Gansler is way off base about tablet computers for prison inmates

August 08, 2013

Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler's proposal to supply state prisoners with tablet computers exemplifies just how out of touch he is with the average Marylander ("Gansler proposes tablet computers for inmates," Aug. 5).

Mr. Gansler must believe that it is OK to recklessly spend our tax dollars on ill-advised projects such as this one. It is time for us to let Mr. Gansler and other elected officials know that we will not sit idly by and watch them squander away our money.

Many hardworking Maryland citizens do not have the luxury of owning tablet computers. There are residents who work paycheck to paycheck, sometimes running out of cash before their next payday. Instead of spending money on a tablet for entertainment, these individuals are struggling to feed and clothe their children in these turbulent economic times. Why should the tax dollars of hardworking Marylanders be used to reward people who willfully broke the law?

I do not mean to sound callous — I am all for second chances and I believe that people, even prisoners, can change. Upon their release, inmates are certainly free to re-enter society, save up some money and buy any tablet, gadget or computer their hearts desire. But I object to handing out fancy gadgets to people who are supposed to be paying their debt to society.

Call me old-fashioned, but since when do prisons exist to provide high-end electronics to inmates? In a time when families are making sacrifices to stay out of poverty, how dare Mr. Gansler propose an idea as preposterous as tablet computers for inmates. Does he not realize that taxpayers are already paying more than enough every year to provide room and board for these lawbreakers?

Gregory Prush, Pikesville

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