Maryland corrections secretary Stephen Moyer has a reform agenda beyond closing the Baltimore City Detention Center, the Baltimore Sun reports. Speaking of the now-closed facility, Moyer says, “I could barely stomach it. Prison isn’t a good place for anybody, but people deserve better conditions than what that building offered. It was time for this place to go.” Now he plans to toughen the way employees are disciplined and clean up a lax culture of employee discipline in the corrections system. Moyer said more than 250 employees have been arrested and charged with a crime since January 2013, but more than 200 of them are still employed. The charges include assault, driving under the influence and having sexual relations with an inmate.
Moyer ordered the review after two Baltimore correctional officers were charged with looting a downtown convenience store during unrest over the death of Freddie Gray. He asked his staff to review how many employees had been arrested or charged with crimes and was surprised to learn there were hundreds of such cases. “I don’t want them working here,” he said yesterday. A spokesman for the agency called the number “troubling” in an agency with 11,000 employees. “The sheer numbers of arrests, and the fact that many of these employees are still working, indicates that the way things have been done is not working,” said the spokesman. “The Secretary wants to know where the breakdowns have been. This illustrates the need to reform and streamline the [human resources] process.” Moyer also wants to expedite tearing down the detention center and other uninhabitable parts of the Baltimore corrections complex.