Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday that he will immediately shut down the decrepit Baltimore City Detention Center, moving inmates to nearby facilities and ending a long-standing "black eye" for the state.
The Republican governor said the Civil War-era jail — which is run by the state — could be torn down, and there are no plans to build a new facility. Baltimore's jail population has dipped in recent years, making room elsewhere for the inmates from the detention center. The move is expected to save taxpayers $10 million to $15 million annually, he said.
"The Baltimore City Detention Center is a disgrace, and its conditions are horrendous," Hogan said. "Ignoring it was irresponsible and one of the biggest failures of leadership in the history of the state of Maryland."
The state took over the jail in 1991, and it has a history of corruption and violence. By 2013, federal and state authorities said it was effectively run by the Black Guerrilla Family gang, whose leader was recorded on a wiretapped phone call declaring, "This is my jail." Dozens of inmates and corrections officers were indicted and convicted, the Baltimore Sun reports.