High school student says give jail construction money to city schools

May 26, 2011

I' m a 17 year old high school student attending Baltimore Polytechnic Institute. I'm responding to the article by Liz F. Kay ("Size of planned youth jail to shrink," May 13) that explains details of the shrinking of the planned youth jail that is going to be built. When I read the article I was glad to hear that crime among the youth in Baltimore City has declined. As a youth in the city, I feel proud to see my fellow peers making better decisions.

Although I'm completely against spending money to build a new jail when Baltimore public schools will have to make budget cuts next year to extracurricular activities, I do think decreasing the size of the jail is a good decision by city officials. If city officials can see that more students are graduating from high school rather than going to prison, maybe the $70 million can go toward helping fund city school programs. Having a big multi-million dollar prison with no criminals to fill it would be completely pointless, but that coming to pass is completely up to youth making better decisions. Baltimore City should use this money to aid the hurting school system.

In conclusion, I do not support the building of a $70 million dollar prison but do agree with the shrinking of the prison due to a decline in youth crime. Maybe the building of the jail can be further delayed and maybe never built.

Aaron Taylor, Baltimore

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