The team of state lawmakers empaneled to look at corruption in Maryland prisons will begin its work next week.
State legislative leaders convened the task force in wake of federal indictments in April that alleged Baltimore City Detention Center guards allowed the Black Family Guerrilla gang to effectively take over the state-run jail. Twenty-five people, including 13 female guards, were indicted in the case, which accuses some guards of smuggling in drugs, cell phones and other contraband in exchange for sex with inmates, who were able to conduct gang business from behind bars.
Next week's meeting on Thursday represents the first action of the bipartisan group of 14 state lawmakers on the Special Joint Commission on Public Safety and Security in State and Local Correctional Facilities. The lawmakers plan to continue meeting until December, when they are expected to recommend new laws and spending plans to prevent future corruption in Maryland prisons.
The legislative task force is just one of several panels looking into corruption in the wake of the jail scandal, which made national headlines in part because the alleged gang leader impregnated four of the female guards.
Another committee of state lawmakers publicly questioned Gary D. Maynard, secretary of the state prison system, during a hearing earlier this month. Gov. Martin O'Malley, who has faced criticism over the extent of the corruption and his response to the news of the indictment, in late May announced a city task force that included a city prosecutor and several investigators to continue looking at the jail.