WASHINGTON - Maryland Governor Larry Hogan today announced that the state will close the Men’s Detention Center, a facility within the Baltimore city jail system whose infrastructure is crumbling and infested with vermin. In June, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Law Offices of Elizabeth Alexander, and the Public Justice Center filed a motion to reopen Duvall v. Hogan, a federal court case challenging unconstitutional conditions at the Men’s Detention Center and three other facilities that make up the city’s jail system.
The State of Maryland already moves convicts quickly from Baltimore to prisons in the Western counties of the state or over on the Eastern Shore. Both safe, majority white conservative areas. Here no riots are likely to liberate prisoners, a la Bastille. And also the prisoners, while disenfranchised still swell the census for these areas, increasing their representation in both Annapolis and Washington.
The prisons also provide employment in areas whose major industry would otherwise be meth labs.
All this is very good for Governor Hogan’s Republicans.
We should move the detainees to these facilities and hold their trials electronically. This would avoid having to build a new prison and also still further increase the population of these good Republican districts.