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Don't forget 'Safe and Sound' help for offenders

Dennis Wise, notorious Baltimore crime figure referenced in 'The Wire,' released after decades in prison. (Ulysses Muñoz / Baltimore Sun)

The “Ungers” are not the only people demonstrating how offenders can safely be released from prison (“Ending mass incarceration: lessons from the ‘Ungers,’” Dec. 3). Several years ago, enlightened citizens organized a group now known as “Safe and Sound,” run largely by volunteers and meeting in a church basement. It obtains permission from our prisons to have appropriate nonviolent offenders released before they have completed their sentences.

Safe and Sound then works with these people, assisting them in living outside of prison — a major challenge directly related to recidivism. The recidivism rate of the program is 7 percent. Considering that Baltimore’s recidivism rate is 40 percent, this represents an enormous savings and so the state began reimbursing a portion of the savings.

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The Hogan administration eliminated these payments. Who will step forward to give financial support once more to this ongoing program that has been strikingly effective in reducing crime and the costs of crime in the city of Baltimore?

Guy Hollyday, Baltimore

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