Ron George on Prison Scandal Prevention

May 11, 2013

RON GEORGE, HAD INTRODUCED BILLS IN 2008 AND 2009 THAT WOULD HAVE CREATED AN ENVIRONMENT WHICH WOULD HAVE PREVENTED THE RECENT BALTIMORE CITY PRISON SCANDAL.

His “RESIDENTIAL SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT PROGRAM”  bills would have redirected many of the Black Guerilla gang members away from their daily drug dealing and into programs that could have treated their substance abuse and exposed their gang activity.

“I had proposed a solution that truly rehabilitates inmates at little cost to the state,” said delegate George, “and they apparently did not accept it because, apparently, the ones overseeing the inmates were just as corrupt. Our prisons need to be ones that rehabilitate, not ones that exacerbate criminal behavior.”

Residential Programs for Substance Abuse Treatment for local correctional facilities aids in the creation of a substance abuse treatment plan in prisons along with educational courses, financial literacy courses and management plans for the inmate population. Delegate George found federal government grant money that was put aside for this purpose lessening any cost to the state. When resistance came from the prisons, Mr. George changed the bills for just Anne Arundel County as a test pilot to prove this would work here as in other States. Yet the resistance from the Baltimore Detention Center did not stop.

Gary Maynard, Secretary of Public Safety and Correctional Services voiced support in a letter to Mr. George saying, “I applaud efforts such as yours to visualize a solution to these and many other issues.” Despite recognizing this need for reform, the state refused to implement Delegate George’s proposals.

According to the indictment, Baltimore City Detention correctional officers smuggled in cellphones, alcohol, and drugs for members of the Black Guerilla Family gang and even had sex with them. “The Baltimore facility was totally against my bills,” said Delegate George. “Most inmates will one day be released.”

The BCDC serves as the jail for Baltimore City; however it is financed and managed by the state under Governor Martin O’Malley’s control. Governor O’Malley even went as far as to call this a, “very positive achievement” in an interview with WBAL.

This is not the first prison scandal under Martin O’Malley’s tenure as governor. In 2009, a similar scandal like this occurred shortly after he began his first term as governor.

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