Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley says he would expand the use of technology to block cell phone calls in Maryland corrections facilities, part of a set of reforms designed to “root out corruption” after a federal indictment alleged widespread gang activity at the Baltimore City Detention Center, the Baltimore Sun reports. O’Malley also called for a review of whether enhanced workplace protections for corrections officers helped dishonest workers stay on the job, and said polygraph tests would continue to be administered to jail employees.
The announcement came as state Republican leaders criticized his response to the alleged corruption and called for an independent audit of jails and prisons. The statements continued a political back-and-forth after the indictment of 13 officers and a dozen alleged Black Guerrilla Family gang members in a scheme to smuggle drugs, cellphones, and other contraband into the jail, a state-run facility. The federal indictment has become a potentially embarrassing national story at a time when O’Malley is considering a presidential run. House Republicans said O’Malley had missed opportunities to act before the scandal broke and has been slow to move after the allegations became public. He initially called the indictment “a positive development” that showed that law enforcement could tackle corruption.