State Touts Programs At Patuxent
WBAL-AM - Online

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Maryland corrections officials allowed reporters to tour the Patuxent Institution in Jessup this week as part of their annual Media Day.

During the visit, several inmates shared their stories about how the programs offered at Patuxent are impacting their lives behind bars.

Director Randall Nero says there are 917 inmates currently housed at Patuxent.

The maximum security facility prison was built in 1955.

Nero says there are about 222 inmates in the Eligible Person Program and 160 in the Youth Program. There about 60 women housed at Patuxent.

Officials at Patuxent use a multi-disciplinary approach to remediate inmates before they return to society.

Tanita Walston was transferred in 2007 to Patuxent from the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women. She tells WBAL Radio she was looking to enter a drug treatment program.

Walston says she is grateful for the help and what she has learned while in therapy and taking anger management and victim impact classes.

Inmate Charles Ross is serving a 30 year sentence for a drug conviction. He says he came into prison with no morals and no meaning in his life.

Through Patuxent's drug treatment program which includes therapy, Ross says he is now a man and has a better relationship with his family.

Director Nero believes that one way to help protect society is to provide such treatment services for inmates so they can change their behaviors before becoming a member of the public once again.

Corrections officials say there about 400 inmates from all the other prisons in Maryland on a waiting list to get into Patuxent.