Maryland Correctional Adjustment Center Super Max Prison at Madison & Fallsway


After another long day at the new job I got on the bike and headed downtown for my first trip to the Whole Foods to get frozen berries and flax seeds for my breakfast, but mostly I just needed a bike ride to shake off the whole sitting-at-a-table-and-listening thing. I rode home up the hill in a super easy gear, all loaded down with the stuff you get when you go shopping hungry. The ride home quickly turns from tourist harbor to the outskirts of downtown to emptiness. I stopped to take a picture of the building at Fallsway and Madison. It is ringed with barbed wire and has rusted-out windows on one side and the tiny slits in the walls on the other, because it’s a prison. I figured it was a jail, it being practically in downtown Baltimore. Turns out it’s a supermax prison, where people are confined to cages 23 hours a day, 24 on the weekends. They are allowed no physical contact, ever; visits are through plexiglass, and time outside of cages is spent alone, one day inside, another day outside, one hour a day, five days a week. We do that to people, to human beings. I am ashamed of us. And I’m going to spend the foreseeable future riding by here on my bicycle all loaded up with blueberries, brewer’s yeast, and vitamins, pedal, pedal, pedal. I’m going to have to think about this one. So should you, because there’s a supermax prison somewhere near you. Baltimore just isn’t hiding its one.