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By Gus G. Sentementes, The Baltimore Sun | February 7, 2011
State and federal public safety officials are expected to unveil Tuesday details of how a former maximum-security prison in Baltimore will be used to consolidate housing for most of Maryland's federal pretrial detainees who, in the past, had been spread across 18 jails in the Mid-Atlantic region. As part of the arrangement, the U.S. Department of Justice will contribute an additional $20 million in federal funding to assist in the construction of new minimum-security facilities in Jessup, officials said.
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NEWS
By Peter Hermann, The Baltimore Sun | February 8, 2011
It opened two decades ago with the pops of champagne corks and an excited proclamation from Maryland's penitentiary warden, who called it a "Godsend. " The official name was the Maryland Correctional Adjustment Center, but everyone called it "Supermax. " Housing the state's worst-of-the-worst, the downtown Baltimore prison didn't do much adjusting or correcting. Its name became synonymous with a gulag, investigated by federal authorities who criticized conditions as inhumane, and targeted by lawsuits, many won by inmates.
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NEWS
By Peter Hermann, The Baltimore Sun | February 8, 2011
It opened two decades ago with the pops of champagne corks and an excited proclamation from Maryland's penitentiary warden, who called it a "Godsend. " The official name was the Maryland Correctional Adjustment Center, but everyone called it "Supermax. " Housing the state's worst-of-the-worst, the downtown Baltimore prison didn't do much adjusting or correcting. Its name became synonymous with a gulag, investigated by federal authorities who criticized conditions as inhumane, and targeted by lawsuits, many won by inmates.
NEWS
By Gus G. Sentementes, The Baltimore Sun | February 7, 2011
State and federal public safety officials are expected to unveil Tuesday details of how a former maximum-security prison in Baltimore will be used to consolidate housing for most of Maryland's federal pretrial detainees who, in the past, had been spread across 18 jails in the Mid-Atlantic region. As part of the arrangement, the U.S. Department of Justice will contribute an additional $20 million in federal funding to assist in the construction of new minimum-security facilities in Jessup, officials said.
NEWS
October 23, 2003
BUT FOR the Houdini-like escape by the infamous Harold B. Dean, the windows at the Maryland Correctional Adjustment Center in Baltimore permit little more than light and air to pass through them. Not much bigger than an 8-by-14-inch photograph, they are barred, cut into the walls above eye level and offer no view beyond air and sky. As a point of reference, however, they serve as a visual reminder of the 23-hour-a-day lockdown of inmates there, the prison's claustrophobic layout and its inability to provide anything more than the bare essentials to prisoners -- all reasons why the state wants to close it. We say to Public Safety Secretary Mary Ann Saar, shut it down.
NEWS
June 22, 1997
Flint Gregory Hunt was married yesterday at the Supermax prison in Baltimore, across the street from the Maryland Penitentiary where he is to be executed in the gas chamber next week.The Muslim ceremony was attended by Hunt's mother, sister, son and six corrections officials, said Leonard A. Sipes Jr., a state prisons spokesman.Sipes said that by law, he could not identify the bride.After the 15-minute ceremony, Hunt hugged his new wife and was taken back to his cell in the state's most secure prison.
NEWS
By Kate Shatzkin and Kate Shatzkin,Sun Staff Writer | February 4, 1995
The state prison built to hold the "worst of the worst" Maryland criminals is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice after complaints of harassment and beatings of inmates and other cruel conditions.Justice Department spokeswoman Lee P. Douglass confirmed the investigation of the Maryland Correctional Adjustment Center, known as Supermax. She said lawyers from the department's civil rights division had received "numerous" complaints, but she would not describe them or say who made them.
NEWS
By Catherine Candisky and Catherine Candisky,Contributing Writer | November 5, 1992
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Convicted killer Harold Benjamin Dean, the only person ever to escape from Maryland's Supermax prison, complained at a hearing yesterday that he was treated better there than in the Franklin County Jail in Columbus, where he is being held on $1 million bail.In a brief session in the county Common Pleas Court, Judge Paul Martin granted a county prosecutor's request to hold Dean for up to 60 more days -- the deadline for authorities to secure an extradition order from Maryland's governor.
NEWS
By DAN RODRICKS | October 19, 2003
QUICHE-EATERS -- Democrat quiche-eaters, not the Republican kind -- gave us Supermax, the 300-bed tomb of a penitentiary that the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services wants to tear down just 14 years after it opened. It opened, in one of the most grotesque celebrations ever conceived (but typical of the 1980s), with black tie and evening gowns, and dozens of Maryland judges, politicians, Schaefer administration officials and even clergy sipping champagne and munching on grapes and quiche.
NEWS
By Douglas Birch | December 8, 1991
When Harold Benjamin Dean, holdup man and murderer, wriggled out of a cell window at Maryland's "Supermax" prison Nov. 30, he foiled one of the first of a new generation of advanced-technology prisons.Several experts said they had never heard of a previous escape from any of the Supermax-style prisons built by perhaps 10 states in recent years to hold their most violent or escape-prone inmates.Maryland corrections officials blamed Dean's escape on the failure of officers to follow the prison's ultra-strict procedures, including a requirement that prisoners be handcuffed and escorted whenever they leave their cells and that all cells be "shaken down," or searched, every time a prisoner walks out.But that lapse appears to have let Dean exploit possible weaknesses in the prison's windows and the absence of any alarm system on the roof of the $21 million prison, said Norman Wirkle, a Colorado architect who has reviewed plans for Supermax-style prisons for the American Correctional Association.
NEWS
July 29, 2009
Are you in favor of housing Maryland's federal detainees (now spread among two dozen facilities in multiple states) at the former "Supermax" prison in downtown Baltimore? Yes 7% No 92% Not sure 1% (4,486 votes, results not scientific) Next poll: : Should Baltimore's zoning laws be changed to allow many more venues to offer live entertainment such as concerts and poetry readings? Vote at baltimoresun.com/vote
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop and Tricia Bishop,tricia.bishop@baltsun.com | July 27, 2009
Maryland and U.S. authorities have settled upon what they call a workable plan to house hundreds of purportedly dangerous federal detainees in one spot: a hulking but underused Baltimore prison formerly known as "Supermax." Maryland's growing federal prisoner population has been spread among two dozen facilities in multiple states - including Ohio - for years, boarded in rented space at rates that rival finer hotels. It's a risky, expensive and travel-intensive arrangement that most hate, but no one has been able to fix. Every suggestion drew criticism from somewhere.
NEWS
May 13, 2009
Cell phone planted at prison yields two arrests A contraband cell phone planted by law enforcement and corrections officials in Baltimore's Supermax prison was used to record inmate conversations, uncovering multiple crimes, including a home invasion plot that resulted in a killing. Kevin Dorsey, 26, and Rodney Lockett, 25, were charged Tuesday with the armed robbery in which two people were shot and one died. More charges will likely follow from the investigation, dubbed "Operation Dial-a-Cell," said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.
NEWS
By Brent Jones and Brent Jones,brent.jones@baltsun.com | March 24, 2009
A convicted killer with a history of mental illness was found dead in his cell Monday in what authorities say was an apparent suicide, an outcome the inmate's lawyers called tragically predictable. Kevin G. Johns Jr., 26, was found at the Supermax prison in Baltimore just after midnight during a routine security count, according to the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. He was being held at the prison after being found not criminally responsible for the death of another inmate during an attack aboard a prison transportation bus in 2005.
NEWS
By JOHN FRITZE | July 25, 2008
Maryland's Supermax prison in Baltimore will house an additional 96 federal detainees in an effort to address a large increase in the number of prisoners awaiting trial, U.S. Attorney for Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein said yesterday. The number of federal pretrial detainees in the state rose from an average of 253 per day in 1999 to 464 in 2007, and spiked to 532 this past May, federal authorities said. The move increases to 240 the number of federal prisoners held at the Baltimore facility.
NEWS
By Jennifer McMenamin and Jennifer McMenamin,Sun reporter | June 24, 2008
A convicted killer who was found not criminally responsible this month for his third homicide will remain incarcerated at a maximum-security prison while receiving treatment for his psychiatric illnesses from the state health department - a decision that defense attorneys say effectively "guts" the laws designed to protect the criminally insane. The determination to keep Kevin G. Johns Jr. at the Supermax prison in Baltimore came after the prison's warden and the security chief of the state's maximum-security psychiatric hospital concluded that the medical facility would not be able to keep its staff or patients safe with Johns there, even if he is confined to the ward reserved for the hospital's most dangerous patients.
NEWS
By George F. Will | January 13, 1997
JESSUP -- The winter wind seems as lacerating as the razor wire through which it whistles. Upward of 100 miles of such wire, atop the several high fences and in coils between those fences, discourage inmates from trying to leave the maximum security prison here.But some of the prisoners are more easily confined than controlled in confinement, and a few must be controlled by the threat, or fact, of confinement elsewhere, in what is called Supermax. That is an even more strict regime prison that fills a block in downtown Baltimore.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel and Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF | March 9, 1998
An armed robber, who had been moved to the state's maximum security prison because of previous escapes, escaped yesterday from the so-called "Supermax" in Baltimore and was recaptured minutes later a half-block away, a prisons spokesman said.He was the second prisoner to escape from the Maryland Correctional Adjustment Center and the first since security was strengthened after a 1991 escape stunned officials.John Lloyd Wells, 37, formerly of Middle River, climbed over the prison wall on Madison Street at 3: 18 a.m. and was immediately spotted by a correctional officer, who drew his weapon and ordered Wells to stop, said Leonard A. Sipes Jr., a spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.
NEWS
By Jennifer McMenamin and Jennifer McMenamin,Sun reporter | May 14, 2008
Just five days before twice-convicted killer Kevin G. Johns Jr. is accused of strangling to death a fellow inmate on a prison bus, he told a psychologist at Baltimore's maximum-security prison that he was struggling with an "evil force" and that he might want to discontinue his therapy to protect the therapist, a forensic psychiatrist testified for the defense yesterday. "I like you. I don't want to hurt you. But I don't know what this thing can do," Dr. David A. Williamson quoted Johns as telling the psychologist Jan. 27, 2005.
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