O’Malley: Tough on Checkbooks, not on crime

When O’Malley talks about being tough on crime, this is not what I think of:

With more inmates and fewer beds, Maryland‘s prison agency is considering alternatives to locking people up.

Public Safety and Correctional Services Secretary Gary Maynard says in a report to the General Assembly that more low-risk offenders may be released on parole, and that the use of home detention may be expanded.

Maynard also says the agency is expanding its use of technology enabling low- and moderate-risk offenders on parole or supervised probation to report through computer kiosks instead of in person.

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Notice that Secretary Maynard did not say “non-violent offenders” but “low-risk offenders.” Whatever that means.

Of course, the problem with these kind of odd little ideas is the fact that programs like these realistically do little to improve public safety, and certain do little to provide the punishment that incarceration is supposed to bring. It’s bad enough that parole continues to exist, since it should be abolished for all criminals for all offenses. But this kind of “catch and release” program seems to address a serious problem by creating an even more serious problem for the working and middle class families that will live and work among these freshly released convicts everyday.

I just wonder how O’Malley can talk about making public safety a priority when his administration wants to put criminals back into our communities in this manner.


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