Herald-Mail forums

August 20, 2007

This week's question:

Gary Maynard, Maryland's new Secretary of Public Safety & Correctional Services, will be in Hagerstown Aug. 29. for a breakfast meeting. If you could ask him one question, what would it be?

· Why are guards not checked for drugs that are being taken into the prison?

· Mr. Maynard, what programs are available to prisoners that will provide them with the experience and education that they need to keep out of jail after they serve their time and how popular are these programs?

· Are you going to do anything to improve the safety of the guards?

· Are you going to keep low-profile inmates from being placed in the same cell with dangerous inmates. For example, a drug user placed with an attempted killer.


· Why can't prisoners from Baltimore and D.C. be sent back where they came from and not housed in Hagerstown's jail and prisons, leaving our taxpayers to support them?

· Are there any illegal aliens in our prisons? If so, Why are they not deported?

· It's been proven in the past and remains the same today that the guards are bringing contraband into the prisons. Why are the guards not checked more often?

· What work opportunities are available to prisoners along with education to help them learn a work skill to use when they are released? What are the criteria for selecting prisoners for various educational opportunities.

· If there isn't a staffing problem at the prisons here in Hagerstown, then why is there so much overtime needed? Too much overtime for any one individual officer can be a safety issue.

· Who in heck wants these people working for them? If they have to get a background check, poof, there goes their chance of getting a job. Usually once you're convicted of a crime, you would be lucky to get a job doing anything.

· Listen, just because you're in charge doesn't mean you know it all. This was not the case with Secretary Mary Ann Saar.

· Mr. Maynard, where and when are you going to build the new prisons? Unless you plan to release a large chunk of the prison population, there's no other way around the overcrowding. If safety is so paramount (as it better be), then I would think one of the first orders of business would be to build a new place to put these people. The Herald-Mail just ran a very nicely done series on the three prisons here. They're way over capacity and there's no reason for it.

· Why do the correctional officers get away with so much when other state employees do not? For example: False injuries, sick call-ins, disability claims while they are still able to play softball?

· I have several generations of correctional officers in my family. They work a dangerous, emotionally draining job. I believe they deserve similar respect as a police officer, or a firefighter. I would not want to work their job - and I thank those who do. Their concerns need to be heard and addressed. No one knows better than someone who has actually done the job.

· What is the definition of a "thorough" employee search? Is it the same as the "strip" search discussed at the management meetings with the executive staff?

· Why are inmates cooking or preparing the officers' food without any supervision? If this should not be, then fix it! You might think that anyone with a security background would not let this happen. I know it has happened continuously for the last few decades at one of our state institutions in Hagerstown. Why? Because we can't afford to pay to have correctional dietary officers. Baloney!

· If contraband is an issue, then why do you have contact visits? Don't blame staff when the general public is caught routinely bringing in drugs to little Johnnie.

· That is right. Frederick County Detention Center has no contact visits, why does the state? Why can't the state use the drug dogs and officers whom we pay to check everyone, every day (officers and visitors) who goes inside? That would slow things down that come in. Fire the bad guys and give the good guys a raise.

· The Saar administration took away 20 percent of MCI-H's staff and added a large number to headquarters. When are the ones who do all the work going to be restaffed? All we get from headquarters is we need this form and that form added to what we already do. So now we are doing twice the paperwork with 20 percent less staff. Who is watching the Inmates with all this added paperwork?

· Why do we not make them wear jumpsuits? To rebuild a man, you first have to tear him down.

· Here are two suggestions for improving these polls. 1. As I mentioned once before, how about a 12-hour or a 24-hour delay before posting appropriate comments?

2. There are way too many lousy poll questions. Why can't the newspaper show the world the name of the person who thought the poll question was fit to print? Of course, if I were the author of some of these poll questions, I wouldn't want anyone to know either.

This week's question:

One of last week's posters suggested that the questions being asked are not the best possible ones. What question would you like to get your fellow posters to answer?

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