In a staff editorial, “Maryland should release more elderly inmates,” the Baltimore Sun Editorial Board used the work of the OSI-supported Unger Clinic to suggest that the state should ramp up efforts to release aging prisoners.
“Many of the Ungers were serving life sentences yet have lived non-criminal lives since being released,” they wrote before concluding, “Maryland state officials have a chance to do better, and we hope that they make the decision to do so.”
Stanley Mitchell, one of the inmates who has release by the Unger ruling and supported by the Unger Clinic, wrote a letter praising the Sun Editorial Board’s stand. “The Ungers, with about a 3% recidivism rate (a fraction of the overall Maryland recidivism rate of 40%) provide an important case study of how we can safely release elderly people from prison,” he wrote.
Mitchell, who appeared in a recent video about the Unger defendants, referenced OSI’s cost-benefit analysis of releasing aging prisoners. “According to a recent cost-benefit analysis, continued confinement of the Ungers for an additional 18 years (their projected life expectancy) would have amounted to a nearly $1 million per Unger cost, or $53,000 a year,” he wrote. “This compares to $6,000 a year to provide the intensive reentry support that successfully and safely reintegrated the Ungers back into the community.”