Maryland officials suspended a program that provided inmate labor for a horse rescue farm, after complaints from neighbors and parents of young volunteers who said they weren’t notified that prisoners would be at the site, the Baltimore Sun reports. The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services rolled out the program last week. Days later, officials were apologizing for how the initiative was handled.
“I was definitely against it. Nobody knew about it,” said Tammy Mirabile, who lives with her husband and four children, ages 2 to 11, less than a mile from the farm and learned about the initiative through a newspaper account last weekend. An inmate could flee, she said, into the rural and residential areas near the farm. Gary D. Maynard, secretary of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, who was at the farm when the program was launched July 8, quickly agreed that he had erred in not informing the community or the legislators, said Delegate Gail Bates, a member of a subcommittee that oversees corrections department spending.