Delegate Kathleen Dumais

Democrat, Maryland House of Delegates District 15

Delegates Debate Inmate Education Credit Bill

In Annapolis today, the House of Delegates debated a bill to give prison inmates time off for getting a degree while in prison.

Many prison inmates are eligible for free classes funded through grants and non-profits.

This bill would let an inmate get up to 60 days off their sentence if they get a GED, or a two or four year college degree while behind bars.

Charles County Democrat C.T. Wilson, a former prosecutor, says this bill sends the wrong message to crime victims.

“On top of the free college, we want to offer them the additional incentive of 60 days.  There has to be a line in the sand.  There has to be some point where we can say that is not the standard in Maryland,” Wilson said in floor debate.

Delegates did approve an amendment that would exempt anyone convicted of first or second degree murder from being eligible for the credits.

Delegates rejected amendments that would have exempted inmates convicted of violent crimes, or rape from being eligible for the credit.

All three amendments were sponsored by Baltimore County Republican Pat McDonough.

The bill is expected to get a final vote in the House later this week.

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