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Study Finds Baltimore Jail Ranks Among Worst In Staff Sexual Misconduct

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Pat Warren joined the Eyewitness News team in 1992. Pat came to WJZ...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Another bad report for Maryland’s prison system.

A Department of Justice study finds Baltimore City Detention Center has the second highest rate of staff sexual misconduct in jails across the country.

Pat Warren has more on the report.

The current scandal at Baltimore City Detention Center seems to bear witness to that ranking, and more.

The presence of female correction officers in male correctional facilities is said to reduce aggressive behavior in inmates.

“Sort of like, you know, ‘I’m your mother, I’m your sister, I’m your aunt,’” said Sheila Hill, former Patuxent corrections officer.

But in the Black Guerrilla gang, it was girlfriend, too, according to federal indictments in a racketeering conspiracy at the Baltimore City Detention Center.

“They, correctional officers, allegedly were engaged in sexual relationships and received payments from the Black Guerrilla Family leaders in the facilities,” said Rod Rosenstein, Maryland U.S. Attorney.

In fact, Baltimore City Detention Center has the second highest rate of staff sexual misconduct in jails across the country. Nearly seven percent of inmates reported sexual contact with jail staff, compared to just under two percent nationwide.

The administration is reportedly stepping up its training to avoid intimacy with inmates, who Hill says can be manipulative.

“At some point they may even ask you for something small, like, “Can I get that ink pen, that’s a nice ink pen, looks like it writes good. Can I have that?’ But those kind of things, through training, you learn that ‘no’ is the answer,” Hill said.

The study also found a higher than national average of abuse of inmates incarcerated at the Maryland Correctional Institution For Women in Jessup. Nearly 13 percent of inmates reported being sexually abused by staff and other inmates.

A hotline for abuse has been set up for inmates at both facilities.

There were no incidents of sexual abuse reported by female inmates at the Baltimore City Detention Center.

The Justice Department survey did find that, overall, corrections facilities in the state housing men had lower rates of abuse than the national average.

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