Private Prisons In The State Of Maryland

Private Prisons In The State Of Maryland
Private Prisons In The State Of Maryland

The state of Maryland used to operate one private prison named Jessup Correctional Institution. However, this facility is no longer functioning since 2014.

The state of Maryland has a specific policy of not contracting with private companies. Therefore, the probability of Maryland having private prisons in the future is close to none.

However, the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) runs the state's prison system. The DPSCS runs 24 correctional institutions, as well as the Patuxent Institution, which provides specialized treatment.

It also runs the Central Booking and Intake Centre, the Baltimore Pretrial Complex, and the Baltimore Youth Detention Centre.

Jessup Correctional Institution

Jessup Correctional Institution (JCI) is a maximum security prison in Jessup, Maryland. The facility is run by the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. The facility was previously known as the Maryland House of Correction-Annex.

An assessment of the state's prison system revealed that the private jail was not offering the same level of security and services as the state-run prisons, prompting the decision to close the Jessup Correctional Institution.

The investigation also discovered that private jails were more expensive to administer than state-operated prisons.

The Institution's shutdown was a success for campaigners who have long claimed that private prisons are not in the public's best interests. They say that private prisons are more prone than state-run prisons to cut corners on security and services to save money and that they are less accountable to the public.

The collapse of the Jessup Correctional Institution indicates that public opinion in the United States is moving against private prisons. Private prisons have faced significant public criticism in recent years, and many jurisdictions have moved to phase them out.

It remains to be seen if Maryland will follow suit, but the institution's shutdown is a positive start.

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Educational Services

Jessup Correctional Institution offers a college program named Prison Scholars Program. This program is run by Joshua Miller. In addition, many of the courses offered by the JCI Prison Scholars Programme are philosophical.

A chapter in "The Beautiful Prison" examines a philosophy course taught by Loyola University Professor Drew Leder and the academics at JCI. The title of the chapter is The Enlightened Prison: Drew Leder and the Jessup Correctional Institution Scholars.

Furthermore, the University of Baltimore has been offering bachelor's degrees to JCI prisoners since 2016 Community Studies and Civic Engagement.

This program is a component of the Second Chance Pell Experiment, which includes 66 additional colleges. However, the University of Baltimore is the first to put the program into action.

Prominent Incidents At Jessup Correctional Institution

  • A guy serving a life sentence at JCI named Kelvin Poke escaped from a local hospital in 2008 and was slain by police.
  • A guy murdered his cellmate in 2012 and subsequently pled guilty to the crime.
  • Three correctional employees were placed on administrative leave in 2015 after a prisoner was discovered dead inside a steaming cell. After an outbreak of an illness, visits were halted. Also, a former JCI guard is being investigated for shootings in Maryland.
  • In the F building in August 2016, an inmate was stabbed to death by other convicts. Officers arrived at a fight report at 10 a.m. and discovered the victim, John A. O'Sullivan, on the floor with several stab and puncture wounds.

Why Does Maryland Not Have Private Prisons?

Public Opposition

In Maryland, there is significant popular opposition to private prisons. Many individuals assume that to save money, private prisons are more inclined to cut shortcuts on security and services.

In addition, they argue that private jails are less responsible to the public than state-run prisons.

Expense Of Private Prison

According to research conducted by the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, private prisons are more expensive to manage than state-run prisons.

This is because private prisons must earn a profit, which means they must charge the state more money.

Safety Concerns

Private prisons have had several high-profile incidents, including escapes, riots, and assaults on personnel. These instances have prompted worries regarding the safety of private jail inmates and their staff.

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Things To Know About Maryland Prison System

  • According to the Division of Correction, the average daily count of sentenced inmates was 15,561.
  • The state of Maryland also administers sentencing alternatives to incarceration programs, such as boot camps, day reporting, intensive supervision, and home detention.
  • Inmates are given the option to work to alleviate jail idleness and increase their employability when they are released.
  • Offenders are employed and trained by the Maryland Correctional Enterprises, a state agency, in various programs, such as the Meat Apprenticeship Program, the Computer-Aided Design and Drafting Program, and the Forklift Training Program.
  • Maryland Correctional Enterprises ranked ninth in sales as well as eighth in inmate employment, according to National Correctional Industries Association Directory.
  • Offenders can leverage correctional educational programs and participate in programs through partnerships with Anne Arundel Community College Wor-Wic Community College, Hagerstown Community College, and Goucher College.
  • The Department of Juvenile Services cares for and treats young people who have breached the law or who have been determined to be a threat to themselves or others.
  • Victims of crimes in Maryland are provided with a variety of services throughout the criminal justice system, including notification of the status of cases in criminal court, pretrial conferences, court accompaniment, and crisis intervention.

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