Prison boot-camp graduate dies after being shot in P.G.


One of the first graduates from the state correctional system's boot camp for non-violent, first-time offenders was slain last week in Prince George's County, authorities said yesterday.

Nathaniel Austin, 23, who graduated from the program Jan. 17, was found with a gunshot wound in the head last Thursday night at the corner of Fire House Road and Hawthorne Street in Landover, said Cpl. Mark A. Polk, a spokesman for the Prince George's County police.

Corporal Polk said Austin, who lived in the 3500 block of Hubbard Road in Landover, died Friday afternoon at Prince George's Hospital Center in Cheverly. Police had no motive or suspects in the homicide, he said.

Leonard Sipes, a spokesman for the state corrections system, said Austin was one of 34 inmates who graduated Jan. 17 from the Brockbridge Correctional Facility in Jessup after completing six months in the state corrections boot camp. The program is designed to rehabilitate inmates under age 32 who are imprisoned for the first time.

The camp is intended to teach discipline and good work habits to inmates and to provide vocational and educational training.

For participating in the program, graduates are given early release though they are supervised intensively for a year by the state Division of Parole and Probation.

Susan G. Kaskie, a parole and probation spokeswoman, said that Austin entered the program while completing a five-year sentence for violation of probation resulting from a housebreaking conviction. She said he was seen by a parole supervisor Jan. 18 and again Jan. 22, just two days before he was found wounded.

Ms. Kaskie said Austin had complied with parole guidelines and had arranged for interviews for two or three jobs.

"It's unfortunate that this happened," Ms. Kaskie said. "He may have, in fact, been an innocent bystander."

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