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Role Of Women As Jail Guards Questioned

Mary Rose Madden

A General Assembly commission kicked off today what promises to be a difficult review of policies and practices that lead to a corruption scandal at the Baltimore City Detention Center.

Legislators raised a number of issues with Maryland Secretary of Public Safety & Correctional Services Gary Maynard.  But perhaps none was more personal than Delegate Barbara Robinson’s query about whether it makes sense that 60 percent or more of the guards at a men’s jail are women. Maynard said the 13 female guards indicted, including four who were impregnated by the same inmate, were the exception. “That’s a small number that doesn’t take into account that balance of the women working in those facilities doing a great job,” Maynard told the commission.

But Robinson, who worked at the detention center 25 years ago as an instructor, wasn’t buying it. “I beg to differ with you,” she said.   “I taught there for seven years, so I saw the fraternizing and the frequency.  It may be a small number that got caught. But that’s not a small number that’s happening there.”

Robinson is urging a new look at the practice.  The commission plans to tour the detention center next month.