From the Washington Post:
Fourteen current or former Maryland corrections officers were arrested Thursday, accused of aiding members of a violent prison gang, the latest development in a sweeping corruption investigation at two state-run detention facilities.
A federal grand jury indictment unsealed Thursday charges the prison guards with racketeering and drug- and money-laundering conspiracies. Officers allegedly smuggled cellphones inside of sub sandwiches and Percocet pills in their underwear. One estimated making as much as $15,000 in one week….A former corrections officer authorities interviewed in July estimated that 75 percent of the guards at the detention center engage in smuggling….In court papers, federal officials renewed their criticism of the state’s disciplinary process for corrections officers. The system was overhauled three years ago, with O’Malley’s backing, giving officers the right to appeal certain punishments to a board of their peers….
It is “well-known to [corrections officers] that it is very unlikely that they will be fired or severely disciplined for smuggling contraband or fraternizing with inmates,” according to the affidavit. The system set up by the so-called Correctional Officers’ Bill of Rights is “ineffective as a deterrent to [corrections officers] smuggling contraband or getting sexually involved with BGF gang members.”
Friendly reminder to readers: The focus of this web site is on sworn police officers and prison guards are usually not sworn officers. However, from time to time, we will highlight other matters pertaining to the American criminal justice system and this story falls into that category. Sometimes readers send us misconduct stories about judges, prosecutors, prison guards, security guards, but they fall outside the purview of this project.