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‘Supermax’ no more: Maryland Correctional Adjustment Center now officially Chesapeake Detention Facility


photo1April 5, 2012 - When the facility’s sharply-dressed Honor Guard pulled back the long drape in front of the imposing onetime ‘Supermax’ prison on April 4, it officially marked the end of an era: The Maryland Correctional Adjustment Center (MCAC) will now officially be Chesapeake Detention Facility.

The former MCAC was built during a time when criminal justice systems everywhere were dealing with an explosion of crack-cocaine-fueled violence. Its austere secure confinement led to its widely-used nickname.

MCAC officially became part of the U.S. Marshal’s Service pre-trial confinement system over a year ago, after exhaustive discussions between the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) and federal officials over how to solve two pressing needs: inadequate bed space for people awaiting federal trial in Maryland, and not enough space for minimum-security inmates in State prisons.

NCVRW Open House flyerThe Marshal’s Service had long used part of MCAC, but needed more space. Eventually, thanks to exhaustive effort by DSPCS leadership and many state and federal criminal justice and judicial partners, DPSCS moved all State-sentenced inmates out, turning the entire facility over to the feds.

The agreement worked out keeps DPSCS personnel running the former Supermax, but with the federal government helping to pay their salaries and also giving a substantial amount of money to help DPSCS build two minimum-security facilities in Jessup.

On April 4, the years-long collaboration was celebrated with the actual renaming of MCAC. From now on, it’s the Chesapeake Detention Facility, a great example of state and federal partnership working to solve tough correctional issues.