Prison - How I got In

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In the fall of 1989, I continued my studies at UMBC. One of my courses required me to spend time in an institution, learn about it and write a report on it. I was already stretched to the limit with family obligations, so when Devon Brown, the acting Director of Patuxent Institution, gave a talk at the University about their program, my choice seemed simple. I was already visiting Larry there almost weekly. I would learn about Patuxent. I contacted Dr. Brown and made an appointment to visit him. He told me about the facility, gave me a tour and introduced me to Archie Gee, the acting Assistant Warden and Marty Salisbury, the Director of Education.

In the summer of 1990, after graduation, I found myself in Marty Salisbury’s office, discussing the possibility of working on a Master’s Degree. Aware of my interest in Patuxent, Marty said, “Getting your Master’s will cost lots of money and you will have to jump through their hoops. If you just want to learn, you can learn a whole lot more by volunteering for me here.” He wanted me to learn about his Reasoned Straight Program and then train the newly arrived female inmates to do the same work with at risk girls. The idea intrigued me.

I reminded him of my commitment to visit Larry and told him I would not jeopardize that. He discussed the matter with the warden and the director and they agreed to allow me to visit Larry as long as he and I did not have contact with Larry when I was working there as a volunteer.