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Maryland’s Most Imprisoned Communities

Posted in Attorney Blogs,News on March 16, 2015

The Justice Policy’s report on corrections spending in Baltimore City, Maryland. A recent report published by two area nonprofits shows how much Marylanders are spending each year on incarceration, and the communities from which those who are incarcerated come.

The cost is high, unsurprisingly: $288 million in taxpayer dollars each year. But more interesting to me is that the communities with the densest population of imprisoned people-Greater Rosemont, Southwest Baltimore and Sandtown-Winchester/Harlem Park-are those immediately surrounding Johns Hopkins medical campus. When you think about it, this is a really curious finding-one that leads to even more questions.

Something I’d like to know that the study didn’t seem to address is the nature of the crimes people from these communities are being incarcerated for. Consider this possible explanation: I would guess that there is much more of a police presence in and around Hopkins, since it is such an important institution for the city.

So perhaps perhaps people committing relatively minor offenses (in the same rate as others across the city) are simply being observed and apprehended more often because of the increased police presence.

There is also the question of whether this is being intentionally done, in an attempt to placate Hopkins (with or without their knowledge).

I would also like to know if the location of the crime has any correlation to the length of sentence-are people from certain communities given long jail terms, for instance.

These are the kinds of questions this study raises for me. I hope the answers are quick to follow.