MD Gov To Close Baltimore Jail, Troubled Civil War-Era Facility


Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan plans to announce the closure of the Baltimore City Detention Center today, the Baltimore Sun reports. It was not immediately clear when the jail would be shut down or where prisoners would be transported. Last month, the American Civil Liberties Union and Public Justice Center called on a federal judge to reopen a lawsuit against the state of Maryland over what they described in court documents as a facility so substandard that it brings “shame to his city.” In response, Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Secretary Stephen Moyer said he was committed to making changes. He also pointed out that the state has spent more than $58 million to improve the safety and security of inmates and staff over the past 10 years.

The Civil War-era jail was taken over by the state in 1991, and has a history of corruption and violence. In 2013, federal and state authorities announced dozens of indictments of inmates and corrections officers on allegations of widespread corruption directed by the Black Guerrilla Family gang. The jail is part of a larger complex of corrections facilities east of downtown Baltimore, including the Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center and the Chesapeake Detention Facility, formerly known as Supermax. After the federal indictments, a state commission endorsed a half-billion dollar plan to knock down the jail and rebuild it. Corrections officials have long pushed for a better jail, laying out designs for a 27-acre downtown jail campus at least as far back as 2004.

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