The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Maryland Jails Youth in Cesspools

Mar 20, 2023

Maryland’s Baltimore County Detention Center holds youth charged as adults in deplorable conditions. These teenagers have not been found guilty of anything. Public defenders reported that the youth have to sleep on mats on floors which regularly flood with water and sewage from the toilets. There are rats. The youth have no access to books or TV. They have to pay for soap and shampoo and have to wash their clothes in the sink. The youth are held in solitary confinement 23 hours a day. They are only let out for a shower or a phone call—not both the same day.

The jail was holding 19 youths ages 15 to 17 last November when the public defenders visited. One had been there for two years, awaiting trial. They are part of over 600 youths arrested and charged as adults in Maryland each year—more than 8,600 in the last decade.

Some people say you can judge a society by the way it treats young people. That means this society is rotten to the core.