Thursday, July 15, 2010

Inmate Rehab Program Ends

Awhile ago there was an article in Explore Howard about a program at Days End Farm, a local horse rescue. The program enabled female inmates to work with rescued horses while gaining responsibility and other skills essential for re-entry into society as productive members.

This sounded like a win-win arrangement to me. The inmates were toward the end of their sentences but were nevertheless supervised by correctional officers at all times. Sadly, many neighbors were uncomfortable with female offenders in the area and the plug on program was pulled a week later.

State Del. Warren Miller, a Woodbine Republican who represents Lisbon, said he received between 10 and 20 complaints from the farm’s neighbors and parents of the children who volunteer there.

Many were upset that community input was not sought before the program began, Miller said.

Miller said he is not taking a position on whether the inmate program is a good one, but he is concerned that some of the women working on the farm have been convicted of crimes such as assault.

“That for me is different than someone serving time for a DUI or a white collar crime,” he said. “... I know they’re nearing their release from prison and they’ve done their time but that’s just not appropriate for a rural-residential area.”

Prisoners are out in the community performing work on road crews and other duties regularly, Binetti said.

“Every single day we have inmates who are in the pre-release system ... it’s part of the transition back into the community.”

Those selected to work on the farm were nearing the end of their sentence and committed to rehabilitation, he said.

I'd much rather have a program like this in my backyard than the Centennial North Skate Park with its inner-city graffiti. It's pretty sad that the neighbors couldn't have given the program a chance.


Sarah said...

I would like to know what areas Del. Warren think are appropriate for rehabilitating prisoners who are scheduled for release soon. I guess the road crews where they don't interact with people.

Just curious-- why do you prefer this over the skate park?

FreeMarket said...

This program helps inmates gain skills which will allow them to re-enter society as productive members, all while helping animals.

The skate park is an ugly and loud annoyance to nearby homes which hurts their property values as well. No contest.

District 9A Voter said...

I'm guessing that Warren believes that the work release sites should be not in his backyard. Has he ever taken exception to the road crews routinely working the I70 corridor? Those crews are mere feet from my house and many others. And Lisbon Elementary is just a stone's throw from I70!

What a disservice the Bates / Miller ignorance machine have done this community, the DEHFR, the inmates, and the human race. I hope the effects rain down on them like the heavy stream of horse urine and excrement those two uppity bigots are.

wordbones said...

We're going to be all over this on our show tomorrow.


District 9A Voter said...

wordbones' definition of "all over this" clearly differs from mine. Great opportunity to engage in real issues other than the 1 billionth talk of Columbia redevelopment: FAIL.