As The Post reported Sunday, Martin O'Malley's reluctance to use his executive powers of clemency -- and, I would add, his overall lack of interest in aggressive corrections reform -- puts him out of step with governors facing overcrowded prisons and budget shortfalls. Here's more from reporter John Wagner's piece in the Sunday Post:
In the Maryland prison system, there are some modest initiatives to bring "treatment behind the walls" and to offer vocational training to inmates. But we still don't see -- under the allegedly liberal Democrat O'Malley -- the kind of big-shift cultural reform that would give more inmates more opportunities to leave prison sooner, find a job and become productive members of society. "Corrections" has been lost from corrections for a long time, if it ever existed to any significant degree at all.
While the Maryland prison system lacks progressive reforms that might reduce the rolls of the incarcerated, supporting a true prison construction moratorium here one day, Montgomery County has been doing its part to reduce the risk of recidivist with a nationally-recognized prerelease program. I wrote a recent column on the Manhattan Institute's findings regarding the successful pre-release (read that, re-entry) program in Montgomery County. Here are more interesting excerpts from the report, descriptions of how the program works and commentary of the author, Anne Piehl: