Glendening says states to get word on inmates

His pledge comes after three from Maryland were charged in Colorado

July 10, 1999|By Thomas W. Waldron | Thomas W. Waldron,SUN STAFF

Responding to incidents in which three prisoners from Maryland were charged with committing offenses after they left a Denver drug-treatment program, Gov. Parris N. Glendening pledged yesterday to notify authorities in other states whenever Maryland offenders are bound for their jurisdictions.

Maryland officials did not notify Colorado authorities that the three offenders had been sent to Denver.

Glendening and Robert M. Bell, chief judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals, termed the lack of notification to Colorado officials a "failure" of the state's criminal justice system.

"Like you, I was alarmed to learn that these offenders were sent to the [drug treatment] facility without notification to Colorado law enforcement officials of their arrival within your state," Glendening wrote in a letter sent yesterday to Colorado Gov. Bill Owens.

Under an interstate agreement signed by Maryland and Colorado, such transfers are supposed to be reported.

The three Maryland offenders were sent as part of their probation to Denver's Stout Street Foundation, a drug and alcohol treatment center.

One of the three Maryland offenders, Donta Paige, is charged with murder in the death of a 24-year-old Denver woman, Peyton Tuthill. Two other Maryland men sent to the program, Ronald Fogle and Edward Baker, have been arrested and charged with theft, said Dick Wadhams, a spokesman for Owens.

The problems with Maryland offenders prompted a change in Colorado law to require treatment centers that receive out-of-state offenders to notify that state's criminal-justice authorities.

In a letter to Glendening sent this week, Bell said that it was the responsibility of the state Department of Public Safety to notify other states about prisoner transfers.

But he said said he would remind his judges of the interstate agreement. "Even though not its responsibility, the court's cooperation is critical," Bell wrote.

Pub Date: 7/10/99

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