Restorative Justice Benefits Women Inmates and Starving Horses
DPSCS-Days End partnership features inmates from Md. Correctional Institution for Women

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TOWSON, MD (July 8, 2010)---The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Servicestoday added yet another to its growing list of unique restorative justice inmate initiatives, putting a work crew comprised of female inmates at Howard County’s Days End Farm Horse Rescue. The inmates, from the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women (MCI-W) in Jessup, will begin with grounds maintenance and landscaping, andeventually move into equine care.

“What we try to do with these restorative justice programs is not only give inmates skills and thechance to pay back the society they’ve harmed, but meaningful projects that really do make a difference in the lives of people---and in this case, horses,” said DPSCS Secretary Gary Maynard.

DPSCS began its Public Safety Works initiatives last year to help communities and nonprofits accomplish projectsdespite limited manpower and resources, and has completed some remarkable achievements since: inmates have planted more than 600-thousand trees, including 3,800 to restore Antietam Battlefield to its Civil War appearance; built thousands of oyster spat cages; grown enough shoreline-restoring bay grasses to protect several islands; and restored state veterans’ cemeteries, as well as important historical sites like Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Baltimore and the town hall in the western Maryland city of Williamsport.

The women inmates from MCI-W are all minimum-security offenders with little time remaining on their sentences. The four to six women will work in a group under the supervision of a correctional officer. They have received training by Days End on working around horses, and will begin their work with the goal of helping the 58-acre farm create more grazing pasture land.

Days End recently took in dozens of starving horses after a farm seizure in Garrett County. The Division of Correction has already donated 220 bales of hay to help feed those animals.