Established, 1996 by Dr. Mark Metzger
The mission of the Juvenile Offenders In Need of Supervision (JOINS) program is to prevent juvenile delinquency by diverting threshold offenders from the juvenile justice system. Threshold offenders are first-time non-violent offenders, or those youth deemed to be at the beginning of a pattern of delinquency. The program embodies and promotes the principals of Restorative Justice including the payment of restitution to the victim.
- Reducing the rate of recidivism for juvenile offenders.
- Reducing minority over-representation in the juvenile justice system.
- Successful intervention in the cases of juvenile threshold offenders.
- Support of families and youth with counseling and appropriate referrals to community resources.
- Promotion of atonement and self-esteem through community restitution and accountability.
- Restoration of victims through prompt payment of restitution and program participation on the part of the victim, if desired.
The program remains successful in addressing these goals. JOINS supports youth and their families by assessing needs and making referrals, when indicated, to community agencies. All JOINS youth are assessed by Case Managers assigned by the Department of Juvenile Services (DJS), or professional counselors from the Department’s Counseling Team. All victims receive restitution when it is appropriate to the case.
DJS Case Managers are responsible for assisting the JOINS officer in providing appropriate diversion of their cases. They are also responsible for assessing the needs of each youth and incorporating required referrals into the youth’s diversion contract. A key to the program’s overall success is the positive interactions the youth receive from responsible adults during the community restitution details. The DJS Case Manager identifies appropriate sites and opportunities for restorative and atonement activities.
In 2013, JOINS officers reviewed 5,304 juvenile reports. Those juveniles who met the program criteria, and received permission from the victim to proceed with a diversion numbered 836. Quarterly reviews of recidivism rates, 12 months after successful program completion for 2013 indicates that 91.8 percent of the youth did not recidivate within a year. The number of youth who successfully completed the JOINS Program in 2013 was 775. It is important to note that the successful completion rate does not account for those juveniles who were enrolled in JOINS during the later part of the year, however, and have yet to complete the program.
Reducing Minority Over-Representation in the Juvenile Justice System
Statistics relating to minority over representation of the 2013 cases diverted by the JOINS program were compiled. Those figures indicate that 61.8 percent were minority youths while 38.2 percent of the diverted offenders were non-minority youth. The numbers also reveal that the JOINS program participants were 64.6 percent male and 35.4 percent female. The JOINS program is committed to reaching out to youths through restorative justice practices in the hope that they will not become a permanent part of the juvenile justice system.
Improved Completion Initiative (ICI) and Failure to Appear Reduction Initiative
The JOINS Team developed a specialized program to address the unsuccessful completion rate related to non-compliance with established parameters. The program is named, Improved Completion Initiative (ICI). The program became fully functional in May 2011. The initiative has proven to be beneficial for youth who would have otherwise been removed from JOINS with an unsuccessful completion status. As part of the JOINS program's mission to develop new ways to reach youth, the Failure to Appear Reduction Initiative follows this ideal. We put an extra effort into identifying why a youth may have missed a JOINS hearing and then take steps to address the reasons for the absence.
Active In The Community
JOINS youth give back to the community in the form of community restitution. These volunteer activities allow the youth to partially atone for their acts, and it helps them to develop a feeling of self-worth. In 2011, JOINS youth contributed over 10,337 hours of community restitution and educational enhancement devoted to programs related to their offenses such as Shoplifting Abatement and the Shock Trauma experiential learning visits.
Their activities included Adopt-A-Highway, food and clothing collection, community clean up details, Cell Phones for Soldiers and working in the special equestrian program, among other volunteer services. Community restitution allows for a positive mentoring relationship with the JOINS clients and continues to be an extremely important function of the overall success of the JOINS program.
Contact Sergeant Garrett Leonard or any JOINS officer for more information about the JOINS program.
Supervisor Sergeant Garrett Leonard
Western JOINS Unit
Serves the western region of Baltimore County.
Officer C. Smith
Precinct 01 Wilkins
Precinct 02 Woodlawn
Officer D. Morgan
Precinct 03 Franklin
Officer M. Scott
Precinct 04 Pikesville
Central JOINS Unit
Serves the central region of Baltimore County.
Officer J. Scott
Precinct 06,08 Towson, Parkville
Officer P. McGlynn
Precinct 07 Cockeysville
Officer P. Oswald
Improved Completion Initiative I.C.I.
Eastern JOINS Unit
Serves the Eastern region of Baltimore County.
Officer J. Rebhan
Precinct 09 White Marsh
Officer B. Elliott
Precinct 11 Essex
Officer D. Claridge
Precinct 12 Dundalk
10400 Ridgeland Road
Revised June 5, 2014