30 ex-inmates called back to prison are captured Police seek 55 others affected by court ruling

May 03, 1998|By Stephen Henderson | Stephen Henderson,SUN STAFF

City and state police recaptured yesterday 30 of the 85 former inmates on supervised release who are being called back to prison because of a Maryland Court of Appeals ruling, state prison officials said.

Eighteen of the 30 were arrested in Baltimore, according to state prison officials, but Agent Angelique Cook-Hayes of the Baltimore City Police Department could confirm only that six had been apprehended by city officers. Twelve others were found by state police in nine areas, including Glen Burnie, Annapolis and Laurel.

"We don't know how long it will take to get everybody," said Leonard A. Sipes Jr., spokesman for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

"But it's not as if these offenders are unknown to us," Sipes added. "They report to us on a regular basis. We conduct surprise visits on their homes to verify addresses and check up on their behavior. So far, police have been doing a pretty good job of following up on our leads and apprehending the offenders."

Police and prison officials have been able to find most of the former inmates at the addresses listed for them, Sipes said. But soon they will begin digging deeper into former inmates' files -- looking for information on family members, where they might receive drug rehabilitation or where they attended school -- to find them.

"Once an offender decides to hide in an urban area like Baltimore, it can be pretty hard to find them," Sipes said.

Police are searching for the 85 parolees because of a recent ruling by Maryland's highest court that forced the recalculation of credits toward early release. The ruling affects 2,000 of the state's 22,000 inmates and 107 of the more than 10,000 parolees under community supervision.

Eight of the 107 were in police custody when the recalculation took place; warrants had been issued for another 14 for parole violations.

Police began serving warrants yesterday for the remaining 85, with letters explaining that the return to prison does not involve a new crime but is the result of the court decision.

Among the 2,000 inmates who are affected, the recalculation will mean an additional two weeks to two years behind bars.

Pub Date: 5/03/98

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