Annapolis – Today, members of the House Republican Caucus condemned the O’Malley/Brrown Administration and Democratic Leadership in the Maryland General Assembly for their failure to address the corruption in the state’s correctional facilities.
“Republican members of the House of Delegates are disappointed in the lack of action and response by the Administration and Democratic leaders in the General Assembly in addressing the conditions that led to rampant corruption and a Federal indictment,” said House Minority Leader Nicholaus Kipke. “While the Governor may see this as a ‘very positive achievement’ for the state, we see great cause for alarm.”
Corruption in Maryland’s correctional system has been endemic throughout the O’Malley/Brown Administration and has yet to be addressed, despite efforts of Republican legislators working with public safety and law enforcement at the state and local levels.
“In the 2008 and 2009 session, I proposed legislation to create a substance abuse treatment program that would have redirected many gang members away from their daily drug dealing and into treatment programs,” said Delegate Ron George of Anne Arundel County. “This bill was supported by the Secretary of Public Safety and Correctional Services as a way to rehabilitate inmates and reduce drug dealing within correctional facilities, but was ignored by Democratic leaders.”
Since 2010, legislation to strengthen penalties for transportation and possession of cell phones in correctional facilities has been before the House Judiciary Committee, but has been defeated by Democratic leadership for the past four years.
Delegate John Cluster of Baltimore County, sponsor of the legislation in 2013 said, “The Administration and Democratic leaders again defeated a bill that could have prevented or mitigated the latest prison scandal. Members of the House Judiciary Committee were presented with evidence illustrating the serious issue of cell phone possession in jails long before the Federal indictment was issued.”
This compelling evidence included a photograph of Black Guerrilla Family Founder, Ray Alevas, talking on a cell phone with top Maryland Black Guerrilla Family member, Eric Brown. This photo was taken in prison on a cell phone camera by another inmate.”Despite the evidence and the support of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, the State’s Attorney’s Office and the Baltimore City Police Department; Democratic leaders killed the bill,” continued Cluster.”House Republicans are disappointed by inaction on this issue. It took days to hear from the Administration and hearings to address this scandal have been pushed off until next month,” said Kipke. “We encourage the Legislative Policy Committee to conduct a full investigation into all state correctional facilities that will identify ways we can work together to finally take action. While prison reform may not be a hot issue for a Presidential campaign, it must be a priority for the State of Maryland.”Click here for a PDF of the official press release.
More Articles On the Unfolding of the Prison Scandal
WJZ CBS Baltimore: Md. Lawmaker Wants Tougher Penalties For Inmates Amid Prison Scandal
Washington Post: Md. Republicans call for independent investigators for state prisons