“Honor System” Of Home Monitoring Fails In Md.


Kevin Dorsey and Dennis Bowers were accused of violent crimes. A judge reduced their bails and said that if they got out of jail, they must enter private home monitoring. Neither suspect did so. The Baltimore Sun reports that no one noticed their absence until detectives were frantically searching for the pair because they were accused of committing murder while the court believed they were being monitored. The problem appears to extend to countless suspects ordered into private home monitoring as a condition for bail, a revelation that has stunned the criminal justice system. It is left to suspects and their defense attorneys to register for monitoring with private companies. If they don’t follow through, nobody in the criminal justice system knows or bothers to check. “There is no way for us to track people who are supposed to be on private home detention,” said state corrections spokesman Mark Vernarelli. “There is no central record keeping of individuals on private home detention. Thus we do not know the number of folks who are supposed to be under private home detention.”

The Sun says that prosecutors and judges are scrambling to patch up the system they didn’t know was riddled with gaps. “If it’s an honor system, we’re not going to use it,” said Baltimore Circuit Judge John M. Glynn. “I’m not taking the word of people accused of crimes that they’re going to be on home monitoring.” City prosecutors were ordered yesterday to oppose all requests for private home monitoring. Joan Cadden, chairman of the public safety subcommittee of the state House Appropriations Committee, wants to determine if the problem is statewide, as company operators say it might be. “It’s incredible,” Cadden said. “It’s an example of another large hole in the criminal justice system in Baltimore City.”

Link: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/crime/bal-te.md.monitor15oct15,1,7789907.story?coll=bal-local-

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