Cumberland Times-News

Local News

May 10, 2013

Lawmaker: Demolish, replace troubled detention center

Lockup has been under scrutiny since indictments that included 15 corrections officers

BALTIMORE — The Baltimore City Detention Center, built in the Civil War era, needs to be demolished and replaced, a lawmaker who toured the jail with a small group of Republican legislators said Friday.

The lockup has been under scrutiny since last month when federal officials announced the indictment of 25 people — including 13 female correctional officers — in a conspiracy to bring in drugs, cellphones and other contraband. The ring involved sex between inmates and guards that resulted in four of the officers becoming pregnant, one of them twice, by Tavon White, leader of a gang called the Black Guerilla Family.

Delegate Nicholaus Kipke, R-Anne Arundel, and other lawmakers described it as a long-outdated facility with a variety of problems that make it harder to manage the busy traffic of detainees, their visiting family members and attorneys. They cited cell doors that don’t open because the ground has shifted. They also noted there is too much close contact between correctional officers and detainees. They said full body scans are needed, not just metal detectors, to prevent contraband from entering the facility.

“It would cost about $300 million,” Kipke said, noting the estimated cost of building a new facility. “It’s in the long-term plan for corrections. They’ve been asking the governor to fund that, and we think it’s essential. You can’t have cells, for example, where the doors have to be opened by a guard. You have to have it computerized so that there’s less contact between guards and prisoners.”

Participants in Friday’s tour included Delegates John Cluster, R-Baltimore County; Michael Hough, R-Frederick; Michael Smigiel, R-Cecil; and Sen. E.J. Pipkin, R-Cecil. They met with Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Secretary Gary Maynard, who has moved his office to the detention center to conduct a thorough investigation.

Gov. Martin O’Malley announced a variety of reforms this week, including the installation of new technology that blocks inmates’ ability to use contraband cellphones from correctional institutions. The governor also said he will urge lawmakers to pass a measure to make smuggling a cellphone into a correctional institute a felony punishable by additional jail time.

Text Only
Local News
  • Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds

    After you drive Alexander and Furnace streets then navigate a couple of switchbacks on Cemetery Road, you’d figure there would be no more uphill.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Proposed county budget holds most agencies flat

    After taking into account an income tax shortfall, Allegany County Finance Director Jason Bennett said he’ll propose a budget that holds most outside agencies to flat funding and funds the Board of Education at what county officials say are maintenence of effort levels for 2015.

    April 17, 2014

  • RYAN WOLF Wolf named 2014-15 Garrett Teacher of the Year

    Southern Garrett High School teacher Ryan Wolf has been named the 2014-15 Garrett County Teacher of the Year.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock

    While giving a civics lesson at Frostburg State University on Thursday, U.S. Rep. John Delaney, congressman from Maryland’s sixth district, told students that the polarization in Congress is due primarily to redistricting and a poorly designed Congressional schedule.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fourmile Ridge wind project approved, moves forward

    The Federal Aviation Administration has approved the Fourmile Ridge wind project in eastern Garrett County and site preparation started April 7, according to Frank Maisano, a wind industry spokesman. The current notice listed on the FAA website for the project is for a small change in turbine location.

    April 17, 2014

  • Oakland back to normal after toppled tanker closes business district

    The town of Oakland returned to normal activities Thursday, one day after a tanker full of liquid propane overturned in the heart of the business district.
    Shortly after 8 p.m. Wednesday the toppled tanker was removed and its 10,000-gallon load transferred to another tanker.

    April 17, 2014

  • Students back Southern Middle School renovation

    Students from both Southern and Northern middle schools presented a list of reasons why Southern Middle needs to be renovated during the Garrett County Commission meeting Tuesday.

    April 17, 2014

  • Trial run Trial run

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 72nd anniversary of Doolittle Raid on Tokyo 72nd anniversary of Doolittle Raid on Tokyo

    Friday, April 18, has another special meaning for me besides Good Friday.
    April 18, 1942, proved to be a pivotal day for American morale, following the deadly air attack and destruction conceived and executed by Japanese Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lara Courrier seeks re-appointment to Mineral school board

    I, Lara Courrier, am seeking re-election to the Mineral County Board of Education to continue the work I’ve done the last four years. Having served as a school counselor at the Burlington Center School and the Chick Buckbee Juvenile Center for nearly six years, as well as approximately 20 years total working with children, I have insight into the needs of kids and the importance of the actions of the school board. Having three sons and several nieces and nephews in Mineral County schools, I have an added incentive to continue to work hard to ensure the efficient running of our school system. 

    April 17, 2014

Must Read
News related video