Maryland governor to shut Baltimore's troubled jail -report

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 30, 2015 10:29 AM

(Reuters) - Maryland Governor Larry Hogan will announce the closing of Baltimore's troubled jail, the target of legal action over squalid conditions, the Baltimore Sun reported on Thursday.

Hogan, a Republican, will make the announcement in Baltimore on Thursday afternoon, the newspaper reported, citing unnamed local and law enforcement officials.

The Baltimore City Detention Center, the city's only jail, is the target of legal action by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Public Justice Center, an activist group.

They asked a federal judge last month to reopen a lawsuit against Maryland over conditions at the jail. Seven inmates have died at the vermin-ridden facility in the past 2-1/2 years, possibly due to lack of medical care, the motion said.

Shuttering the jail would come as the criminal justice system in Baltimore is under scrutiny. Six officers have been charged in the April death of a black man from injuries suffered while in police custody. His death led to protests and rioting.

In 2012, investigators found that a drug-dealing gang leader had impregnated four guards at the Baltimore jail while being held there.

The Baltimore Sun said it was unclear when the jail would be shut down or where prisoners would be transported. A spokeswoman for Hogan had no comment on the report.

The detention center holds about 2,500 prisoners, according to the motion by the ACLU and the Public Justice Center.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Will Dunham)