Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Maryland Prison Secretly Closed

Citing inefficiency and concern over employee safety, state officials closed a 128-year-old maximum security prison on Saturday after secretly moving its inmates to other prisons over the past few weeks, according to a newspaper report.

Public Safety and Correctional Services Secretary Gary D. Maynard said he began working on plans to close the Maryland House of Correction in Jessup hours after a correctional officer, Edouardo F. Edouazin, was stabbed there on March 2, the (Baltimore) Sun reported Sunday.

Edouazin lived, but others involved in attacks at the prison haven't been so lucky. Last summer, three prisoners were killed and a guard was stabbed to death by two inmates.

"The House of Correction was one of the worst in terms of officer safety and efficiency of operation," Maynard said. "You can't put enough officers here to make it safe."

Over the last two weeks, inmates were secretly moved in groups of 15 to 40 in vans and buses during the day, said John A. Rowley, acting commissioner of the Division of Correction. Inmates weren't told until the morning of their move that they were leaving, and they weren't told where they were going, officials said.

The last few dozen of the 842 inmates the prison had housed were to be moved Saturday. Most went to other facilities in Maryland, but 97 of the "most disruptive" inmates went to federal prisons across the country or state facilities in Kentucky and Virginia, officials said. AP Article here

1 comment:

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

The headline focuses on secrecy, but surely, this has to be a remarkable piece of good faith by the government, in admitting the existence of and dealing with a catastrophically bad situation, rather than ignoring it, which is the status quo.

Presumably, the secrecy was not intended to be long term (how do you keep a secret that big for long) and was merely designed to obtain operational security in the context of an unprecedented record number of prison transfers in a short period of time.