The county executive slashed $366,000 from the library budget under the auspices of “fiscal responsibility” but still managed to find a way to increase funding to the detention center by $470,110 and increase community corrections by $312,000 for a total increase of $782,110 to lock up our fellow citizens of Cecil. It is unconscionable that the executive could justify a cut to the library, a service that builds community and helps give our children a better future while dumping 3 quarters of a million dollars into the detention center something that is harming our loved ones and tearing families apart.
Currently, the Cecil County Detention Center is experiencing its second COVID outbreak in just 6 months because of the dangerous overcrowding and guards not following COVID protocols. As you are reading this, our friends and family in CCDC are suffering extensive human rights abuses including:
- Human feces and other sewage backing up into cells
- 289 people in a facility designed for just 200
- 23 hour lockdowns
- Black mold in the facility
- Diminished food supplies
- Denial of emergency medical care including one woman’s son being denied an inhaler for 3 months and a man with a broken jaw being denied care for 3 weeks resulting in nerve damage so extensive he will never smile at his wife again.
Throwing more money into this will not resolve any of these issues, it will only create more space so more of our fellow citizens will suffer these abuses.
This pile of money going to the detention center could have been used to help our community if the executive truly cared about the citizens of Cecil. The money could have and should have gone to projects like supporting substance abuse treatment to help alleviate the crushing opioid crisis, create transitional housing, better funding diversion programs or…fully funding our libraries!
In closing, a budget is a moral document. By choosing to fund CCDC and their human rights abuses over funding something that is a benefit to all, like a library, our executive has shown her morals and they are shameful.