Prerelease policy protested


A quiet group of about 50 people marched outside the state Division of Correction headquarters last night to protest the removal of inmates serving life sentences from the prerelease program.

Carrying signs that read "Rally for Lifers" and "Lifers Need Hope," the group, including about a half-dozen children, staged the protest in Northwest Baltimore.

Olinda Moyd, a spokeswoman for the group known as the Maryland Prison Renewal Committee, said the protest was staged because members are appalled by the division's decision last month to temporarily remove lifers from the family-leave and work-release programs. Leonard A. Sipes, a prison spokesman, said the prerelease program and lifers' roles in it are being reviewed by correctional officials.

"I'm concerned what's coming back to my community," Ms. Moyd said. "We have to make these people better individuals before they're sent back into society."

Marva Henderson of Baltimore said her husband, Anthony, 36, has served 17 years of a life sentence and she was disappointed by the state's action.

"This is a traumatic decision not only for the lifers, but their families, too," she said.

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