The Baltimore Jail Hearing: A Political Gimmick

Do you remember back in 2007, when the democratically controlled State Legislature called a hearing regarding then Governor Martin O’Malley’s closure of the Jessup Detention Center?


I don’t remember that hearing, either.


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That’s because such a hearing never took place.


But for some reason, Democratic House Speaker Michael Busch and others in Annapolis decided that Governor Hogan’s closure of the deeply flawed and corrupt Baltimore Detention Center last summer deserved a hearing.


When Governor Larry Hogan closed the jail, it was seen as the end of an embarrassing chapter for Baltimore City and for Maryland.


However, a number of legislators in Annapolis decided to bring the Baltimore Detention Center back from the graveyard.


Yesterday a hearing was held in Annapolis to review the jail’s closure.


But why would the Legislature feel the need to hold a hearing for an action that seemed to be such an obviously good decision for Baltimore and Maryland taxpayers?


The Baltimore Detention Center, a Civil War-era building, was not only falling apart, but it was the epicenter of a major jail scandal during the O’Malley administration, involving both gang members and jail employees. Investigations revealed that a certain gang leader had sexual relations with female guards, resulting in a number of pregnancies, as well as a drug and cell phone smuggling operation from within the center.


Additionally, the conditions of the deteriorating and aged facility may have played a role in the deaths of several inmates.


Having the Democratically controlled Legislature hold a hearing on the closure of such a disgusting jail raises questions as to whether the Democratic Party is really the criminal justice reform party that it claims to be.


However, there are a couple of other reasons as to why such a hearing was held, both of which I hope are not true.  But with some status quo politicians still out there, one can’t be too sure.


Given all of the hard work and dedication that Governor Hogan has given to Baltimore—a City run for decades by Democrats and their failed policies—let’s hope that bitter politicos in both Baltimore and Annapolis—perhaps upset for what they may see as being outshined by someone as committed and direct as the Governor, are not somehow trying to unfairly and dishonestly smear Mr. Hogan.


Additionally, it has been the goal of some selfish and less than sincere former and current public officials  to attempt to curtail Governor Hogan’s term since the results poured in on Election Night 2014.  Such individuals—living off of crooked motives of ambition and revenge—should have no place in serving a State that is trying to move forward.


When all is said and done, Governor Hogan’s desire to close the Baltimore Detention Center and to leave it in the past, compared to the politically motivated desire of some status quo politicians to bring back the issue, will send a clear message as to who really wants to move Maryland forward.

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