Youth Engagement and Safety Strategy

DJS' Youth Engagement and Safety Services, which includes oversight of the gun violence reduction initiative (Thrive Academy). ​The Thrive Academy (TTA) is a case management model that delivers life coaching and related skill development through the work of a credible messenger (i.e., a person with lived experience who works directly with the youth and family to develop and execute a life plan that leads youth out of violence). Thrive Academy is implemented in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, and Prince George’s County. Parallel to the Thrive Academy as a rapid intervention to gun violence is the multidisciplinary YESS team, which involves public officials and community partners who work collaboratively to develop prevention and community transformation strategies for gun violence reduction.

Under the Youth Engagement and Safety Services, the Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) also operates the Community Detention (CD) Program, a statewide alternative to secure detention programs that allows a youth to be safely supervised in the community on court-ordered home detention pending a court appearance. Youth in the program are subject to enhanced service delivery and supervision through electronic monitoring, face-to-face contacts, and daily telephone contacts by the Community Detention Officer. DJS Command Center provides additional electronic monitoring coverage twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week (24/7) by monitoring alerts and working with the Community Detention Officers, police, DJS Case Management Specialists, and parent/guardians.

Our Evening Reporting Center program is to strengthen our position as an alternative to detention while leading the effort to demonstrate that youth can be safely redirected, rehabilitated, and reintegrated into their communities without being removed from society. Our goal is to expand the presence of Day and Evening Reporting Centers across the state of Maryland. It is our commitment to redirect destructive behavior among our youth, elevating their life’s trajectory. We achieve this by fostering an environment that exposes youth to impactful and enriching activities, developing good academic and free-time habits, and equipping them with the tools necessary to make quality life decisions.​