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State Lawmakers Tour Baltimore Jail

Mary Rose Madden

State lawmakers toured Baltimore’s decrepit jail today and said its condition was even worse than they imagined.

Since the corruption scandal erupted at the Baltimore City Detention Center this spring, the age and size of the facility have been blamed along with its constantly roiling inmate population. Even so, Senator Chris Shank was one of several state lawmakers who said sight of it came as a shock.

“To walk into a facility that was built pre-civil war, and looking at the condition of the facility, I don’t mean this in a derogatory way to the division of Correction, but it’s a very old building,” he said.

But as a special joint committee shapes its recommendations for upgrading security at the jail, co-chairman Delegate Guy Guzzone suggested replacing it is not an option. The reality is this is biggest facility the state has,” he said. “There’s 3,000 detainees here.  And to try to recreate that somewhere else and do it in a completely modern way, I think the costs are really probably prohibitive.”