The Maryland Correctional Institution for Women opened its locked doors yesterday, and in walked 40 or so tourists, most of them women. The Washington Post reports that they were victims of violent crime, or relatives of victims, or advocates for victims. In 1981, the Reagan administration declared this week in April National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services decided to show that inmates are not coddled.
The visitors took a three-hour tour. They found the maximum-security building darker and its inmates louder. As the group walked through the stuffy halls, inmates banged on cell doors and yelled out complaints — no hot water, broken toilets. “They just have to learn to play well with others,” said Theresa Horn of the Maryland Crime Victims Resource Center. “This is the wrong group to complain to,” said Joyce Schaum, also a victims advocate.