Baltimore still needs a jail of its own

Gov. Larry Hogan's plan to address addiction is on the right track, but the governor and The Baltimore Sun ("Hogan's right to focus on addiction in prison, but he can do more,” Feb. 2) have forgotten an ongoing problem needing to be solved simultaneously: There is no Baltimore jail facility.

Over two years ago, Governor Hogan closed the main city jail building and has since shuttered at least three more. The solution? Ship over half of the individuals sitting behind bars awaiting trial, unable to make bail, to state corrections facilities housing convicted inmates. Imagine the problems with that. Defense attorneys now have limited access (and greater distance to clients). Many clients are two counties away in Jessup. Security procedures vary from place to place and day to day. And getting technology (evidence) to incarcerated clients has never been worse.

New jails are cop-outs to fixing the core problems with the justice system, but we need a minimum standard in place for Baltimore detainees.

Todd Oppenheim, Baltimore

The writer is an attorney in the Office of Public Defender.

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