Md. bans prison visits in light of drug exposure cases in Pa., Ohio
Md. DOC spokesman says the ban is effective until further notice
By Christina Tkacik
The Baltimore Sun
BALTIMORE — The state’s department of corrections is banning visitors from all correctional facilities until further notice, according to a spokesman for the department.
The announcement came after staff and inmates at facilities in Ohio and Pennsylvania became sick from possible drug exposure.
At an Ohio prison, 28 people became sick with signs of opioid exposure Wednesday, according to the state highway patrol. Additional doses of Narcan have been supplied to the local hospital.
Simultaneously, Pennsylvania’s state prisons are on lockdown while investigators look into similar incidents there.
A Gaithersburg pharmaceutical company with significant Baltimore operations has acquired the maker of Narcan, a widely used opioid overdose reversal drug, and said it plans to develop more products to combat the nation’s opioid addiction and overdose epidemic.
No such incidents have been reported in Maryland.
“We are taking precautions to ensure the safety and security of our employees and inmates,” said Stephen T. Moyer, secretary of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.
In addition, mail will not be opened or distributed to inmates and staff are advised to use protective equipment.
Department officials hope to resume visits by the weekend.