Major Overhaul Coming to Baltimore Jail

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This week, the ACLU and other civil liberties groups reached a settlement with the state of Maryland that will lead to major improvements at the scandal-plagued Baltimore City Detention Center.

The settlement comes as a response to a class-action lawsuit against the state that alleged that the “filthy” jail had serious problems with its health care system, including a slow or non-existent response to inmate emergencies, inadequate psychiatric care, and other serious concerns.

This summer, Governor Larry Hogan ordered part of the jail closed, and more than 750 inmates were transferred elsewhere — but at least 1,000 still remain in the complex, which comprises a dozen buildings in downtown Baltimore. The settlement requires the state “to overhaul the jail’s health care system and make major improvements to the facilities, including accommodations for people with disabilities.”

Previous court orders about improving conditions at the jail haven’t exactly resulted in positive changes. This time around, though, progress will be assessed by independent monitors — which will hopefully ensure that the job gets done right.

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