Maryland has permanently shuttered the Baltimore City Detention Center after years of rampant corruption and criminal activity inside the jail, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said Tuesday.
“The final closure of this detention center removes a stain on the reputation of our state and Maryland’s correctional system,” Hogan said in a statement. “For years, corruption, criminal activity, and deplorable conditions have plagued this facility, but that ends today.”
The state began transferring the jail’s 1,000 inmates on July 30, and the last of the inmates have now been moved to other facilities. The detention center’s 772 employees will all be transferred to other jails.
Though Hogan said criminal activity had plagued the facility for years, the most shocking allegations of corruption came in April 2013, when an indictment against 13 former corrections officers there was unsealed.
Prosecutors claimed guards let members of theBlack Guerrilla Family(BGF)prison gang terrorize their jails and break the law behind bars. The guards were indicted for racketeering along with seven inmates, including the gang’s alleged ring leader, Tavon White, according to the 44-page indictment.
The Black Guerrilla Family gangsters allegedly bribed prison guards to bring them mobile phones and other contraband necessary to launder money and deal drugs from behind prison walls.
White also allegedly seduced several female guards in the Baltimore City Detention Center, impregnating four of them.
By allegedly bribing and sometimes wooing guards, BGF members were able essentially to rule the facility that was supposed to be guarding them. In one call made from the BDCC, White allegedly said, “This is my jail. You understand that? I’m dead serious….I make every final call in this jail.”
The jail was made even more perilous by its shoddy construction, according to Hogan.
“The Baltimore City Men’s Detention center is a patchwork maze of a dozen buildings that dates to the 1850s and has been added onto many times over the years, including 11 renovations,” the governor’s office said in a press release. “The facility’s age far pre-dates modern penal facility standards and best practices that make its blind corners, dark corridors, and other hazardous conditions extremely dangerous.”
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