Juvenile Offenders In Need of Supervision
The mission of the Juvenile Offenders In Need of Supervision (JOINS) program was established in 1996 by Dr. Mark Metzger. The Program was created 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 victims.
Goals and Objectives
The goals and objectives of the JOINS program are as follows:
- 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
- Assessing the needs of each youth
- Incorporating required referrals into the youth’s diversion contract
- Identifying appropriate sites and opportunities for restorative and atonement activities
A key to the program’s overall success is the positive interactions the youth receive from responsible adults during the community restitution details.
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
Statistics relating to minority over-representation of the 2013 cases diverted by the JOINS program were compiled. Those figures indicate that of the JOINS program participants:
- 61.8 percent were minority youths while 38.2 percent of the diverted offenders were nonminority youth
- 64.6 percent were male and 35.4 percent were 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.
Upholding the Program
As part of the JOINS program's mission to develop new ways to reach youth, our team has developed the Failure to Appear Reduction Initiative and the Recidivism Tracking Initiative.
Failure to Appear Reduction Initiative
The Failure to Appear Reduction Initiative addresses youth's absence to a scheduled JOINS hearing. 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. This initiative better insures that we will reach every youth who is eligible for our program.
Recidivism Tracking Initiative
The Recidivism Tracking Initiative is a program that takes a closer look at why our JOINS participants may reoffend in the future. With this data, we can better address what motivates our youth to continue down a path of criminal behavior and use our resources to redirect future offenders.
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:
- Food and clothing collection
- Community clean up details
- Cell Phones for Soldiers
- Working in the special equestrian program
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.
Program Manager: Francesca Sciscenti MSW, LGSW
JOINS Supervisor: Sergeant Garrett Leonard
For more information about the JOINS program call any JOINS officer listed below or the JOINS program supervisors. For our Program Managers Francesca Sciscenti or Sergeant Garrett Leonard call 410-887-3273 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Western JOINS Units
Precinct 1 Wilkins
Officer R. D. Sewell
Precinct 2 Woodlawn
Officer S.I. Salisbury
Precinct 3 Franklin
Officer D. Morgan
Precinct 4 Pikesville
Officer M. Scott
Central JOINS Units
Precinct 6 Towson and 8 Parkville
Officer J. Scott
Precinct 7 Cockeysville
Officer P. McGlynn
Recidivism Tracking Initiative (R.T.I.)
Officer P. Oswald
Eastern JOINS Unit
Precinct 9 White Marsh
Officer J. Rebhan
Precinct 11 Essex
Officer B. Elliott
Precinct 12 Dundalk
Officer D. Claridge
The following are a list of Referrals:
- Maryland Department of Juvenile Services (DJS)
- Maryland Local Department of Social Services (DSS)
- Baltimore County Health Department
- Juvenile Drug Court Program
- Baltimore County Police Counseling Team
- First Step
10400 Ridgeland Road
Revised May 11, 2015