Report makes recommendations to improve Baltimore City Detention Center following indictments
5:32 PM, Dec 11, 2013
5:33 PM, Dec 11, 2013
Full- body screening, cell-phone sniffing dogs and technology to block telephone signals are just some of the recommendations suggested by the legislative commission charged with addressing the rampant security problems at the Baltimore City Detention Center.
"What we still have to do is root out the people who are still there," said Delegate John W.E. Cluster, Jr. (R-Baltimore County), "The one report said there were about 75 percent of the correctional officers just in the BCDC are bringing in contraband. So we have to root them out."
Over the next decade, the state wants to replace the outdated facilities, which house men, woman and children many of whom are awaiting trial.
In the meantime, the commission recommends sending the most violent ones to other more-secure facilities.
As for the guards, lawmakers say the detention center is terribly undermanned, and polygraph tests may be needed to insure new hires don't have ties to gangs.
Gov. Martin O'Malley addressed the commission before it gave final consideration to its report defending the job Public Safety and Corrections Secretary Gary Maynard has done.
Maynard announced his resignation Tuesday in advance of the findings.
"He's surely been a mentor to all of us in the O'Malley/Brown administration; not only doing his primary job, doing it well and doing it fearlessly and with the courage to even be the goat for a couple of months it that would advance the common good and the mission," O'Malley said.
Some of the recommendations are reliant on other branches of government.
One of the problems at the detention center, for instance, is pre-trial detainees stay there too long, but if the courts can't deliver trials in a more timely manner, it will be a tough problem to solve.