A press conference via zoom to discuss and share the state of local and state correctional facilities. (Screenshot/J.J. McQueen)

By J.J. McQueen, Special to the AFRO

In an effort to raise awareness about health and safety protocols within Baltimore and surrounding correctional facilities. AFSMCE Council 3 President Patrick Moran, and correctional officers hosted a press conference via zoom to share the state of local and state correctional facilities. 

The presser was prompted after reports of a fire surfaced in the Maryland Reception Diagnostic Classification Center, injuring at least two dozen inmates, and hospitalizing several correctional officers. Amid the fire incident, the opportunity to address other health and wellness concerns related to covid vaccines, and employee safety were also put on the table. 

With at least one known correctional officer still hospitalized, the organization and its leaders solicited the support from Governor Hogan’s office with no alleged response. In attendance for the meeting were Senators Shelly Hettleman, Clarence Lam, and Mary Washington, who all stood united in support of improving the conditions within Maryland’s correctional facilities. 

Senator Mary Washington told the Afro, “There should be an onsite person monitoring the healthcare needs and supplies taken in every facility.” Her statement was prompted by information that was shared with her about an expired batch of vaccines that had been administered to inmates at a state facility.  

Marci Johnson of Maryland Defenders Union, “We’re still waiting on an accurate update about how many inmates were given the expired vaccines. The lack of staffing and poor health conditions are causing some institutions to be locked down for 23-24 hours per day. It’s a failure by the Hogan administration.” 

Patrick Moran said, “Due to the lack of investment from previous gubernatorial admissions and the current one, we’re seeing a reduction in staffing because we can’t replace those that are retiring at the 20-year mark. These are all factors that impact an already strained correctional system.”

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