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Western Maryland juvenile detention center has the highest rate of sexual abuse nationwide

The Maryland Department of Juvenile Services launched an independent investigation after the U.S. Justice Department indicates Backbone Mountain Youth Center reported:

  • Four of 11 youths were sexually abused by staff or another youth last year.
  • That rate—36.4%—was the highest of 195 juvenile detention centers surveyed nationwide.
  • Victimization included forced sexual activity with another youth and all sexual activity with staff.

A juvenile detention center employee was accused of a sexual relationship with a teen at the center

Jessica Margaret Irving, 33, of Hagerstown, is charged with sex abuse of a minor and sex offense with a juvenile detainee.

The teen said Irving picked him up from his home after he was released from the Victor Cullen Center in Sabillasville, a secure treatment facility run by the Department of Juvenile Services, and had sex with him multiple times, as well as while he was still at the center.

The following Maryland juvenile hall facilities are known for historical incidents of abuse, including:

  • Montrose Training School
  • Victor Cullen Center
  • Western Maryland Children's Center
  • Backbone Mountain Youth Center
  • Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center
  • Charles H. Hickey, Jr. School
  • ​Charles H. Hickey, Jr. Structured Shelter Care Program
  • Cheltenham Youth Detention Center
  • Green Ridge Youth Center
  • Lower Eastern Shore Children's Center
iStock-117645642

The following Maryland juvenile hall facilities are also locations of historical abuse, despite the fact that they’re listed as either “closed” or “temporarily closed”:

  • Garrett Children's Center (temporarily closed)
  • Alfred D. Noyes Children's Center​ ​(temporarily closed)
  • Thomas J.S. Waxter Children's Center (c​losed)
  • Mountain View​ (closed)

Jay Cleary, Director of Communications at the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services said officials were “shocked” to learn the findings of the report

We believe victims of sex abuse while incarcerated in Maryland juvenile halls deserve justice and potential compensation for their injuries.

Eligible victims are encouraged to request a free, private case evaluation by our experienced legal staff with the potential for compensation and justice.

Find Out if You Qualify

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A juvenile detention center employee was accused of a sexual relationship with a teen at the center

Jessica Margaret Irving, 33, of Hagerstown, is charged with sex abuse of a minor and sex offense with a juvenile detainee.

The teen said Irving picked him up from his home after he was released from the Victor Cullen Center in Sabillasville, a secure treatment facility run by the Department of Juvenile Services, and had sex with him multiple times, as well as while he was still at the center.

The following Maryland juvenile hall facilities are known for historical incidents of abuse, including:

  • Montrose Training School
  • Victor Cullen Center
  • Western Maryland Children's Center
  • Backbone Mountain Youth Center
  • Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center
  • Charles H. Hickey, Jr. School
  • ​Charles H. Hickey, Jr. Structured Shelter Care Program
  • Cheltenham Youth Detention Center
  • Green Ridge Youth Center
  • Lower Eastern Shore Children's Center
iStock-117645642

The following Maryland juvenile hall facilities are also locations of historical abuse, despite the fact that they’re listed as either “closed” or “temporarily closed”:

  • Garrett Children's Center (temporarily closed)
  • Alfred D. Noyes Children's Center​ ​(temporarily closed)
  • Thomas J.S. Waxter Children's Center (c​losed)
  • Mountain View​ (closed)

Jay Cleary, Director of Communications at the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services said officials were “shocked” to learn the findings of the report

We believe victims of sex abuse while incarcerated in Maryland juvenile halls deserve justice and potential compensation for their injuries.

Eligible victims are encouraged to request a free, private case evaluation by our experienced legal staff with the potential for compensation and justice.

100% Free & Secure Case Evaluations

Answer a few basic questions to get started

We’ll ask specific questions to understand the situation, the injuries, and other vital info to help determine the next steps.

Receive a confidential case evaluation

A qualified legal team led by a personal injury attorney will consider the facts of the case and the potential for compensation.

Have an individual claim filed for compensation

Those that qualify will have an individual claim filed in a court of law for the justice and compensation they deserve.

Don’t suffer the injury of sexual abuse in silence any longer—we fight for justice!

Victims of Maryland juvenile hall sex abuse—and the families that suffered with them—should have every opportunity to be heard in court for justice and potential compensation.

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