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Booking Center

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NEWS
March 9, 1995
When the Harford sheriff's office opened the Interagency Processing Center, or central booking facility, in 1992, it was seen as a symbol of efficiency and cooperation among a half-dozen law enforcement agencies in the county.The National Association of Counties recognized Sheriff Robert Comes for implementing the project, which he claimed saved over $100,000 in police workhours in the first year alone. Officers could get back on the road faster instead of wasting long hours in processing arrestees, he noted.
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By Katie V. Jones | May 19, 2012
When Frank Spruill first looked into franchises more than 30 years ago, he found three options: fast food, automobiles or books. "It was a no brainer," Spruill laughed this past week, standing inside his Little Professor Book Center in Eldersburg. Soon after deciding to pursue the book market, he opened Little Professor in the Carrolltown Center in 1977, where it was located until six years ago, when it moved to its current location at Liberty Station Shopping Center on Liberty Road.
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NEWS
July 13, 1995
The state's use of Baltimore's new central booking facility to house prisoners who can't fit inside the city's crowded jail raised fears that the "temporary" arrangement might become permanent. It won't. A tour of the completed portions of the new facility dispels all such fears. The investment in technology taking place there is convincing. Once everything is in place, the booking center will become a world model for the efficient cataloguing of criminal defendants awaiting trial.Police will bring those arrested anywhere in the city to the central location, where everything goes into computer files, from the taking of fingerprints electronically to digitized mug shots made by a video camera.
NEWS
By Peter Hermann, The Baltimore Sun | November 9, 2011
Baltimore police and correctional officers were searching Wednesday for a man who escaped from the downtown booking center and forced authorities to briefly shut down the Jones Falls Expressway when he apparently ran across the highway. In an unrelated incident at the city detention center, located near the booking center, prison officials said a detainee was stabbed during an altercation. Correctional officials said the detainee who escaped, Maury Figueroa, 29, got through a secured, controlled entryway while working on a sanitation detail.
NEWS
By Ryan Davis and Ryan Davis,SUN STAFF | May 1, 2005
Crammed for hours inside a concrete room at Baltimore's booking center, the men awaiting court hearings jockey for space on the floor. The air is thick and foul, so they covet the patch of floor by the sliding steel door. There, inmates put their cheeks to the floor to suck fresh air through the crack beneath the door. "When I couldn't have that spot," said Henry Thiess, who was arrested last Sunday on assault charges, "I laid under the toilet so I didn't have to worry about being stepped on."
NEWS
By Kate Shatzkin and Kate Shatzkin,SUN STAFF | June 8, 1996
Attorneys for the state's Central Booking and Intake Center yesterday invited a Baltimore Circuit judge to visit at any time to see for himself that prisoners are processed at the new center in accordance with state law.The invitation came in the wake of a lawsuit on behalf of prisoners at the Baltimore facility who say they were detained more than 24 hours before seeing a court commissioner, and held for hours after they were ordered released.In a letter to Judge David B. Mitchell, Assistant Attorney General Andrew H. Baida also offered yesterday to let Alan P. Zukerberg, the lawyer who filed the class-action suit, review booking center records to satisfy himself that prisoners do not experience undue delays.
NEWS
By Kate Shatzkin and Kate Shatzkin,SUN STAFF | June 7, 1996
Controversy over the state's new Central Booking and Intake Center spilled into court yesterday, as an attorney representing prisoners asked to be let into what he termed "a gulag" to investigate allegations that prisoners are held for hours even after making bail.Baltimore Circuit Judge David B. Mitchell scheduled a meeting with lawyers today to draw up an order that could force prison officials to follow the law while a suit over the booking center proceeds, saying that "there is a concern of the court as to whether this facility is safeguarding the rights of those entrusted to its care."
NEWS
By Kate Shatzkin | October 20, 1996
They have the technology. Now if only they could fix human nature.The people who run the state's year-old Central Booking and Intake Center, an ambitious monument to the use of automation in the criminal justice system, have much to be proud of. Look at the results: 162 city cops to be returned to the streets; fingerprinting hits that take just an hour instead of days. It's had national attention and international visitors.So why are the phones at the East Baltimore center lighting up like Christmas trees every night, with worried wives, siblings and fathers wanting to know why it has taken so long for a loved one to see a court commissioner?
NEWS
By Kate Shatzkin and Kate Shatzkin,SUN STAFF | October 3, 1996
A new audit shows some prisoners at the state's Central Booking and Intake Center still wait hours more than they should for bail to be set and says the situation may continue unless changes are made in the way court commissioners see prisoners.A report of the audit, finished last month, found most of the $56 million center's functions working well -- but says the court commissioners often could not keep up with the flow of suspects and that at certain times of day some commissioners saw no one. The audit also notes police need more training on the booking system, and court commissioners need a better way to tell officers they are ready to see more prisoners.
NEWS
By Kate Shatzkin and Kate Shatzkin,SUN STAFF | April 18, 1996
Top officials in charge of the state's high-tech Central Booking and Intake Center claimed yesterday that they had slashed prisoners' long waits to have bail set, but conceded that several serious problems remain at the 5-month-old facility.Some prisoners have been waiting days to see court commissioners at the $56 million building -- delays that prisoners and bail bondsmen say violate civil rights and Maryland law. Others made bail but had to wait 12 hours to be released.Corrections officials said they had stopped using an automated system for commissioners to request delivery of prisoners for hearings, because their hand-held computers didn't function properly.
NEWS
By Gus G. Sentementes and Gus G. Sentementes,Sun reporter | March 12, 2007
On Lt. Debra Sisco-Watts' computer inside Baltimore's Central Booking and Intake Center, the names of a dozen people who have been held for more than 15 hours stood out in red text at the top of the screen. The names of dozens more were below in black. This slight, but important, difference in color and location is her signal to pay extra attention so that a complicated booking process doesn't bog down. The names in red were the problem. "If I don't have a document, I'll call a liaison," said Sisco-Watts, who oversees an early warning system on the booking floor and was discussing some of the things that can cause delays.
NEWS
By Nicole Fuller and Nicole Fuller,Sun reporter | January 17, 2007
The U.S. Department of Justice has reached an agreement with state officials regarding a scathing report it issued more than four years ago criticizing security, medical and sanitation conditions at the Baltimore City Detention Center and booking center. The agreement -- the details of which were not released -- follows a six-year investigation into deficiencies in the jail's care for inmates. "The department is very pleased to have reached this memorandum of understanding, and we continue to work very hard at the detention center," said Mark Vernarelli, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, which operates the facilities.
NEWS
By GUS G. SENTEMENTES and GUS G. SENTEMENTES,SUN REPORTER | January 28, 2006
A consultant's report on Baltimore's booking center offers a wide range of fixes for the historically crowded jail, such as incorporating new technology, adding more televisions for inmates and conducting reviews of arrest and release practices of police and prosecutors. The report had been heavily redacted for its release last month, though it had included the conclusion that "no one was in charge" of ensuring the prompt processing of detainees at the state-run Central Booking and Intake Center last year.
NEWS
By MARIANA MINAYA and MARIANA MINAYA,SUN REPORTER | January 21, 2006
The family of a man who was killed at Baltimore's booking center last year filed a $130 million lawsuit yesterday, alleging that the state and correctional officers acted negligently in failing to correct what they knew were dangerous conditions. Attorney A. Dwight Pettit said he hopes the suit will force the state to examine the Central Booking and Intake Center and resolve problems of crowding, inadequate training and understaffing that he said contributed to the death of Raymond K. Smoot.
NEWS
By GUS G. SENTEMENTES and GUS G. SENTEMENTES,SUN REPORTER | December 14, 2005
Taking up the cause of public access to government information, Baltimore officials filed a lawsuit yesterday against the state prison system, demanding an uncensored version of a consultant's report about problems at the Central Booking and Intake Center. The city solicitor's office filed the unusual challenge in Circuit Court in Baltimore, citing the state's Public Information Act. The city argues that state prison officials, who operate the center, have "improperly and unlawfully withheld a public document by redacting so much of a report as to be tantamount to withholding it."
NEWS
December 12, 2005
When inmates at the Central Booking and Intake Center in Baltimore were stacking up like planes at a busy airport, state corrections officials defended the agency. The state-run facility, overwhelmed by aggressive policing strategies in Baltimore, literally couldn't process inmates fast enough. But state Public Safety Secretary Mary Ann Saar argued persuasively that no one entity could be blamed because "the entire booking procedure is dependent upon a cooperative effort." Her agency isn't being very cooperative now. Ms. Saar refused last Tuesday to release the entirety of a consultant's report that her lawyers had offered up as evidence of the state's commitment to improve the central booking system.
NEWS
BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | September 26, 1997
Baltimore's Central Booking and Intake Center was locked down yesterday after a loaded semiautomatic handgun was found in an entrance area, in what the jail's top commander called "the highest violation of security."A correctional officer found the Glock 9 mm pistol in a supply cabinet about 9 p.m. Wednesday, said LaMont W. Flanagan, state commissioner of pretrial detention and services who runs the booking center at the Fallsway and East Madison Street.The cabinet was in an entrance area where female suspects are searched by correctional officers after they have been brought in by police.
NEWS
By Kate Shatzkin and Kate Shatzkin,SUN STAFF | July 26, 1996
The director of health services for state prisoners said yesterday that he was considering adding medical personnel at the Central Booking and Intake Center after complaints that the system for taking care of sick prisoners is costly and insufficient.Dr. Anthony Swetz, director of inmate health services for the state Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, said the department might take steps to provide medical care for booking center prisoners before they have had bail reviews.
NEWS
By GUS G. SENTEMENTES and GUS G. SENTEMENTES,SUN REPORTER | December 9, 2005
State prison officials have given a judge and the city solicitor a heavily redacted consultant's report on problems at the state-run Central Booking and Intake Center in Baltimore, making it impossible to determine what, if any, remedies were recommended. The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, which runs the booking center, whited-out five of the 10 pages in the report. Officials said the blanked-out portions deal with their "internal decision-making" process for the center, which has been criticized for being crowded and inefficiently managed.
NEWS
By GUS G. SENTEMENTES and GUS G. SENTEMENTES,SUN REPORTER | December 8, 2005
The U.S. Justice Department has returned to the Baltimore city jail and booking center to determine whether progress has been made since its investigators issued a scathing report three years ago decrying problems with medical care, sanitation and other troubling conditions for inmates. "They are looking to get an accurate understanding and update on the current conditions at the institution," said Karen V. Poe, a spokeswoman with the state public safety department. "It's not an adversarial situation."
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