Counties Prefer Local Autonomy On Public Safety Contracts

MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson today submitted testimony to the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee in opposition to SB 478 Correctional Services – Immigration Detention – Prohibition (Dignity Not Detention Act). This bill would prohibit the State or any local government in Maryland from entering into agreements with private immigration detention centers.

From the MACo Testimony:

SB 478 limits the manner in which counties may operate their local detention facilities in regards to federal immigration detention. It would prohibit the continued operation of long held federal contracts and agreements that have been locally assessed and implemented. These arrangements, between levels of government, undergo appropriate local scrutiny for safety and potential community impact. Such management of county jail contracts and policies should be left to the discretion of those counties.

Counties recognize the difficult decisions the State faces regarding a range of immigration-related proposals, however, urge caution against passing legislation that may have other far-reaching consequences on the authority of local governments to manage their operations. For these reasons, MACo urges an UNFAVORABLE report on SB 478.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2021 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.

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