Detention Center FAQs

Contract between Howard County and the ICE

Explain the contract between Howard County and ICE.

Howard County has a long-standing contract with ICE to house individuals in ICE custody.  The Detention Center does not accept any individuals held solely on administrative or civil immigration charges. Under the revised policy, the Howard County Department of Corrections will still accept ICE detainees who have been convicted of a crime of violence as defined in Md. Criminal Law Code Annotated section 14-101.  The list of violent crimes included in the statute have been defined by the Maryland General Assembly and examples of such crimes include murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery, and more serious assaults and sexual offenses.  However, pretrial detainees who have been only charged with crimes, including crimes of violence, but who have not yet been convicted, would no longer be eligible for being housed in the Detention Center. 


What are the criteria for taking ICE detainees into the Detention Center?

Individuals are never detained solely because of their immigration status.  The Detention Center only accepts ICE detainees under the conditions listed above. 


What are some examples of the charges against those being detained?

As of June 29, 2020, 29 ICE detainees are housed in the Detention Center under the contract with ICE.  Several have been convicted of or charged with CDS possession for substances other than marijuana, and several have been convicted or charged with DUI / DWI coupled with other misdemeanors, and in one case with three DUI / DWI offenses.  The majority includes validated gang members and persons who have been convicted of or charged with felonies, including Murder, Attempted Murder, Armed Robbery, Arson, Rape-1st degree, Racketeering, Child Abuse, Sex Abuse of a Minor, Aggravated Cruelty to Animals, Handgun Possession, Conspiracy to Murder A Police Officer, Assault, False Imprisonment, Child Pornography, Sex Offense – Second Degree, Kidnapping, Manslaughter, and Carjacking. 


Has the Howard County Detention Center ever housed any non-criminal ICE detainees under the contract with ICE?

In 2017, one person who did not meet the criteria was mistakenly detained and held for three days.  Since then, the Detention Center has put enhanced screening and monitoring measures into place to ensure that it does not happen again. 


What is the average length of stay for detainees?

96 days.


Are the facilities overcrowded?

No, the Detention Center is at less than 50% capacity as of June 29, 2020.


Does the detention center house women and children?

The Detention Center does not and has never housed women or children.


What is the per diem rate paid by ICE to Howard County?

The County's cu