outsiders and maryland prisoner reentry
greg garland of the baltimore sun offers a nicely detailed report on recent changes in prison release practices in maryland:
Most inmates in the rural prisons in Western Maryland and on the Eastern Shore are from the Baltimore-Washington metro area. When an inmate's sentence ends, he is given $50 in cash and dropped off at a bus station. Under the new policy, corrections officials say, inmates will be transported to a prison in Baltimore or one closer to their home community a day or so before discharge.
the change appears to be motivated, in part, by a desire to facilitate reintegration of prisoners in baltimore and, in part, to appease outstate political leaders. for example, the mayor of hagerstown doesn't want any baltimore residents released into his community.
The Herald-Mail of Hagerstown recently published an opinion piece by the mayor, in which he responded to a letter to the editor an inmate had written on the issue of prisoner releases in Hagerstown. "The bottom line is this," Mayor Bruchey wrote. "If you weren't a resident of Hagerstown or Washington County before your incarceration, we definitely don't want you as one when you are released."
ouch. so, is there any evidence that former inmates from baltimore are responsible for a crime wave in hagerstown or elsewhere? not so much:
a study done by the department found only eight of the 622 inmates from other areas who were released from prisons near Hagerstown and Cumberland between January and June of this year remained in the area. The five prisons in those two communities house about 9,000 inmates. Six of the eight were working in jobs that they started before their release, and the other two have family in the area, corrections officials said.