To anyone with the gift of vision, it's obvious the Baltimore City Detention Center is an outdated building in every sense of the word ("Replace city jail, lawmakers urge," Dec. 12).

Sure, to raze the current building and rebuild with modern-era enhancements is a much-needed move. But that's only a part of the battle to be fought regarding the incarceration dilemma that hovers over the city like a fanatical nightmare.

If the new building is erected, the X factor still comes down to those who will be put in place to run it, from the top down. Even under the most intense scrutiny, those people will determine the ultimate success or failure of the proposed new detention center.

Only time will tell whether it truly will be a facility for lawbreakers or if it devolves into another pleasure club whose members are the real power brokers.

Patrick R. Lynch, Nottingham

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