Taxpayers cannot afford the current prison ‘non-system’
To the editor:
column regarding prison inmates (Aug. 28) completely ignored a major problem regarding prison overcrowding and defective parole practices. Prison populations throughout the country are growing older. In many prisons, entire cell blocks only hold inmates 60 and older. And with age, come health problems and greater expense.
The logical cure for this problem, early release for inmates over a certain age, brings up another problem. Many older inmates no longer have families or other support on the outside and the parole boards are not set up to help them. It is hard enough for an ex-con younger than 40 to get a job, but for a senior it is almost impossible. But all of the parole people just seem to want their charges to report in when ordered. This age problem is only going to get worse until states and the federal government set up agencies to help seniors with housing, medical care and minimum income.
Many readers are now yelling that they oppose giving any help to ex-cons. The senior inmates and ex-cons are not going to go away; their numbers will increase. When you see how much it costs to keep an average inmate, remember seniors cost far more than that due to health needs.
As governments are doing nothing to help older ex-cons, what about the private sector? There are some groups, few and far between, that claim to help. But they rarely do so. Most are religious-based with little funding and restrict any real help to those who convert and become active shills. They are very big on publicity, and politicians give them money so they can claim to be working on the problem. A total waste of money, in my opinion.
State and federal governments must take responsibility. The cost to maintain an old ex-con will be less than the cost of keeping him in prison until he dies. Taxpayers simply cannot afford the current non-system.
W. Bernard Randolph
World championship a treasured memory 40 years later
To the editor:
Salute to the world champions!
It was the night of Aug. 26, 1971, when a group of 14 teenage boys representing the Hagerstown Colt League completed their impossible dream by defeating a team from Aiea-Pearl City, Hawaii, by the score of 10-0. Then, they joyously hoisted the trophy and proudly displayed the flag that declared the “World Champions of Colt League Baseball.”
To some, it might seem like the 40 years ago that it was, but to these 14 men it still seems like yesterday that they were playing as 15- and 16-year olds. The memories they share will be something that will be treasured for the rest of their lives. They were the second team to win the world championship for the City of Hagerstown in the span of six years. But unfortunately, they have been the last team to accomplish this honor in the past 40 years.
So I would like to salute each one of the players from the 1971 Colt League world champions: Mike Brashears, Terry Brown, Gary Fahrney, Mike Gentry, Doug Higgins, Bill Jolliffe, Greg Leedy, Mike Lowry, Barry Miller, Bob Osbourn, Jim Repp, Lee Ridenour, Dick Showe and Mike Steiner. We also fondly remember those who are no longer with us: our manager Jim Brown, coach Durwerd Miller, and business manager Wesley Ruth.
Words of encouragement can make a big difference
To the editor: