HOWARD COUNTY — The Howard County Department of Corrections will now only hold ICE detainees at the Howard County Detention Center who have been convicted of violent crimes.
Under the previous policy, the Department of Corrections could house ICE detainees who have been charged with or convicted of jailable offenses.
However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, to keep the jail population low, the detainees in the Detention Center under the contract with ICE generally have been convicted of or charged with serious crimes.
The Howard County Department of Corrections is adopting this policy that was implemented during the pandemic.
Under the new policy, the Howard County Department of Corrections will still accept ICE detainees who have been convicted of a crime of violence as defined in Md. Criminal Law Code Annotated section 14-101.
The list of violent crimes included in the statute has been defined by the Maryland General Assembly and examples of such crimes include murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery, and more serious assaults and sexual offenses.
Howard County said this revision significantly differs from Council Bill 51, which was introduced on Sept. 8. If enacted, CB-51 would effectively prohibit the County from housing any person who is in federal custody in the Detention Center under the contract with ICE.
They also stated the Howard County Detention Center does not and never has housed women or children.
Additionally, the county said Howard County Police are not involved in any way with transporting ICE detainees in custody or to the Detention Center.
ICE agents make the arrests, process all intakes at their Baltimore field office, and then use a private contractor to transport detainees to the Howard County Detention Center.