Smart Government Partnerships Lead to New Mission for MCAC
and New Correctional Facilities
Solving two vexing correctional problems at once, the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services has used multi-agency partnerships to changethe mission of one facility and add two new facilities at the same time.
On February 8, federal judges, the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Attorney for Maryland, and DPSCS and city, state and federal criminal justice leaders came together to announce that a years-long effort has come to fruition. DPSCS has turned over use of the Maryland Correctional Adjustment Center (MCAC) in downtown Baltimore to the Marshals Service. In exchange, the federal government will pay $20 million toward the cost of building two new state correctional facilities in Jessup for minimum-security inmates.
For years, the Marshals Service has not had its own facility in Maryland in which to house pretrial detainees bound for federal court here. And DPSCS has been watching the number of soon-to-be-released inmates go up dramatically—with limited bed space for that segment of the population.
Under an agreement signed last September and formally announced today, DPSCS will continue to operate the MCAC facility, but for the Marshals Service, and with state inmates no longer housed there.
To help DPSCS make up for the loss of MCAC beds, and to accommodate the swelling minimum-security population, the federal government will give DPSCS $20 million toward the construction of two new facilities totaling 1,120 beds, to be built on correctional property in Jessup.
“This is smart government and partnerships using an existing facility and existing land that won’t impact new communities,” said DPSCS Secretary Gary Maynard.
Among those praising the arrangement today were the director of the U.S. Marshals Service, several federal judges, and the U.S. Attorney for Maryland. All received ceremonial keys to the MCAC facility, and all gathered outside to cut the ribbon, signifying the new mission of the center and celebrating the partnership.