Video: Maryland lawmakers “not surprised” by massive prison scandal

posted at 12:01 pm on April 26, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

They aren’t? They aren’t surprised that an inmate impregnated four of the prison guards and earned tens of thousands of dollars a month while incarcerated?  The FBI brought an end to Tavon White’s empire this week, taking down 13 corrections officers with it, including the mothers of White’s children, some of whom tattooed Tavon’s name on their bodies.

Good to know that Maryland lawmakers aren’t shocked by this:

The FBI says a prison gang has overrun the Baltimore City Detention Center for years. Now 25 people face federal charges.

A federal investigation into the Baltimore City Detention Center is revealing the lack of integrity and responsibility at the jail.

Senator and public defender Lisa Gladden says the drug and sex operation happening behind bars is no surprise.

“A lot of times my clients will tell me, ‘You know, they’re doing drugs over here. I know they’re doing that,’” she said.

So … what steps had Senator Gladden taken to get the BCDC cleaned up, prior to its exposure by federal investigators?  What steps had anyone taken?  WJZ points out that gang infiltration into the BCDC corrections team wasn’t exactly breaking news.  In fact, the Baltimore Sun reported that one of the guards had been “flagged for gang ties” seven years ago:

According to WJZ’s media partner, the Baltimore Sun, one of the indicted corrections officers was flagged for gang ties seven years ago, but remained on the job.

The Washington Post reported on this earlier in the week:

Thirteen female corrections officers essentially handed over control of a Baltimore jail to gang leaders, prosecutors said. The officers were charged Tuesday in a federal racketeering indictment.

The indictment described a jailhouse seemingly out of control. Four corrections officers became pregnant by one inmate. Two of them got tattoos of the inmate’s first name, Tavon — one on her neck, the other on a wrist.

The guards allegedly helped leaders of the Black Guerilla Family run their criminal enterprise in jail by smuggling cellphones, prescription pills and other contraband in their underwear, shoes and hair. One gang leader allegedly used proceeds to buy luxury cars, including a Mercedes-Benz and a BMW, which he allowed some of the officers to drive.

“The inmates literally took over ‘the asylum,’ and the detention centers became safe havens for BGF,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt, using shorthand for the prison gang’s name.

While Maryland lawmakers aren’t surprised, the FBI and federal prosecutors certainly were:

The indictment, unsealed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, puts the spotlight on the enduring power of gangs in jails and prisons. In particular, prosecutors were highly critical of Maryland’s facilities in Baltimore, with procedures and personnel that were “completely inadequate to prevent smuggling” and lacked “effective punishment.”

If this sounds familiar to Maryland citizens, well, it should.  The same exact thing happened at the state prison next door to BCDC four years ago, and the man in charge of both promised that the problem had been cleaned up:

Four years ago, Maryland’s top corrections official vowed that a scandal at a state prison in Baltimore involving violent gang activity and corrupt guards was not widespread.

But this week, Gary D. Maynard, secretary of public safety and correctional services, found himself confronting a nearly identical crisis at a detention center next door, with 13 corrections officers chargedwith helping the same Black Guerilla Family gang launder money, have sex with guards and give orders to the street. …

But Maynard’s explanation may not satisfy other Maryland officials, who are calling for a deeper investigation of the state prison system. And he hasn’t explained how his department could have missed what in some instances, according to prosecutors, amounted to blatant evidence that corruption was occurring.

The corruption scandal casts a new light on Maynard’s tenure in Maryland, which began six years ago with great promise that he would usher in badly needed reforms. It also comes at a sensitive time for his boss, Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), who is weighing a 2016 presidential bid.

And remember that guard flagged for gang ties in 2006?  It turns out that there were a lot more than just one — and that officials knew all about it:

Maynard also said he did not know that one of the corrections officers indicted this week had been the subject of a 2006 civil lawsuit brought by an inmate in federal court alleging that she left his cell door unlocked so he could be attacked by gang members and that she withheld treatment for his 32 stab wounds.

The victim’s attorney argued that the attack was part of a larger problem of gangs infiltrating the ranks of corrections officers. The guard denied colluding with inmates; the two sides settled before going to trial. The guard kept her job, despite court records showing that the victim had uncovered a confidential report prepared in 2006 by a prison intelligence unit that identified 16 guards — including the one named in the suit — with ties to gangs such as BGF.

Well, under those circumstances, no one should be surprised that corrections officers with gang ties kept working for the state — er, Tavon White.  Maryland voters should demand a housecleaning from the top down — and conduct it themselves in the next election.

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Comment pages: 1 2

Liam on April 26, 2013 at 2:05 PM

.
(bending right hand at wrist, approx 90 degrees forward) … Oh, be nice !

listens2glenn on April 26, 2013 at 2:14 PM

libfree frets more about being black and gay than do Conservatives.

Liam on April 26, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Libtardslave would have gladly serviced the gang-bangers in that jail – but as with the typical libtard, doesn’t really care about black crime VICTIMS.

dentarthurdent on April 26, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Well the all newly legalized Mexicans should feel right at home. We’re modeling their corrupt law enforcement, courts, judges and especially politicians.

bluesdoc70 on April 26, 2013 at 2:16 PM

National Bohemian was the worst God damned beer I’ve ever had.

ToddPA on April 26, 2013 at 1:51 PM

HERESY!!!!

katy the mean old lady on April 26, 2013 at 2:35 PM

You know what the great part of this is? It kills that butt-hook O’Malley’s chances at being president. All this stuff–gun control, gas tax, rain tax, high crime rates, corruption–it’s just fodder for anyone who’ going to run against him.

And O’Malley’s too stupid to realize it.

Jeez, I hope Hillary doesn’t run. That way we can get a dream ticket of O’Malley and Cuomo to run against! There’s enough crazy there for four years worth of negative ads!

PetecminMd on April 26, 2013 at 3:11 PM

National Bohemian was the worst God damned beer I’ve ever had.

ToddPA on April 26, 2013 at 1:51 PM

HERESY!!!!

katy the mean old lady on April 26, 2013 at 2:35 PM

O.K., I take that back,

Piels Real Draft….BLEEEEEEEECKKK!!

ToddPA on April 26, 2013 at 3:27 PM

Well, it is a blue state.

Ward Cleaver on April 26, 2013 at 4:33 PM

This story is so old, the only surprise is that it’s a story today. Oh, surprise!

I worked in Maryland prisons a decade ago and even then female “guards” (they hated being called that) were pregnant by inmates, cell phones — with their chargers — were accidentally brought into prison (a major infraction) and “lost” for inmates to find. Money and drugs flowed in and out.

And the explanation that I got was that the guards came from the same streets, raised on the same city blocks, as the convicts and knew the their families and had the same friends. And this local culture demanded a respect and friendliness from guards that would translate back into, at least, tolerant friendship on the outside.

Despite the strong views of the wardens, the prison system was run as if by committee, with strong contradicting views on what prisons should and shouldn’t be. And every contradiction in philosphy, at every level, was a crack in prison wall that the inmates exploited.

flicker on April 26, 2013 at 5:40 PM

National Bohemian was the worst God damned beer I’ve ever had.

ToddPA on April 26, 2013 at 1:51 PM

Natty Bo was the counter-cultural choice of hip yuppies who happily mimmicked, while rejecting, the working-class ethics and culture of that once proud city. Good with steamed crabs, and helpful on a really humid day.

flicker on April 26, 2013 at 5:48 PM

Baltimore, one my least favorite cities. A cesspool of Democrat gang bangers and corrupt politicians. God help the good people who are stuck there.

Zorro on April 26, 2013 at 6:50 PM

Natty Bo was the counter-cultural choice of hip yuppies who happily mimmicked, while rejecting, the working-class ethics and culture of that once proud city. Good with steamed crabs, and helpful on a really humid day.

flicker on April 26, 2013 at 5:48 PM

Weaned on it (almot)
Showing my age I do have to ask. Do you know what it meant to “run the growler”?

katy the mean old lady on April 26, 2013 at 6:51 PM

I’m starting to think that when a Maryland prosecutor (allegedly?) told Aaron Walker’s wife “If you’re so concerned about your safety, don’t come to Maryland” he was just repeating the state motto.

malclave on April 26, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Weaned on it (almot)
Showing my age I do have to ask. Do you know what it meant to “run the growler”?

katy the mean old lady on April 26, 2013 at 6:51 PM

No.. I’m afraid to ask but, what was it?

flicker on April 26, 2013 at 7:12 PM

Baltimore has nothing on Detroit. Just sayin.

Conservative4Ever on April 26, 2013 at 7:51 PM

Is that Black Guerrilla or Black Gorilla?

Nomas on April 26, 2013 at 8:02 PM

Is that Black Guerrilla or Black Gorilla?

Nomas on April 26, 2013 at 8:02 PM

How do you tell the difference?

MelonCollie on April 26, 2013 at 9:15 PM

Not surprised that nobody was surprised. There’s nothing charming about “Charm City”. It’s a dump.

Murf76 on April 26, 2013 at 9:45 PM

I’ve lived in Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Texas, Michigan, Maryland, and three overseas locations. By far, Maryland was the most racist of them all.

I lived in PG county as the only white person in an all-black neighborhood. When I bought the house, I didn’t even notice that fact at first. I didn’t care who else lived in the neighborhood, just that it was a good neighborhood that I could afford, but boy did I get the stinkeye from everyone there except for one little boy across the cul-de-sac who was the only one who would ever talk to me.

When my mom would come to visit, she would also go out of her way to wave and say hello to my neighbors, but she received the same treatment. It’s a shame, because my sister was born right down the road when my family lived there in the ’60s, and she had good memories of her time there. I’ll never set foot in that state again if I can help it.

James on April 26, 2013 at 11:17 PM

Four corrections officers became pregnant by one inmate. Two of them got tattoos of the inmate’s first name, Tavon — one on her neck, the other on a wrist.

Women have absolutely no business working in men’s prisons.

Yeah, I said it.

Grace_is_sufficient on April 27, 2013 at 8:11 AM

Maryland voters are too busy electing statists who strip them of their rights to self-defense to worry about something so trivial as cleaning up a corrupt prison system. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

tpitman on April 27, 2013 at 8:22 AM

Maryland has been corrupt for decades. Just remember Nancy Pelosi’s father used to be the mayor of Baltimore. She is a crook and she learned at the feet of her father. The roads are terrible, The prison system is useless. etc etc. It’s corrupt because the people allow it to be corrupt. They do not care and/or they are not paying attention. This is true of the entire Balto/Washington corridor(I-95) Before that Annapolis has always been on a slide down into the sewer of politics. The state government has been rotten to the core for a very long time. Longer that I have been alive. They keep electing Corruptocrats. It’s amazing that they have been able to keep the state afloat. It will come crashing down eventually. The signs are there.

Too bad because geographically Maryland has everything. Too bad they cannot insure their citizens’ life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. We had to leave. It was becoming much too dangerous for a retired couple.

BetseyRoss on April 27, 2013 at 9:58 AM

I called Tavon, and asked him “whatup?” He said “You white folks call this “corruption”, but thass racist. It’s just a black thing, you white boys and girls can’t understand. That’s how we roll.”

Tom Servo on April 27, 2013 at 10:35 AM

Women have absolutely no business working in men’s prisons.

Yeah, I said it.

Grace_is_sufficient on April 27, 2013 at 8:11 AM

Absolutely none at all.

There are places and situations that women should not be allowed to be in, no matter how much they cry about ‘unfairness’.

MelonCollie on April 27, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Anyone who has lived in MD for any period of time is not surprised by this. Maryland, and more specifically, Baltimore, are far-left bastions of stupidity. O’Malley is left-wing loon who is running to the left of Hillary and Cuomo in a set up for the 2016 election. (Google Sade Baderinwa) I have two years left and my wife and I will move. (and take our $200,000 income with us!)

MDLibertyLover on April 27, 2013 at 1:05 PM

I believe that just a few decades ago, only men could work as prison guards in prisons for men and only women could work as prison guards in prisons for women. Aren’t we glad that “sexism” was ended!

Al in St. Lou on April 28, 2013 at 10:54 AM

My son, on his first day back from deployment to Iraq, went to a local market with 2 of his buddies. At that market, in this crap-hole of a town, they were robbed by a group of around 15 blacks, with the leader of this pack of animals being a middle aged woman. The rest were from teens to twenties. Rather than get a beat down, they relinquished their very hard earned cash. Sad welcome home. Sad town. Am I a racist? Maybe the black community can help me not be.

rockerpeople on April 28, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Baltimore has nothing on Detroit. Just sayin.

Conservative4Ever on April 26, 2013 at 7:51 PM

Newark, Chicago, Kansas City, Birmingham, LA, Providence, Jacksonville, Miami, Memphis, Charlotte…ad nauseum.

Derbyshire is right.

Jaibones on April 28, 2013 at 2:11 PM

I’ve lived in Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Texas, Michigan, Maryland, and three overseas locations. By far, Maryland was the most racist of them all.

James on April 26, 2013 at 11:17 PM

I to have lived all over the US; California, Washington, New York, Massachusetts, Florida, Alaska, Missouri and now Texas. And being a black man I have seen and experienced my share of racism in all those places. Each region has it’s own way of displaying racism. Some were more overt then others.(Liberal communities were quite apt at masking their racist tendencies). All were equally racist as the other. Knowing this, I always treat everyone with respect until they prove themselves unworthy.

But as for Maryland, I was born and raised in SE and then NW Baltimore. It was a racist hate filled cesspool when I moved away in 1979. When I make my rare visit , I see things have only gotten worse. The bad thing is those of my generation have indoctrinated their highly educated children to be just as racist. Every discussion centers around gov’t jobs, how “racist” white people are holding them back or the most recent, “getting back at whitey”. Thing are so bad that when I do manage to visit, I can only do so in 3 day segments.

Zaire67 on April 28, 2013 at 2:24 PM

I believe that just a few decades ago, only men could work as prison guards in prisons for men and only women could work as prison guards in prisons for women. Aren’t we glad that “sexism” was ended!

Al in St. Lou on April 28, 2013 at 10:54 AM

It’s been proven that women guards reduce violence at some prisons. Their presence reduces the conflict level. Having worked in prisons, I have first hand knowledge that this works. It’s quite clear that having female guards was not the problem in Maryland.

Zaire67 on April 28, 2013 at 2:29 PM

If this wasn’t a surprise for the Maryland Lawmakers, why in the name of God didn’t they do something about it. Worthless politicians now calling themselves lawmakers, while not having guts to ensure the laws are enforced. Makes you wonder just who should be in jail.

savage24 on April 28, 2013 at 8:24 PM

I have a friend, a nice lady, who told me of this game. It goes “every sentence you say, you have to end it with ‘in bed.’ It gets a lot of laughs when us girls do it.” Y’know, “I have to go to the bathroom…in bed.” That sort of thing.

Tickled her.

Well, after looking at the suspects and realize there may be a connection between crime and certain subcultures in America, I offer a game that no MSM station or PC politician will touch.

I suggest every time there is some crime reported, the more outrageous and violent, at the street level or related to gangs, we insert into the sentence this line- ,”who are black”. I think we would all be surprised on the accuracy.

“Mob of teenagers run through stores, stealing and destroying property for fun. The suspects “who are black” managed to get away again. The mayor “who is black” blamed boredom and not enough free meals at school.

Today, gang members in Chicago “who are black” shot and killed six victims “who are black” for no reason- again.

This morning a scuffle broke out at the D.C. welfare office. the people, “who are black”, were complaining they weren’t getting enough welfare and some had their Obamaphones limited which they felt was a civil rights violation.

The department director of the “Giving free stuff away for votes” agency created in the fall of 2009 by the Obama administration had a comment. Mr. Demetrius Hollander,”who is black” and a former educator in Chicago, and long time associate of Michelle Obama, said that welfare and free stuff keeps the economy going. Just ask Nancy Pelosi, who is not black. (Okay, doesn’t work all the time..)

And now, we have Tavon White, who ironically is black, heading up a gang, which is predominately black and called the black guerrilla family- nope you can’t make it up- and getting female guards, who are again predominately black, pregnant and having them run drugs and phones and such into the prison- while collecting state money for the kids?? maybe?

If someday our nation admits we have seriously ruined the lives of so many other citizens by giving them free programs that destroys their self respect while protecting them from being accountable for their actions because of their color, maybe we could get a handle on our problem. Until then, it will only get worse.

Already too many cities and too many neighborhoods and too many people are ruined.

Why?

Because we allowed it.

archer52 on April 28, 2013 at 10:09 PM

“Maryland voters should demand a housecleaning from the top down — and conduct it themselves in the next election.”

That would mean electing a Republican in Baltimore. I’m not sure they even count Republican votes in Baltimore. The state too is solid blue with the exception of far western Garrett county.

Corky Boyd on April 29, 2013 at 8:50 PM

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