 and was initially known as the Group Home for Boys before changing its name in 1992. It was closed in 2016.
Maryland Youth Residence Center (MYRC)
The Maryland Youth Residence Center was opened in 1972 and was closed in 2007.
The Patterson House was opened in 1968 before changing its name to Group Home for Girls. TI was closed in 1992.
Silver Oak Academy
Silver Oak Academy is a private provider serving o ly DJS youth and was opened in 2009 with 48 beds. In 2013, it received approval to increase their treatment capacity to 96 beds.
Good Shephard Services
Good Shephard Services was a Baltimore County residential treatment center for youth that was closed after two state agencies decided to withdraw the children they had placed there. The Department of Juvenile Services and the Department of Human Resources placed a moratorium on referring youth to Good Shepherd Services after some residents showed signs of overdosing on medication and reports of sexual assault.
There are many other private and public facilities that provide treatment, either residential or otherwise, for youths in and around the juvenile justice system. While we cannot list them all here, that does not mean that residents or those enrolled in treatment are not at risk. If you or a loved one have survived sexual abuse of any kind at a juvenile justice or treatment facility, we believe you. Contact us as soon as you are ready to talk about what happened. Every interaction with our attorneys is completely confidential.