September 18, 2013

Learn more about Crownsville State Hospital

CONTACT: Meredith Curtis, ACLU of Maryland, 410-889-8555; 

Carl Snowden, Caucus; 410-269-1524; 

Jacqueline Boone Allsup, AACo NAACP; 443 883-5151;

Virginia Knowlton Marcus, MDLC; 410-727-6352;

ANNAPOLIS - On September 18, the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, the Caucus of African-American Leaders, the Maryland State Conference of NAACP Branches, the Anne Arundel County NAACP, and the Maryland Disability Law Center will testify at a public hearing to call on Governor Martin O'Malley to investigate inhumane conditions experienced by African-Americans at Crownsville State Hospital during the 20th century. The hearing, organized by the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland, is being held to hear testimony regarding the history of mistreatment of African Americans in the state's mental health system, particularly at Crownsville State Hospital. 

Formally known as the Maryland Hospital for the Negro Insane, the Crownsville State Hospital was intended to be "separate but equal, " but available reports make clear that conditions were substandard - even by the low standards of the day. In addition, there is evidence suggesting human experimentation and improper burial procedures took place. The coalition is asking the State of Maryland to investigate and document what happened at Crownsville to ensure that this troubling chapter of Maryland history is properly acknowledged and the victims never forgotten.

WHAT: Public hearing on mistreatment and abuse at former Crownsville State Hospital. 

WHO: Susan Goering, Executive Director, ACLU of Maryland; Sonia Kumar, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Maryland; Carl O. Snowden, Convener, Caucus of African-American Leaders; Laura Cain, Managing Attorney, Maryland Disability Law Center; Gerald Stansbury, Maryland State Conference of NAACP Branches; and Jaqueline Boone Allsup, Anne Arundel County NAACP.

WHEN: Wednesday, September 18, 2013, 10 a.m. 

WHERE: Joint Hearing Room, Maryland Statehouse, Annapolis, Maryland