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Feds to pay $20M toward 2 Maryland prisons

The Maryland prison agency says the federal government will provide $20 million toward the cost of two new minimum-security state prisons in Jessup.

The deal announced Tuesday also gives the U.S. Marshals Service exclusive use of the former Supermax prison in Baltimore for housing federal detainees awaiting trial.

Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services spokesman Mark Vernarelli says the federal contribution reduces the state’s cost of the two new prisons to $26 million.

Public Safety Secretary Gary Maynard calls the arrangement smart government. He says it provides for reuse of an existing building and new space for inmates approaching release.