Cumberland Times-News

February 19, 2013

Passage of this bill could cost considerable amount of money

To the Editor:
Cumberland Times-News

— On Feb. 8, Sen. James DeGrange introduced Senate Bill 876 to the Maryland Senate. This bill proposes the repeal of a prohibition on the use of state funds to implement certain standards for state correctional facilities.

This rather vague synopsis omits that the standards that are currently prohibited by the Code of Maryland are standards set forth by a group known as the American Correctional Association.

Our state has the Maryland Commission on Correctional Standards, a fine publicly accountable organization of which has all of its information available to anyone willing to use an Internet search engine.

The American Correctional Association is a private organization accountable to no one and keeps its information secret. Additionally it costs the taxpayers of Maryland a starting price of $12,000 just for the ACA to visit an institution (there are 32 facilities in Maryland) for accreditation, this figure does not count the costs of implementing any of their proposed standards.

And when it is all said and done, an ACA accreditation is worthless, except to its own members.

I urge all readers of this letter that are interested in saving our state hundreds of thousands of dollars to contact the Senate Rules Committee members and express their opposition to Senate Bill 876.

John Reamy

Hagerstown