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Harford Aims To Reduce Number of Repeat Criminal Offenders

A Who's Who of law enforcement, courts and community leaders attended a symposium on addressing recidivism.

The is expected to reach maximum capacity by 2020 based on current projections—unless there is a change in inmate population.

With no more room to build at current jail's site, and usually a decade needed for researching and building a new facility, the clock is ticking.

"We really can't wait until 2020," said. "I need to do something as sheriff of Harford County."

One thing Bane hopes will impact the jail's population in a positive way is reducing the number of repeat criminal offenders. With that goal in mind, Harford County's first re-entry summit, which took place Thursday morning at , was the first step in the process. 

"There's no reason [addressing recidivism is] not important," Bane said following the summit.

Bane explained it's not cost effective to arrest someone, keep them detained for a short period, then release them onto the streets only to go through the same process a few months later.

"What we need to do is see if there's some way to reverse that," Bane said.

Thursday was the first step in making the county's approach toward helping released inmates successfully re-enter the community more comprehensive.

Bane described the policies in place now as a "shotgun approach."

He said there are a number of organizations in the county offering different services to newly released inmates, but he hopes to form a plan to help the groups work together more efficiently.

"Let's take a holistic approach and a system approach," Bane said.

Bane said it's important to address the root problem of addiction and referenced the recent . Bane said the inmate died of causes related to addiction.

"We should have something out there to deal with that," Bane said.

He added that instead of using the jail as a mental hospital or drug program he would like the county to "use the jail for what it's designed for."

Getting offenders the right help could limit the inmate population to those committing serious crimes.

Beth Hendrix with said one of the big goals of the summit and moving forward with workshops, is collaboration.

"Government can't do it alone," Hendrix said. "Let's all take a piece of this puzzle."

Hendrix said that at the end of the workshop process, those involved in law enforcement, the health department, the school system and churches will all know who does what for people coming out of jail. She also hopes to identify and address any gaps in services.

"I am really happy we have a sheriff who gets it," Hendrix said.

Joe Cassilly says reducing repeat offenders means not only helping the criminal, but it also prevents creating new victims.

"The point is if you deal with recidivism, there's going to be fewer victims and fewer witnesses taking off work for court," Cassilly said.

Keynote speaker Dr. Erik Roskes, Assistant Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said addressing issues of housing, employment, drug and alcohol abuse, mental health, childcare and family needs and physical health will help reduce recidivism.

"To me the message of this meeting is that Harford County is addressing these problems head on," Roskes said.

Andy Eisner January 30, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Well stated Brint and I completely agree! Ed Jr is a Bane hater to put it simply. He has never had anything positive to say about the sheriff or his efforts. I for one take note that we don't see the word morder in the Aegis as often as before. He has done an exceptional job! One should notice during the election process, Bane is a Democrat that won, and will continue to win if he decides to run in the future. The criminal element is something that has always been a problem, and as the economy and drug abuse continue to be a problem, so will the crime rate. I personally think Joe Cassilly needs to go. No one in the county ever runs against him. He is always re-elected by default. I do think some people in this county get away with some heavy crimes, while others don't. I for one would like to be involved on how to train and rehabilite repeat offenders as opposed to locking them up. But as Bryan stated above, if that don't work then stack them high! On a side note, most if not all of the guards at the DC could use a weight trainging program. Seems there is a lot of eating, little to no physical activity and a lot fo Facebooking when they should be doing their jobs!
RITA January 30, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Demons has to be cast out, that is the only way. Deliverance is the key and casting out demonic strongholds will be vital in their daily walk in life. Cast'em out in Jesus name.
Ed Jr. January 31, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Hey Eisner, Hate is a strong word. Unfortuantely it is a word that you liberal "70's" hippies use whenever someone's opinion differs. Since you brought it up. Who reads the Aegis? Of course the Aegis is going to protect Bane. He is one of their own. Why else hasn't the Aegis pursued the Mark Forwood scandal? And since you brought it up. Violent crime was up under Jesse Bane when comparing his 1st 4 years in office versus the preceding 4 years. I'll give you this, Jesse Bane is great at reducing auto thefts in Harford County.
Penelope Patch July 26, 2012 at 04:20 AM
Was browsing older articles and came across this one. Makes me sick -- Jesse is a good man and means well. Harford County is such an embarrassment. The dirty politics that exists here is startling. There are a lot of folks here that need to go -- Dave Craig and Joe Cassilly for starters. Who is Beth Hendrix kidding? What a joke and a terrible waste of the taxpayers money. Does she get it?
Ahmad0001 December 18, 2012 at 05:49 AM
The criminal element is something that has always been a problem, and as the economy and drug abuse continue to be a problem, so will the crime rate. http://www.onlinedatastoragesite.com/softwares/subsequent-driving-training.html

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