Plan to build detention unit opposed Delegate critical of state proposal

December 02, 1992|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

Also, articles in the Carroll edition on Dec. 2 and Nov. 27 should have said that Springfield Hospital Center houses about 450 mentally ill people.

The Baltimore Sun regrets the errors.

A Carroll state delegate and a Carrolltowne resident said last night they oppose a plan to build a juvenile detention center at Springfield Hospital Center in Sykesville.

"We have our share of prisoners," Del. Richard N. Dixon, D-Carroll, said. "Other areas need to bear part of the burden. I think that's reasonable."


The state yesterday proposed building an 80-bed juvenile detention center on hospital grounds to house juveniles from the Charles H. Hickey Jr. School in Baltimore County who are awaiting trial.

"South Carroll surely is a dumping ground for all the state's problems," said resident Kathy Horneman, who is leading a fight stop the transfer of 18 violent mentally retarded patients from the Rosewood Center in Owings Mills to Springfield.

"The state does not have a good track record with managing the Hickey School," she added, referring to recent escapes from the school.

Mr. Dixon said Carroll already has two facilities for juvenile offenders -- the Bowling Brook Boys Home in Middleburg and the Thomas O'Farrell Youth Center in Marriottsville -- and most of the youth at the facilities are not from Carroll.

Springfield, which houses about 300 mentally ill people, also has the Central Laundry Facility (used by the state prison system), he said.

Detention facilities should be built closer to the areas where most of the offenders come from, such as Prince George's and Baltimore counties, Mr. Dixon said.

Sykesville Mayor Lloyd R. Helt said last night that he wished state officials would tell local residents about their plans before the residents read it in the newspapers.

"It's ridiculous not to tell people what's going on," he said.

Sykesville is "a company town" for Springfield, Mr. Helt said, adding that he would not automatically be opposed to new programs at the hospital if he knew more details about them and about planned security for them.

The state owns a lot of property in Sykesville and there are many empty buildings at Springfield, he said. "The temptation is to put something there," Mr. Helt said.

Mrs. Horneman said 30 residents have formed the South Carroll Community Coalition because they have been disappointed in elected officials' responses to their concerns about Rosewood patients being transferred to Springfield.

Members, who represent about 20,000 people, plan to keep officials informed about their concerns on a number of issues, she said.

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