Observations from October 2020

In October, Baltimore Courtwatch observed 285 Bail Reviews.

Of those 285, 

  • 39% (110) were granted home detention
  • 38% (109) were held in no bail status
  • 13% (36) were released to pretrial/probation/parole supervision
  • 2% (7) were released on personal recognizance
  • 7% (19) were postponed
  • <1% (1) were released with a cash bail
  • <1% (2) Sub Curia

Items heard in Bail Reviews:

BALT stopped paying home detention fees starting Nov. 1, 2020. Judges have stated multiple times that inability to pay should not be the reason for continuing incarceration, yet it is still happening. 

Det. Deonte Duck, who was identified in a previous bail hearing as having “credibility issues” — resulting in felony charges being dropped — continues to be listed in cases, most with charges and types of incidents similar to that case.

Marilyn Mosby’s office is prosecuting many cases without doing investigations, including citizen’s complaints against other citizens. In some cases, where further investigation was needed, they sent cops involved in the case.

COVID cases in MTC have sharply increased. Central Booking has a smaller but significant increase. 

Judge Vittoria scolded an OPD attorney for issues with the OPD antiquated phone messaging system.  Have heard thousands of bail review cases and this was the first time issues with this system have caused a problem. Judge Vittoria threatened to take away the option of home detention for OPD clients.

Multiple defense lawyers have brought up issues with Alert Home Detention company. Several asked for clients to be switched from Alert to ASAP due what was characterized as aggressive and racist communications from the owner. Alert also took a break from accepting new clients.

ASAP does not have a Spanish speaker on staff, nor do they hire interpreters. They have a large number of non-English-speaking clients. 

Baltimore SAO offices continue not to provide all SOPCs to judges and defense attorneys. 

Of the cases heard, the adult held longest with no trial has been held pretrial since June 4, 2019.

Regular medical care is not provided to the pretrial population. Services not happening that have been stated in bail hearings include wound care, post surgical care, diabetic care, pain management, and psychiatric medical care. 

Juveniles in jails are not being offered anything but emergency services. They are not getting regular medical, mental health, or education services. Regular medical care and specialized medical is spotty. Care described as not being provided includes regular blood sugar testing and proper diets for diabetics, and neurological testing or treatments for the onset of seizures.

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