Warden, 7 Others Suspended From Central Booking

… Female detainee admitted to local hospital after alleged use of excessive force …


By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun

10:13 PM EST, January 14, 2011

The warden who oversees the Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center and seven other corrections employees have been suspended because of the alleged use of excessive force that left a female detainee hospitalized, state corrections officials said.

Officials said a 26-year-old woman, who faced minor charges and was detained at the facility Jan. 8, was taken to a local hospital for injuries not considered to be life-threatening after the alleged abuse, according to a release from the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

Warden Naomi Williams, the facility’s top official, a major and six correctional officers, remain on administrative leave as the Internal Investigative Unit of correctional services investigate the incident.

Assistant Warden Carolyn Scruggs is the acting warden during the investigation. The other employees were not identified.

Williams, a native Baltimorean who has worked in corrections for 30 years, was named Central Booking’s warden in 2008, replacing Mitch Franks, who retired.

She started as a clerk in the Baltimore City jail in 1978 and became a corrections officer a year later.

Every person arrested in the city is taken to Central Booking for processing.

Maryland Division of Pretrial Detention and Services, which operates Central Booking and the Baltimore City Detention Center, has also begun an administrative review of the situation.

Last year, Benjamin F. Brown was fired from his position of deputy commissioner of pretrial division, and pleaded guilty to stealing money from arrestees that had been contaminated with body fluids and burying most of it in a junkyard.

Contaminated cash taken from detainees is supposed to be logged into a book, placed in a marked bag and stored in a secure location, a spokesman said.

Corrections spokesman Rick Binetti would not comment on last week’s incident, pointing to the continuing investigation.


Copyright © 2011, The Baltimore Sun

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