Letters to the editor 2/3

February 03, 2003

For real savings, cut bureaucrats,not toilet paper

To the editor:

The Western Correctional Institution (WCI) administration has converted the already inferior-grade toilet paper distributed to the inmate population to smaller rolls, and about the same time stocked the prison commissary with toilet paper at 80 cents per roll. Now, not surprisingly, the officials are refusing to provide toilet paper (claiming not to have it) when the inadequate weekly provision is depleted.

Some may think that manipulating the inmates into purchasing toilet paper is slick management. However, every person sentenced to the custody of the Commissioner of Correction was committed also to his care. The law requires that inmates be provided with basic necessities such a toilet paper, not that their tax-paying family members pay for them.

Unlawful acts are not required for expenditure reductions to be meaningful. For example, many unnecessary administrative positions could be terminated. Why have an Administrative Remedy Procedure, Inmate Grievance Office, and numerous assistants to the Attorney General to divert attention from the truth for those who are paid to be responsible?


Basic common sense dictates that personnel are more concerned with performing their duties in a lawful, efficient manner if held truly accountable. Many parts of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services are dysfunctional, including the Parole Commission.

No doubt the taxpayers need and deserve some relief from the high costs of excessive warehousing, but will not benefit nearly as much by toilet paper rations being cut as by cutting self-serving prisoncrats from the payroll.

Richard L. Massey Jr. #190754

Western Correctional Institution

Cumberland, Md.

Open your eyes to the homeless

To the editor:

When I saw the picture on the cover of The Morning Herald, Jan. 24, titled "Trying to stay warm," I found myself rushing to read the story.

I had just gotten into work from my warm car and into a warm office and I could not remember ever feeling so incredibly cold. What could this story be about I wondered? I am a frequent user of the library and I too have seen a few people there who might be homeless.

Usually they were sitting at the tables still bundled up, talking quietly, browsing through magazines, newspapers and books. There are lots of tables and chairs in the library and even an upstairs section so I find it hard to believe that they are truly taking up all the tables and chairs.

Could it be that these library officials are uncomfortable by their presence? Okay, I can buy that. Just a reminderthere but for the grace of God go I. Thinking about how uncomfortable we are just rushing from our cars to our warm homes and offices. Could we even imagine how downright horrible it is to have no home or place of employment?

Maybe this time spent in the library could help them somehow. Could one of the newspapers lead to a job opportunity? Could a magazine story about alcoholism inspire someone to seek treatment? The possibilities are endless, are they not? Could a concerned group find a way to offer a job search/skill-building program?

Maybe you disagreeshut them away in a day center somewherepretend we have no homeless, turn your head and look the other way. Do what you will but don't you dare turn them out into the cold.

Barbara Fischer


Please, no slots in W. Maryland

To the editor:

Dear Governor Ehrlich:

Please consider many of us in Western Maryland. We want no slots or race track in Western Maryland.

We do not want any more gambling. We have too much already. Please keep it out of our Western Maryland. Many people in Western Maryland supported you. Now you do the same for us.

George E. Lashley


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