Maryland House of Correction

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Coordinates: 39°08′37″N 76°46′39″W / 39.1437°N 76.7774°W / 39.1437; -76.7774

Maryland House of Correction, 2008

The Maryland House of Correction, nicknamed "The Cut" or "The House", was a Maryland Department of Corrections state maximum security prison in an unincorporated area in Maryland. The prison opened in 1879 and became infamous for the high levels of violence that took place inside its walls. The state, under Governor Martin O'Malley, closed the prison in March 2007.[1]

The prison was situated on 800 acres (3.2 km2) south of Maryland Route 175 between U.S. 1 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. Most of its territory was in Anne Arundel County, while portions were in Howard County.[2]


The facility was built on land near the former Spurrier's Tavern and a hand-dug section of the B&O railroad called "Jessop's Cut". In 1897, the Baltimore Sun editor petitioned for prison workers to perform road labor to relieve pressure on the overcrowded facility.[3] The nickname "The Cut" was often used during HBO's series The Wire.

The Maryland House of Correction had a long history of harsh living conditions for inmates and dangerous conditions for correctional officers. Large prison riots occurred in 1945, 1964 and 1972.[4]

The prison was replaced in 2003 by North Branch Correctional Institution, a supermax prison in Cumberland, Maryland, with far greater control features and security. Demolition of the former prison began in January 2014.[5]

Death of correctional officer[edit]

In July, 2006, a Maryland correctional officer, David Warren McGuinn, was killed in the House of Corrections.[6] This was the second such death of a correctional officer in Maryland that year. The first was Officer Jeffery Alan Wroten, who worked at the Roxbury Correctional Institution in Hagerstown.[7] He was killed by an inmate while watching him at the nearby Washington County Hospital. His death was the first death of a CO in the line of duty in 20 years in Maryland.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Helderman, Rosalind S. "In Surprise Move, Md. Closes Jessup Prison, Transfers Inmates." Washington Post. Monday March 19, 2007. Retrieved on January 1, 2010.
  2. ^ "Defunct Agencies". Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  3. ^ Staunton Spectator and Vindicator. 7 January 1897.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ Wenger, Yvonne (14 July 2012). "Maryland House of Correction in Jessup set to be torn down". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  5. ^ "Notoriously violent Maryland House of Correction comes down". 17 January 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-08. 
  6. ^ The Officer Down Memorial Page
  7. ^ The Officer Down Memorial Page