Bill Sets Unreasonable Requirements for Local Jails

MACo submitted written testimony in opposition of HB 906, Special Requirements for Elderly, Chronically Ill, and Terminally Ill Inmates, to the House Judiciary Committee on March 8, 2016.

This bill sets unrealistic requirements on local jails.

From the MACo testimony,

HB 906 sets standards for the Maryland Parole Commission to grant compassionate release to inmates that are over 64 and have served at least 15 years of their sentence. It also requires the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services to designate separate housing facilities for elderly, chronically ill, and terminally ill inmates.

The bill requires that local correctional facilities accommodate the special needs of elderly, chronically ill, and terminally ill inmates in accordance with standards, guidelines, and recommendations issued or endorsed by the National Institute of Corrections (NIC). NIC does not have official standards, guidelines, or recommendations that dictate accommodation standards for these special populations within correctional facilities.

The requirements of this bill are unattainable for local correctional facilities. For these reasons MACo requests an UNFAVORABLE report on HB 906.

An identical cross-filed bill, SB 433, was heard on February 24 in the Senate.

For more on 2016 MACo legislation, visit the Legislative Database.