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Baltimore Leaders Recommend Stiffer Penalties, ‘Rehabilitation’ For Teen Criminals

Author: Rick Ritter

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Northwest Baltimore has seen more carjackings by teens than any other throughout the city. Including one Thursday. The police commissioner says they’re making arrests only to see the same kids let back out with little to no punishment.

A stretch of teen violence is showing no signs of slowing down. From vicious attacks at the Inner Harbor to carjackings in quiet communities. A crisis Baltimore is struggling to get a hold on.

“Their behaviors need to be interrupted,” commissioner Kevin Davis said. “They need to be interrupted with a jail cell or some other type of intervention. The way we’re doing it now is not working.”

Since 2015 juvenile arrests have been on a rapid rise. Police say they made progress last year.

“Then we saw it pick up again and we went back to the books and checked who had been released from prison and it all matched up,” said Baltimore police spokesperson T.J. Smith. “It’s the same young people.”

The recent stretch has the mayor ordering 30 of the city agency heads to report for daily meetings to make crime reduction the top priority of all.

RELATED: Baltimore Mayor Implements ‘Daily Morning Huddle’ To Combat Youth Violence; Commissioner Blast Criminal Justice System

“I am extremely concerned and focused on reducing violence in Baltimore City,” mayor Catherine Pugh said.

“There not just looking to take your car, they’re not looking to take your wallet,” Councilman Isaac “Yitzy” Schleifer said. “They’re looking to cause damage to people. That’s the scariest thing.”

Schleifer says juveniles who are getting arrested aren’t getting the rehabilitation they need.

“They’re not being taught right from wrong. So if you see you can get away with a armed carjacking, then why not break into someone’s house?” he said. “Who’s outlining these plans for them to be rehabilitated? Because the rehabilitation doesn’t appear to be working.”

City school says they’re paying more attention to kids who are chronically absent. The mayor wants more funding for the Safe Streets program, but many believe the problem is bigger than that.

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