Baltimore Plots Fixes On Its Booking Overload


Leaders of Baltimore’s criminal justice system weighed proposals yesterday to end gridlock at a central booking center, reports the Baltimore Sun. One plan would allow police to arrest fewer suspects on minor charges. Other ideas include fixing outdated technology at the state-run facility, adding a supervisor to oversee the booking process, and doing quicker warrant checks on suspects. “People brought some creative solutions to the table,” said Natalie Finegar, of the public defender’s office. “These solutions are going to take a little while to implement, so I don’t think we have immediate relief in sight.”

The state officials who run the booking agency are under a temporary court order to release all suspects who don’t receive a court hearing within a day of being arrested. The court order resulted in the release of 22 suspects Tuesday. Police said they could reduce the number of people arrested on minor charges if they gained access to the state’s fingerprint database. That would reduce the flow into the facility, which was built to handle about 60,000 bookings a year but had more than 100,000 last year.


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