Maryland legislators have expressed outrage that state corrections employees in Baltimore were regularly tapping into prisoner accounts for their own use, one of several major problems uncovered in a state audit that has been referred to the attorney general’s office for further investigation, reports the Baltimore Sun. “This is inmates’ money, and it’s like a giant ATM,” said Steven DeBoy Sr., House chairman of the legislative committee that reviews audits. “If people are stealing, we need to get them out of state service and prosecute them.”
Corrections officials said they had instituted several reforms and fired five employees. “Looking at this audit, it’s horrendous, some of the things that occurred,” said Gary D. Maynard, secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections. The audit found that at five Baltimore sites in the state prison system, some employees had easy access to blank checks and the signature plates needed to authorize checks drawn on the public account with no supervisory oversight; and perhaps as a result of those gaps, could not account for tens of thousands of dollars in missing funds. The report disclosed that some prison employees were drawing money from the inmate account to pay salary advances.