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Changes To Clean Up Baltimore City Detention Center Revealed

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Rochelle Ritchie 370 x 278 Rochelle Ritchie
Rochelle Ritchie joined WJZ Eyewitness News in June 2012. Prio...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Sex and smuggling behind bars. This week, WJZ investigates the long-term corruption inside the Baltimore City Detention Center. The man at the top tells WJZ he has made major changes to clean up the jail.

Rochelle Ritchie takes a rare look inside the jail.

Since the federal investigation, contraband into the Baltimore City Detention Center has dropped 42 percent. But it’s still not 100 percent drug-free.

For the first time, WJZ gets a look inside the Baltimore City Detention Center after an embarrassing investigation revealed inmates had turned the jail into a sex dealing, drug smuggling facility.

Improvements include 200 new cameras, a better screening process of work inmates and new entry scanners.

It’s all in place to fight back against the Black Guerrilla Family, who ran the jail for months. Tavon White, the alleged mastermind behind the drug operation, impregnated four guards while awaiting trial.

Secretary of Public Safety Gary Maynard says new training of officers will keep romance between guards and inmates at bay.

“New officers come in. They are paired with a solid, experienced correctional officer that stays with them, answers their questions and keeps them from getting compromised,” said Maynard.

With Maynard at our side, WJZ walks behind bars to see the changes for ourselves. During the federal investigation, inmates were said to use cell phones to coordinate drug dealings on the streets. Silver boxes that now line the walls will change that.

“It will help us to jam cell phone signals, deter detainees from receiving that type of control and won’t allow them to make or receive phone calls,” said Major Timothy Woodrum, Baltimore City Detention Center.

Drug transactions are now a challenge. Inmates will no longer eat in their cells, but a new dining facility.

“As it is now, the food is running all around the jail. Guys can put a little marijuana, some tobacco in the food, take it right up and deliver it to the section. And that’s going to cut all that out,” said Rick Foxwell, jail administrator.

Thirteen correctional officers were indicted during the investigation. The guards allegedly snuck drugs into the jail through their shoes. It’s a problem former guards say went on for years.

“It was so many of them that are involved,” a former correctional officer said.

The secretary says the federal investigation is still underway and more guards could be indicted.

Correctional officers are also now required to remove their shoes when entering the jail.

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