Inmates help spruce up park for Opening Day
04/04/2011
Baltimore Sun - Online

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For those of you about to enjoy the first pitch of Opening Day at Camden Yards, remember that inmates helped make the park look pretty.

That's right, prisoners from the Eastern Shore Correctional Institution "stripped, sanded, re-stained and re-varnished players' lockers," according to a news release from the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

And inmates from the Patuxent Institution in Jessup made signs and decals.

It's all part of Maryland Correctional Enterprises, which employees more than 2,000 inmates doing $50 million in business around the state. Inmates have planted trees at Antietam Battlefield and helped restore the shoreline along the Chesapeake Bay. Yes, they also make license plates, but they also sew every flag flown at state buildings.

In the past, inmates worked to shovel snow out of the M&T Bank Stadium, "allowing the Ravens to play within hours of a blizzard," and planted flower beds and shrubbery. The inmates are in the pre-release program, meaning they are nearing freedom and the program is designed to help them enter the real world.