City Journal Winter 2016

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Charles Lane
Baltimore Behind Bars « Back to Story

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Is Baltimore City, taking over the jails in the city?
Just because the guards self-aggrandizingly call themselves that doesn't mean that everybody has to follow suit?

I'll wager you the term was invented ca. 1958 by some aspirant prison reformer, and the guards do not care one way or another.

By the way, they are 'jail guards' or 'turnkeys'; in this country, M. Olivier, a 'prison' is a state or federal institutions which houses convicts, typically felony offendors; a jail is a county institution which houses those convicted of misdemeanors and those awaiting process.

Wow nice article
excellently researched and written article about a fascinating example of the exercise of political power to the detriment of tax paying public.
Anybody who doubts that Democrat government and widespread institutional corruption go together like a horse and carriage need only read this excellent article by Charles Lane.

Most big cities in America are now captives of similar (and permanent) one-party government by Democrats. New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. -- all are open sewers, with the rotten machines held firmly in place by public unions like AFSCME and SEIU.

Hard to see how the nation survives when the rule of law is replaced by the rule of men -- and pretty vile men at that. (I am put in mind of Detroit, utterly destroyed by the likes of Coleman Young and Kwame Kilpatrick.) Can civic pride and civic responsibility be recaptured and good government restored? Don't think so...that train done lef' the station.
Could we please stop fawning over prison guards by calling them "Correctional Officers" (complete with capitals, no less)? Just because the guards self-aggrandizingly call themselves that doesn't mean that everybody has to follow suit?
Baltimore had and has its assets, but it was in parlous condition in important respects when Mayor Schaefer held court. Nothing much new there. The homicide rate is lower than was the case a dozen years ago, though 7x what it is in New York City.


Sadly, this is not surprising of Baltimore or even Maryland. Once a great state to live in MD has become over taxed and crime ridden. I have moved my family out of the state because of this type of stuff.
This is the trouble with most unions today. They were formed to prevent abuse of their members by employers. But now they are used almost exclusively to protect their members from the consequences of their own abuse of others and other outrageous behavior. Unions wouldn't have such a horrible reputation in the public if they would ensure true fairness, but fairness never enters into a union member's or leader's mind.
COBR is set up to protect whistleblowers.

And that's what led to exposing these crimes.

Unions ??? Irrelevant. This situation developed because of management failures, including a top level cover up when earlier crimes were discovered.

"All problems are 85% management." Or has this writer forgotten Deming ?
When we received our latest issue of City Journal, I perused the content, and being a former citizen of the Baltimore Metro Area, I read the story with foreknowledge of the topic. Charles Lane was too restrained in his condemnation of the constant flow of corruption by the one-party politics of Baltimore City. Since the end of William Donald Schaeffer's tenure as mayor(1979-1984), the city has declined to the point where it should be declared bankrupt, the population has lost alarming number of productive citizens, nobody over the age of thirty dares to venture into it after dusk, and businesses have fled for the safety and lower costs of other areas within the state and beyond it. High taxes, a murder rate that equates to war, and collusion and graft within the city government is just the way of business there.

One could probably say many other once-thriving US cities could be described with the same verbiage. One party cities and states suffer this fate on a recurring basis.
LaGrangeville Jim April 28, 2014 at 5:27 AM
Excellent article. I'm not on the same side of the political aisle as Charles Lane but I always admire his integrity, intelligence, and courage to call it as he sees it.
Baltimore still hasn't seen the 1980 New Mexico prison riot.
"The real issue is who runs Maryland"

The real issue is public employee unions, not just in Maryland, but in many states and the federal government. Unfunded pension liabilities caused by unaffordable defined plans threaten more city and state government bankruptcies.

Politicians have proven that they will do nothing unless the voters are willing to throw them out of office.
Francis Figliola April 27, 2014 at 7:00 PM
What psychological tests did these prison officers pass to get their jobs in the correctional facility?
Pete from Baltimore April 27, 2014 at 5:15 PM

from what I understand, the situation in the Baltimore Jail is out of control. A friend of mine just got out last week.And he said that fistfights were breaking out between the COs.Apparently they are all worried about each other testifying against each other.

Because, lets face it, if 13 COs are crooked,, the rest must have at least known what was going on .

Omalley doesn't deserve to be Governor, let alone President