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Letters to the Editor 1/25

January 25, 2001

Letters to the Editor 1/25



Prisons aren't about to erupt



To the editor:

In recent weeks there have been several articles written by those employed in the Division of Corrections expressing concern for their safety.

I would like to stress that there's no need to be alarmed by the efforts of disgruntled employees who are giving the public the impression that Maryland's prison system is on the verge of an explosion.

When you take into consideration that prison is a place that houses men and women convicted of crimes, it goes without saying that some degree of violence is expected.

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In order to combat this alleged violence, every effort should be placed into hiring those best suited to work in a prison environment. Maryland, like most states, is responsible for housing prisoners who have been convicted of both violent and non-violent crimes.

When housing 1,200 or more individuals with various backgrounds into a common environment, there are bound to be some problems, factoring in those who suffer the inability to function in such an environment, without proper treatment and counseling. It is possible these inmates may tend to react aggressively.

It's no secret that the Division of Corrections has taken the place of big business - taking over where factories have left off in providing gainful employment to housewives, farmers and many who have retired from other places of employment, looking to supplement their retirement incomes.

As a result of this demand for jobs, it's reasonable to assume that the level of training has suffered. Therefore, the implied threat cannot be eliminated without proper training being implemented throughout the Division of Corrections. This would include sensitivity training, as well as anger management and communication skills.

Those who consider themselves advocates for prison reform should insist that money be spent to provide programs that affect inmates with mental illness and psychological problems.

Violence against staff, or anyone else for that matter, should be treated as a serious issue. However, it should be noted that the Division of Corrections in Maryland is, by far, ahead of most departments of corrections, in addressing the issue of violence within the prison system.

Rafiki Abdul Karim

MCI - #199-426

Home care works



To the editor:

Another year gone by: We all need to thank someone, or many someones. There is at least one person who had done something for you in the year 2000, if only for giving you a smile.

I have three home-care providers coming into my home and they give me the care that I need - rain, snow, cold or hot, no matter what kind of weather it is. They are there for me. Hazel Parson and Marion Holmes. These two ladies have been through my sinful life with me, my ups and downs. When I had problems, they fought right along with me for any kind of help I needed. They were there when I made the big change in my life, and that was receiving Jesus Christ as my savior. And Joyce Bolyard has been with me about two years. She is coming into her own. She needs to learn about people, but she has a good heart, she will do anything for someone if she can.

Each of them has a very different personality and I am very grateful for these three women, and love all of them equally.

Without this kind of in-home care, I would be in a hospital somewhere, doing who knows what. Thanks to the help of these ladies and other home-care providers all over, people like me can have our own apartments and do the things we like. In my case, I do volunteer work, art writing, cooking, counseling people and so on.

None of this would be possible without the help of the in-home care providers. Not only do I want to thank my three home care providers, I want to thank all home care providers. Thanks for making things possible. God uses each and every one of us in a way that we will never understand. Make him your friend today and take the time to thank someone today.

James Harrison Twyman Jr.

Hagerstown

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