The Attorney General is proud to partner with NetSmartz Workshop to bring you the latest online safety resources. NetSmartz is an interactive, educational program of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) that provides free, age-appropriate resources to help teach children how to be safer online. The program is designed for children ages 5-17, parents and guardians, educators, and law enforcement. With resources such as videos, games, activity cards, and presentations, NetSmartz entertains while it educates.
As a parent or guardian, you should stay well-informed about current issues to understand what your children are experiencing online. Learn how to use the technologies they're using--social media sites and apps, webcams, and cell phones. Here are some tips to get started:
- Remember to monitor mobile devices like cell phones, handheld games, and laptops.
- Know who is connecting with your children online and set rules for social media use.
- Have regular conversations with your children about online safety.
These tip sheets from NetSmartz are just a few of the resources available for you. Find more at www.NetSmartz.org.
The Attorney General has focused for many years on juvenile crime,
looking at its root causes and what more we could do to give at-risk
kids a fighting chance. The research is clear on the factors placing
children at risk, e.g., poverty, poor academic achievement, low
self-esteem, family violence, substance abuse, truancy, and teen
pregnancy. The best hope for saving these children is to address
the problems in their lives as early as possible.
years ago the Attorney General traveled around the State highlighting
prevention and early intervention programs which do just that. Dedicated,
caring people all over Maryland work against tremendous odds to
help at-risk children avoid delinquency and experience success.
Some programs keep kids in school and help them overcome academic
obstacles. Others focus on keeping kids off drugs and persuading
them not to have babies while they are still children themselves.
Many give teens something fun or enriching to do after school to
help them stay out of trouble. Still others address the violence
some children experience in their own homes.
programs vary in focus and approach, but many of the most effective
have a mentoring component. This is no accident. The research is
compelling - mentoring really helps. Providing children who desperately
need it with a caring, stable adult in their lives can produce astounding
results. For example, studies show the support and guidance of a
mentor can reduce truancy by 50%. Such support and guidance increase
graduation and college enrollment rates and decrease the likelihood
of substance abuse and violent behavior. For kids already in trouble,
they reduce recidivism by an astonishing 80%.
As a result of a 1996 lawsuit versus Big Tobacco, Maryland has already
received in excess of $400 million and will continue to receive
billions more. Since the 1998 settlement, youth access to tobacco
products in Maryland has decreased by 13.5 percent. But, we are
not done. We are continuing our efforts to curb youth smoking. The
Office conducted "sting" operations in 2001 revealing
a high number of successful cigarette purchase attempts by minors,
and announced a statewide partnership with law enforcement in every
Maryland county and Baltimore City that will educate tobacco retailers
about the laws governing the sale of tobacco products to minors
and instruct them how to train their sales personnel how to comply
with the laws. Furthermore, we joined 39 other states in negotiating
a binding agreement with Walgreens requiring the national drug store
chain to comply with certain best practices to avoid selling cigarettes
to children. In December 2001, we entered into a partnership with
the University of Maryland School of Law's Center for Tobacco Regulation,
which will enable us to work cooperatively to combat this major
health crisis. Download a
PDF copy of the Tobacco Retailers Guide to Reducing Youth Access
to Tobacco Products(96KB, 12 pages).
about the Attorney General's
Program to Reduce Youth Access to Tobacco.