Baltimore Jail Corruption Scandal Linked to Hiring of Young Guards


A scandal at the Baltimore City Detention Center, where 13 female guards were indicted in April for essentially handing over control of the jail to gang members, may be partly the legacy of a short-lived state experiment of hiring corrections officers as young as 18, says the Washington Post. Seven of officers accused of smuggling drugs and cellphones for the Black Guerilla Family were barely out of high school when they became corrections officers.

Youth and inexperience may have marked some officers as easier prey for the highly organized prison gang, corrections experts said, thus adding age to a broken disciplinary system, ineffective training and poor supervision as factors making the detention center fertile ground for corruption. In 2002, Maryland lowered the hiring age from 21 to 18 for guards, and a number of county jails in Maryland still hire officers younger than 21.

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