Prisons are costly, but what's the alternative?

Freeing violent, repeat offenders makes no sense.

Your editorial suggesting that Maryland can "send fewer people to prison and still lower the crime rate and improve public safety" is hard to believe ("Why prison populations decline," Aug. 23).

In case you hadn't noticed, homicides are occurring at a record-breaking pace.

Moreover, many assaults are not even counted. I have had two friends in the past six months who were victims of violent crime. One was assaulted in Federal Hill in an incident that resulted in an eight-hour surgery at Shock Trauma. The other was the victim of a "knockdown" in Fells Point.

In both cases the police knew who committed the crimes but refused to arrest the miscreants on the grounds that it was the criminals' word against my friends'.

Lyle Rescott, Marriottsville

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