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Letter to the editor

February 16, 2006

Stereotypes work both ways



To the editor:

I wish to respond to David Brown's "Inmates get games, officers the shaft" letter to the editor, dated Jan. 12.

Hopefully, there were not too many who read Brown's propaganda and who actually subscribed to his misinformation.

Regarding the "phones" being found inside the prison, as is the case with most other contraband, it is delivered via staff. You answered this when you admitted that you're financially disabled, as are those in your peer class. Surely the "phones" were not taken through security without some sort of tax-free handling fee? I must side with the administration, for I believe they see this the way I see it.

Moving on, you mention how "fellow Marylanders" don't want their money going to inmates. You're actually saying that you do not want inmates to be rehabilitated, so in essence, you're saying that you want "Marylanders" to be unsafe.

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Mr. Brown, do you realize how much rehabilitation can be gained from a simple TV? Just because you may not watch "C-Span," "PBS," news, and educational programming, does not mean inmates do not.

Games and weights? Both are significant stress reducers. Weights also promote good health, which would actually cut down on medical costs. You must not believe that prison punishment is to be nothing more than the removal from society.

I say from day one of incarceration, rehabilitation should begin, and nothing rehabilitates a person more than forgiveness, compassion and understanding. I am not saying that we must condone the criminal act itself, but once it is done, it is done, so why not make an effort to help not only the victim, but also the victimizer? Yes, we can hate the crime, but let us not hate our fellow man.

So, Mr. Brown, when you take your own problems to work with you and take it out on the unfortunates, you are actually the one causing society to be unsafe.

Finally, you mislead the reader to believe that they are the ones paying for the TVs, games, etc., and that is simply not the case. The "Inmate Welfare Fund" is not funded by the Maryland Department of Public Welfare as you would like the reader to believe. And even if it were, what a good way to assist in one's rehabilitation. For the most part, these items are paid for by inmates themselves, through their slave- labor wages or from their loving families sending in the funds.

One final thought: You are not guilty of taking in contraband, but obviously some staff member(s) is/are. Therefore, you have experienced your first taste of being stereotyped. You know for a fact that we inmates are constantly punished for the actions of others. It hurts, doesn't it?

Darin L. Hauman

No. CJ 8797

Somerset, Pa.




Impressive start for new director



To the editor:

I was recently introduced to Brian Sullivan, the new executive director of The Maryland Theatre, at a Hagerstown Community College Arts Advisory Committee meeting.

It was refreshing - if not astonishing - to hear Sullivan articulate a broad sense of vision for an organization where vision has been all but absent for some time.

Most, if not all of us in the meeting room that afternoon cherish The Maryland Theatre and believe that it has yet to fulfill its unique potential as a dynamic community cultural institution.

I urge others who share this sentiment to join Brian Sullivan and the Maryland Theater board of directors for the upcoming "State of the Theater" presentation.

In the end, it is we, the concerned community members, who will usher in a new era for the Maryland Theatre and greater downtown Hagerstown.

David Fitzwater

Smithsburg




Help preserve Blackwater Falls



To the editor:

I love Blackwater Falls, the river and the trail and all the natural, unspoiled beauty of the canyon. It would be a tragedy not only for us but for future generations to have logging and road building take place in the area.

As population increases and pristine land becomes more and more scarce, the Blackwater area should continue to be a place where people can find beauty, solitude and rest from the pressures of the world. Logging and roads into logging sites would harm, if not destroy, the peaceful attraction of the region.

Protect this valuable resource from commercial exploitation.

Paul A. Atkins

Morgantown, W.Va.

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