The shocking level of corruption within the Baltimore City Detention Center that has recently come to light is outrageous to say the least. And two figures who should be exhibiting some level of shame over their ineffectuality in the matter — Gov. Martin O’Malley and corrections chief Gary D. Maynard — have had the audacity to try to transform egg on their face to a feather in their cap, patting themselves on the back for the level of co-operation between state and federal agencies in the course of the investigation.
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Whenever someone shines a light on corruption, those at the top of the offending entity make promises to investigate, to punish those responsible, and to change protocols to make sure this kind of thing never happens again. But sometimes the scandal is so completely beyond the pale that the standard mea culpas can only come off as absurd.
Such is the case with the current local prison scandal, in which 13 corrections officers helped incarcerated gang members traffic drugs and gain access to contraband, in which four corrections officers bore children by inmate and alleged gang leader Tavon White, in which the Baltimore City Detention Center was effectively under the control of the Black Guerrilla Family.
But what can the powers that be do? Well, for one, they’ve decided to fire the security chief at the BCDC, because, you know, Gov. Martin O’Malley has “zero tolerance for any type of integrity lapses or corruption.” Yeah, sure, zero tolerance. “Zero tolerance” is when you kick kids off sports teams for drinking underage. Firing the head of security after years of inmates literally running the asylum is just called “Duh.”
But mostly this thing is just too much of a buzzkill for the governor to deal with right now. So he’s leaving most of the work to corrections chief Gary D. Maynard, who has promised to run “integrity reviews” of all detention center staff, and that’s cool. But nothing short of razing the prison to the ground and then salting the earth will be commensurate with the scope of this scandal.