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Md. attorney general, governor discuss prisoner-release policy

August 28, 2007|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

At the request of a group of Washington County officials, Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler has spoken to Gov. Martin O'Malley about the state's prisoner release policy, Gansler spokeswoman Raquel Guillory said.

Guillory said Gansler talked to O'Malley during the Maryland Association of Counties conference in Ocean City, Md., about a week ago.

Police and government officials in Washington County - which has three state prisons - have complained that the state's policy of dropping parolees off at a bus station, with money for a ticket home, makes it easy for convicts to stay here instead.

A group of county representatives met with Gansler in July and asked him about writing O'Malley a letter. Although Gansler and his office don't set corrections' policies, officials hoped that his political influence could help their cause.

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The meeting was arranged by a local business and government coalition that has its own lobbyist in Annapolis.

The prisoner-release policy was one of the coalition's priorities for the 2007 Maryland General Assembly session earlier this year.

The topic has come up periodically this year, but the policy has not changed.

Brien J. Poffenberger, president of the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce and an organizer for the coalition, said the group expected Gansler to write a letter.

Regardless, he said, the next step is for the coalition to talk to Maryland's secretary of public safety and correctional services about the policy.

The secretary, Gary D. Maynard, is scheduled to speak Wednesday morning at a chamber of commerce breakfast at Four Points Sheraton on Dual Highway.

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