Joseph Egeberg Jr., jail inspector and detention center superintendent

Joseph D. Egeberg Jr., retired state jail inspector and former superintendent of the Anne Arundel County Detention Center, died Friday of cancer at the Meridian Nursing Center in Ormond Beach, Fla.

The former Severna Park resident, who was 71, had moved to Ormond Beach in 1988.


He was jail inspector from 1968 to 1982 and in that capacity routinely visited every detention facility in Maryland's 23 counties and Baltimore City.

The conditions he found spurred him to call for a state takeover of county jails.


"It is appropriate that Joseph D. Egeberg should be the first to propose that the state take over county jails," said a 1969 Evening Sun editorial.

"As Maryland's jail inspector, Mr. Egeberg knows from personal observation the wretched conditions inevitable in a county-operated jail system which was designed for the long-gone day of travel by horse and buggy."

When he was superintendent of the Anne Arundel County Detention Center from 1966 to 1968, he initiated reforms such as education programs and segregating first-time offenders and juveniles from hardened criminals.

Before World War II broke out, Mr. Egeberg, who had a law degree from the University of Baltimore, worked in the plant protection department at the Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s Sparrows Point plant.

He entered the Army in 1943 and was commissioned a captain in September 1944. He was a platoon leader in the 329th Infantry Regiment of the 83rd Division. He was wounded during the Ardennes Campaign and was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.

He ended his military service in 1946 as commander of a disciplinary unit at New Cumberland, Pa.

After the war, he published the Glen Burnie News, a weekly newspaper, from 1946 to 1948, and then joined the Sparrows Point police force. He was a parole and probation officer for the state from 1950 to 1953 when he was appointed chief of safety and security for the Koppers Company Metal Products Division in Baltimore.

He was active in the Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion.


He was past president of the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association and the Maryland Community Correctional Administration Association.

He was a former member of St. Martin's in the Field Episcopal Church in Severna Park and belonged to St. James Episcopal Church in Ormond Beach.

Services are set for 9 a.m. tomorrow at Barranco and Sons Funeral Home, Ritchie Highway at Robinson Road, Severna Park. Interment will be in the Maryland Veterans Cemetery in Crownsville.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, the former Rosaleen Sewell; two sons, Thomas Egeberg of Easton and Joseph D. Egeberg III of Daytona Beach, Fla.; two daughters, Leslie Adlam of Severna Park and Brenda Marzucco of Kent Island; and six grandchildren.