DPSCS and Federal Officials Announce Partnership at Maryland Correctional Adjustment Center

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Towson, MD (February 8, 2011)--- The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) and federal officials, including the U.S. Marshals Service, today officially announced a partnership related to the new mission and use of the Maryland Correctional Adjustment Center (MCAC) on East Madison St. in Baltimore.

An agreement between DPSCS and federal officials, signed in September 2010, calls for DPSCS to continue to staff and manage MCAC for the U.S. Marshals Service. The facility now houses only federal pre-trial detainees under the supervision of the Marshals Service; no Maryland State inmates or detainees are housed there.

The move to federal detention center status for MCAC solves two longstanding correctional issues in Maryland: not enough pretrial housing for federal detainees, and a shortage of beds for state inmates who are nearing release.

For years, the U.S. Marshals Service has struggled with a shortage of pretrial housing in Maryland for detainees headed to trial in federal court here---and had no facility of its own in Baltimore. The Marshals Service has been leasing space at MCAC for several years, housing its detainees who needed to be near the Baltimore federal courthouse in the same building as Maryland Division of Correction inmates.

At the same time, the Maryland Division of Correction has been trying to expand bed space for a segment of its own inmate population: the rapidly-growing number of inmates who are nearing release back to society.

Under this agreement, in exchange for allowing the Marshals to use the entire MCAC facility, the Office of the Federal Detention Trustee will pay the salaries of DPSCS personnel who will continue to operate MCAC for the government. And the federal agency will provide $20 million to offset the cost of DPSCS building two new minimum-security correctional facilities on land in Jessup which already is home to five other DPSCS correctional facilities.

These new facilities will allow DPSCS to make up for the loss of MCAC beds, as well as add new minimum-security housing. Minimum-security inmates (those close to release) comprise the fastest-growing segment of the DPSCS inmate population, and this fact has been a source of concern for some time.

“The arrangement represents smart government and good partnerships,” said DPSCS Secretary Gary Maynard. “Multiple agencies benefit, and taxpayers will not have to pay the entire bill for desperately-needed minimum-security bed space. We’re using an existing building and land we already own and have other correctional facilities on to help two agencies solve big problems.”

Federal judges, the U.S. Attorney for Maryland, and the federal public defender all praised the arrangement today as being good for all parties, including the detainees, who will have access to legal counsel in a location within a short drive of the federal courthouse in which their cases will be heard.

Among those in attendance today were key stakeholders in the U.S. Marshals Service, including that agency’s Director, Stacia Hylton, and Johnny Hughes, the U.S. Marshal for Maryland; federal judges; state and local criminal justice leaders; U.S. Attorney for Maryland Rod Rosenstein; and top DPSCS officials.

Secretary Maynard presented a ceremonial key to the MCAC facility to those who helped with the transition. He then led the group in cutting a ribbon, signifying MCAC’s new mission.

Opened in 1988 to house maximum-security inmates as crack cocaine-fueled violence exploded across the country, MCAC in recent years has served a variety of roles: as part-DOC and part-Marshals Service housing; as a regional transportation hub for inmates moving to and from Baltimore courts and medical visits; and as home to Maryland’s five death row inmates. Recently, death row inmates were moved to a maximum-security facility in Cumberland, and all other Division of Correction inmates are now also housed elsewhere.