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Bills to facilitate prison guard investigations

ANNAPOLIS — The governor has signed a series of bills aimed at preventing another corruption scandal like the Black Guerrilla Family case at the Baltimore Jail.

The bills give more power to correctional authorities to investigate and punish corrupt officers. They make it easier to suspend officers without pay, to charge those caught with contraband and to test job applicants with polygraphs.

Legislators have also budgeted for facility upgrades and extra corrections officers.

Last year, 27 Baltimore jail guards were indicted on charges of bringing drugs and other contraband to inmates.

Del. Guy Guzzone, who helped plan the reform efforts, says the bills glided through voting sessions because most conflicts were resolved in advance.

However, Jeff Pittman, spokesman for the correctional officers’ union, says the bills could infringe on due process rights.

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