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Posted at 10:35 AM ET, 07/15/2010

Horse farm prison program suspended

By Washington Post editors

Maryland prison officials have suspended a program that provided inmate labor at a farm in western Howard County that treats neglected horses.

The program was launched with much fanfare last week. But neighbors and parents of volunteers say they weren't informed that prisoners would be working at Days End Farm Horse Rescue.

Two state lawmakers received complaints, and they contacted Gary Maynard, secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. Maynard agreed to suspend the program indefinitely.

Days End executive director Kathy Howe says she thought the female inmates would be a help in managing the property. She says there wasn't any communication between inmates and other volunteers and that she “didn't anticipate” anyone would be upset.

-- Associated Press

By Washington Post editors  | July 15, 2010; 10:35 AM ET
Categories:  Maryland  
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This is too bad. Studies have shown that working with animals is a good way to teach compassion and responsiblity -- two traits that need to be taught to inmates before their release back into society. This would have been a good thing for both Days End Farm and for the inmates. It's unfortunate that it was suspended without further study.

Posted by: MarylandJ | July 15, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

how sad that a worthwhile and needed program is cut short because of some nervous nellies.

here's a news flash; crime can be commited by people other then inmates.
And those inmates in the program were supervised. you would be more at risk with whoever you work with at your job day to day then an inmate who is supervised and seperated from you.

so now the inmates lose out on a chance to do some good and improve their esteem (which would reduce recedivism)
and sick/injured horses have their level of care reduced.

thanks a lot "concerned" citizens.

Posted by: MarilynManson | July 15, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

also, it would be nice if the Post would name those two state lawmakers who intervined.

I want their names so I can be sure to never vote for them again.

Posted by: MarilynManson | July 15, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

People are idiots. Wouldn't you rather have someone come out of prison with a higher sense of self-worth, some useful skills, and a sense of empathy? Now they'll come out with none of that, plus anger that those around them shutdown a useful progarm. Enjoy your new neighbor when they get out. I'm sure the horses thank you also.

Posted by: jckdoors | July 15, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Ugh, the whiners who got this program stopped are the same people raising their children to think they are better than everyone else. If they want to complain about some inmates doing good work, then they should have to put in the labor that the inmates are now unable to do. I used to work with convicted felons (some considered violent offenders) all the time and they never bothered me or anyone else at that company. They were too grateful for the opportunity to make something of themselves to screw it up.

Posted by: HappyArmyWife | July 15, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

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