Maryland Considers Ban on Shackling Youth Offenders
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Maryland legislators and juvenile justice advocates are reviewing the state’s policy for placing children in mechanical restraints and studying other states’ laws to form a best practice.
The U.S. Supreme Court has held that adults should not be shackled in court to maintain the presumption of innocence, yet 22 states allow children to be restrained in the courtroom.
The mechanical restraints used on children include leg irons and belly chains and can weigh up to 25 pounds, according to the National Juvenile Defender Center. Handcuffs alone are considered a form of shackling.