The Corruption Of The Maryland Corrections System

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What is the cause of such an infestation as the corruption in the Maryland corrections system? The answer lies in the lives of those involved. Generally speaking, it will always come down to the morals, beliefs, and needs of the individual who is faced with the opportunity to become corrupt. Individuals who are employed by the corrections system are, in reality, mercenaries employed by the system to guard and control the inmate populations. Niccolò Machiavelli (1950) wrote that mercenaries cannot be trusted when employed by the state. The reasoning behind Machiavelli’s assertion is that they are dangerous and, ultimately, useless because they have no allegiance to anyone except themselves. This allegiance, or lack thereof, is fueled by their “lack of love or other motive to keep them in the field beyond a trifling wage, which is not enough to make them ready to die for [their employers]” (Machiavelli, 1940, p. 45). While the prison guards may be properly classified as mercenaries, such attitude is not a feature unique to only certain professions; humans have an innate tendency to be concerned primarily with the things necessary for them to live as they see fit, whether that desire is simply living comfortably or living extravagantly. Because of that simple foundation, there are several issues that may be addressed and, when properly done, may offer an inoculation against the virus of corruption. One of the key areas of complaint – and therefore causes of corruption –

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