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In general, the jails visited by Human Rights Watch make an effort to offer regular recreation opportunities to children in detention; nevertheless, children may not be able to exercise enough to meet their developmental needs. In addition, we found that children in disciplinary segregation had almost no opportunities for exercise. In the Baltimore City Detention Center, where children are routinely placed on lengthy periods of cell confinement, juveniles endure a dreary succession of days during which they have little to do but stare at the walls.

We were troubled that the Baltimore jail made only sporadic efforts to provide religious services for juveniles, particularly for Muslim youth. We were especially disturbed to find that jail officials regarded religious services as "privileges"-on a par with the opportunity to order snack food from the commissary and therefore routinely suspended during extended lockdown periods.

Jails offer few other activities for juveniles, sacrificing the opportunity to prepare youth for their eventual return to society. The absence of specialized programming places children held in adult jails at a disadvantage to their peers in the juvenile detention system.

Recreation and Exercise

Although children in most of the facilities visited by Human Rights Watch reported that they have regular recreation periods, the length and frequency of exercise opportunities are often insufficient to meet developmental needs. Some juveniles are given as little as one hour of recreation each week. In addition, those placed in administrative segregation, in high security housing, or on lockup status described days of protracted idleness with no meaningful recreation or exercise and little time outside of their cells. This was particularly true of the Baltimore City Detention Center, where children are frequently placed on extended lockdown.78

Dylan C., sixteen, reported in May 1999 that juveniles in Baltimore's general population section had not been allowed to use outdoor yard, the gym, or even the dayroom for six weeks. He told us that during this time, children were allowed out of their cell during weekday school periods and every seventy-two hours for showers. Sam H., age seventeen, stated that during the lockdown periods juvenilesspent most of their days listening to headphones, playing chess or cards with their cellmates or with the occupants of adjacent cells, or talking.79

The situation is even worse for the two dozen boys in administrative segregation in Baltimore. "No walks, no phone, no visits," Terence B., a seventeen-year-old, told us. "You can't do nothing but sit in your cell. You get that ten-minute shower two times a week. Other than that, stay in your cell all day long. It can drive a person crazy."80 Asked how he spent his day, Benjie R., age seventeen, replied, "Pushups, sleep, eat."81 "It ain't too good up here," said Joey N., seventeen, referring to the lack of recreation and the grim surroundings.

This jail's crazy. I'm ready to cop out, and I ain't twenty years old. It's crazy on lockdown. Ain't got no bars on the doors, it's steel doors on the cells. Inmates locked down all day. They're fucking . . . excuse me, I mean it's ridiculous.82

Children held in Baltimore before the extended lockdowns went into effect reported that they had regular recreation periods. Joey N. commented, "The only thing is basketball and weights. You get like thirty minutes or an hour. It's not enough for everybody. Plus they only got like three or four balls."83 When we visited the jail's gym, in use at the time by a group of adult detainees, we saw two full-length basketball courts, a weights area, a large screen television, and several telephones.The gym was in a poor state of repair, with plaster crumbling off the walls in many spots. We saw some detainees using the weights, but one adult told us that many of the weights were broken. With two full-court games in progress, there was not enough room on the courts to accommodate all detainees. As a result, a large number stood around the court with nothing to do. The gym was extremely loud, almost painfully so, and the ten to fifteen detainees sitting on bleachers in front of the television set appeared to have trouble hearing the movie they were watching.

In Washington County, where children are routinely commingled with adults, we heard that juveniles avoided recreation and exercise out of a desire to steer clear of trouble. "I don't go to the gym," Ron P. told us, even though he is given the opportunity every night. "I think that's a good place for fights. I don't likewatching people getting jumped and stuff. That's how people are in here, they'll jump you before they'll fight you one-on-one."84

Moreover, we found indications that all facilities, even those with regular recreation periods, may not provide juveniles with age-appropriate opportunities for exercise. Adolescents "require more large-muscle exercise yet are likely to have the same access to exercise as adult inmates."85 For example, boys in Prince George's County reported that they were usually allowed to use the gym only once each week. "I think it supposed to be two times a week, but most times we only get gym once," explained Jermaine C.. "Sometimes the C.O. forgets, sometimes the gym be full, maybe being used by other units." Asked what changes he would like to see, Anthony P., sixteen, responded that he would like more gym time and games such as table tennis, a request repeated by other boys at the facility.86

Girls interviewed by Human Rights Watch gave similar accounts, suggesting that they did not receive fewer recreation opportunities than boys but that, as with the boys, they were not able to exercise enough to meet their needs. Michelle R., held at the Baltimore City Detention Center, told us that girls could play basketball, use exercise equipment, watch movies, or use the time to socialize.87 Jenile L. reported that girls held at Prince George's County are usually allowed one hour in the gym each week, but the actual time they get for recreation "depends on whatofficer you get." She added, "Well, it's supposed to be one time a week, but we don't get to go every week because sometimes there's males in the gym." Diane S., age fifteen, told us that she had not been to the gym in "a while" but stated that the girls were allowed outside after lunch about four days each week.88

In contrast, youth in Montgomery County's Youthful Offender Unit reported that they were given frequent opportunities for recreation and exercise, including mandatory calisthenics in the morning. Bruce W. told us,

There's P.T.-that's exercise-every morning at 4:00 a.m. Everybody's required to do it. If you don't, it depends on the C.O. what they do to you. Certain ones will excuse you. Others will send you to D2 [the segregation section] for about thirty days. That's the same time you'd get if you in a fight. I saw this happen three times.

William M. corroborated this account, stating,

P.T. is in the morning. That's required. It's okay, it's just the fact of waking up early for exercise. We do jumping jacks, pushups, leg lifts, crunches, stretches, things like that. If you don't do them, you can get locked in or sent out of the program because in this program you're required to do the exercises.

"It's no breaks," he continued. "Just exercises. I don't think it last too long."89

Religious Services

In general, the jails visited by Human Rights Watch held regular services for the religions represented in the detainee population. We were troubled, however, by numerous accounts from children in the Baltimore City Detention Center that indicate that the jail does not consistently allow juveniles to attend religious services. According to the accounts of children interviewed between July 1998 and May 1999, the jail has frequently discontinued religious services for juveniles over the past year. Muslim children report that they have few opportunities to attend services for their faith. Finally, we are particularly disturbed that jail staff treatreligious services as "privileges" that may be suspended during lockdown periods.90

"They had church when I first came here, but I think they just stopped coming. The last time I saw them was around the eighteenth of November," said Paul G., interviewed in February 1999.91 Dylan C. told Human Rights Watch in May 1999 that the jail had offered Wednesday religious services for a time at the beginning of the year. Corroborating this account, Josh S. stated that services were suspended two weeks before section was locked down; he added that when services were offered, he went every time he was given the opportunity.92

As Josh S. did, many of the children with whom we spoke seemed to value the opportunity to attend religious services. "I think it stopped a lot of guys from doing stuff. I thought it was good," commented Shawn G.93

Even when services were offered, Muslim youth reported that they were rarely given the opportunity to attend services led by an imam. Evan M. recounted:

I'm Muslim. Here they have church services every week, but for Muslims it's like once a year. I want to talk to the commissioner about that. The last time they had a Muslim service, I think it was about five months ago. There's guys on the other sections, I don't know their names, they get services every week. We can't go up there to their service because juveniles need to be transported. I would go if I could. I think there's about twenty others on both sides of L Section, too. I don't think it's right. The adults get a service every week, but they stopped letting us go in `97, like at the end of the year. They don't have services for us on the holidays neither.94

Finally, when we spoke to Commissioner Flanagan and his staff about the extended periods of cell confinement, the commissioner consistently spoke ofreligious services as "privileges" subject to suspension during group lockdowns.95 Religious services should not be treated as privileges on a par with the opportunity to order snack food from the commissary. Absent some compelling security need to restrict religious services, they should be available to all juveniles.96

Extracurricular Programming

Across the United States, "[t]here seems to be no concerted effort to develop innovative programming for remanded juveniles," those who have been charged as adults.97 With a few notable exceptions, Maryland's jails conform to this national pattern. Apart from limited recreation opportunities and school, children in Maryland's jails generally have few activities to keep them occupied. By failing to offer educational, social, and recreational programs tailored to youth, the state's jails sacrifice a significant opportunity to prepare juveniles for their eventual return to society.

Many of the children interviewed by Human Rights Watch described days of unrelenting boredom, punctuated only by classroom instruction and limited recreation opportunities. "I write raps and sleep, that's it," said Oliver R., a sixteen-year-old in Washington County. Ron P., another Washington County detainee, told us, "We play cards. That's all there is to do."98

In Frederick County, Warden Rob Green conceded that there are few programming options for juveniles. "As a pretrial facility, we're limited in the number of programs we can offer. We've got more than most pretrial facilities, though," he said.99

Many children appeared to value opportunities for positive contact with adults, opportunities that they were not given in the jail setting. Anthony P., a Prince George's County detainee, stated that he would like to "get someone to come and talk to us and see what kind of person you are. They don't pay no attention. They treat you like dirt. I just wish they'd come and talk to us more. They judge us all the same. They talk about juveniles, but no one comes to talk to us one-on-one like you all."100

The absence of positive contact with adults is significant because interpersonal relationships are an important part of adolescent development. As other teenagers do, juveniles in detention look for role models among their peer group and to the adults with whom they come in contact.101 James S., held with adult detainees in a Montgomery County high-security pod, explained to Human Rights Watch:

There's lots of things going on, so all I do is keep inside my cell. I sit back and think to myself, because I got problems on my mind. Ain't nobody to talk to. I keep it all balled up inside. Sometimes I want to blow up, but I can't. I don't look to those inside as father figures, but I look to them for what they know. I don't think I should, because they criminals, but what can I do?102

Extended periods of inactivity were especially prevalent at the Baltimore City Detention Center. "The majority of the day is programmatic," claimed Commissioner Flanagan when we first visited the Baltimore City Detention Center.103 Once we were able to conduct a thorough investigation of the facility, we found that in fact most of the children in detention spent their days with nothing to do outside of their limited school hours. Inactivity is even more pronounced during the lengthy lockdown periods that have regularly been imposed since November 1998.

The exception was the Youthful Offender Unit in the Montgomery County Detention Center. Children in the unit told us that they were able to participate in a variety of recreational and educational programming. William M., a detainee in the unit, told us that educational activities designed to help youth address violence and drug and alcohol abuse were offered regularly and that those in the unit had many opportunities to engage in organized recreational activities during their free time.104

78 Article 47 of the U.N. Rules for the Protection of Juveniles provides that "[e]very juvenile should have the right to a suitable amount of time for daily free exercise, in the open air whenever weather permits, during which time appropriate recreational and physical training should normally be provided."

79 Human Rights Watch interviews, Baltimore City Detention Center, May 11, 1999.

80 Human Rights Watch interview, Baltimore City Detention Center, April 30, 1999.

81 Human Rights Watch interview, Baltimore City Detention Center, May 11, 1999.

82 Human Rights Watch interview, Baltimore City Detention Center, February 9, 1999.

83 Ibid.

84 Human Rights Watch interview, Washington County Detention Center, July 22, 1998.

85 Dale Parent and others, Key Legislative Issues in Criminal Justice: Transferring Serious Juvenile Offenders to Adult Courts (Washington, D.C.: National Institute of Justice, 1997), p. 5. The National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) calls upon jails to provide adult detainees with the opportunity to have exercise involving large-muscle activity a minimum of one hour per day, three times each week. For juveniles, the NCCHC's standard is higher, requiring a daily minimum of one hour of large-muscle activity exercise that is offered on a planned, supervised basis. Exercise that meets this standard includes walking, jogging in place, basketball, table tennis, handball, and calisthenics. See National Commission on Correctional Health Care, Standards for Health Services in Jails (Chicago: NCCHC, 1996), pp. 58-59; National Commission on Correctional Health Care, Standards for Health Services in Juvenile Detention and Confinement Facilities (Chicago: NCCHC, 1995), pp. 49-50.

86 Human Rights Watch interviews, P.G. County Correctional Center, July 23, 1998.

87 Human Rights Watch interview, Baltimore City Detention Center, February 10, 1999. The opportunity to socialize is limited by the fact that girls in detention take recreation with the same small number of other girls they see every day in their dormitory. As Commissioner Flanagan noted, "Even when there are seven or eight female juveniles, they have to recreate among themselves." Human Rights Watch interview with LaMont Flanagan, commissioner, Division of Pretrial Detention and Services, Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, Baltimore, Maryland, May 11, 1999.

88 Human Rights Watch interviews, P.G. County Correctional Center, July 23, 1998.

89 Human Rights Watch interviews, Montgomery County Detention Center, July 30, 1998.

90 Under Article 48 of the U.N. Rules for the Protection of Juveniles,

If a detention facility contains a sufficient number of juveniles of a given religion, one or more qualified representatives of that religion should be appointed or approved and allowed to hold regular services and to pay pastoral visits in private to juveniles at their request. Every juvenile should have the right to receive visits from a qualified representative of any religion of his or her choice . . . .

91 Human Rights Watch interview, Baltimore City Detention Center, February 10, 1999.

92 Human Rights Watch interviews, Baltimore City Detention Center, May 11, 1999.

93 Human Rights Watch interview, Baltimore City Detention Center, May 11, 1999.

94 Human Rights Watch interview, Baltimore City Detention Center, July 17, 1998.

95 Human Rights Watch interview with LaMont Flanagan, May 11, 1999.

96 As we note earlier in this report, the extent and length of the lockdowns themselves suggest that the jail routinely and improperly imposes group punishment on detention center inmates. See Part VII., "Discipline," "Use of General Lockdowns" section.

97 Barry Glick, "Kids in Adult Correctional Systems," Corrections Today, August 1998, p. 96.

98 Human Rights Watch interviews, Washington County Detention Center, July 22, 1998.

99 Human Rights Watch interview with Rob Green, warden, Frederick County Detention Center, Frederick, Maryland, July 21, 1998.

100 Human Rights Watch interview, P.G. County Correctional Center, July 23, 1998.

101 See generally Robert E. Shepherd, Jr., "Developmental Psychology and the Juvenile Justice Process," Criminal Justice, Spring 1999, pp. 42-44.

102 Human Rights Watch interview, Montgomery County Detention Center, July 30, 1998.

103 Human Rights Watch interview with LaMont Flanagan, September 23, 1998.

104 Human Rights Watch interview, Montgomery County Detention Center, July 30, 1998.

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