From the 2008 News Archive
Baltimore Sun Highlights School’s Course on Combating Crime in Maryland
“A University of Maryland law professor has turned his classroom into a crime-fighting think tank,” wrote Nick Madigan in a story in the Baltimore Sun’s April 20 edition
Madigan’s article, entitled Crime Prevention in Baltimore: 101; A UM Law Professor Challenges Class to Devise Workable Ideas
, was dedicated entirely to describing Crime in Maryland: Problems and Proposed Solutions
, a seminar taught at the law school this semester by Visiting Associate Professor Orde F. Kittrie
. Each student in the seminar has picked a particular crime challenge facing Maryland and is writing a paper in which they: 1) lay out the facts relevant to the particular challenge; 2) analyze existing and proposed Maryland initiatives designed to address the challenge; 3) reflect research on how other U.S. states and cities are addressing analogous challenges; and 4) propose solution options.
The students’ “proposals, due in the form of term papers, are not destined for burial in a dusty file cabinet, the product of mere intellectual exercise,” said Madigan. “Instead, they will be submitted to public officials, including – at their request – State’s Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy and Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, both of whom recently addressed Kittrie’s class at the law school.” Others who addressed the class this semester include Congressman Elijah Cummings; Baltimore City Schools CEO Andres Alonso; federal judge Andre Davis; two ex-felons now involved in preventing gang violence; and Sheryl Goldstein, Director of the Baltimore Mayor’s Office on Criminal Justice.
Madigan’s article described several students’ “workable ideas for making Baltimore and the rest of Maryland a safer place to live.” These included Bill Ferguson’s proposed “early-warning system” that would identify and intervene with problem youths before their bad habits become criminal acts, Dennis Robinson’s recommendations for improving Baltimore’s Citizens on Patrol programs, Byron Marshall’s suggestion that troubled students receive job training through work rehabilitating abandoned houses in Baltimore, and Ingrid Lofgren’s proposals for improving Maryland’s efforts to help juvenile detainees re-enter society so they do not quickly return to committing crimes.
In addition to reading scientific studies of local, state and national criminal justice reform initiatives, these and the other students in the course have conducted interviews with policymakers, law enforcement officials, inner-city youths, and ex-felons, and made site visits to various local programs.
Dr. Nancy Grasmick, the Maryland State Superintendent of Schools, and Congressman Elijah Cummings were so impressed by the class that they have invited each of the seven students in the seminar who are writing their papers on youth violence issues to participate in a Maryland Summit on School Violence that will on June 3, 2008 bring together senior teachers, administrators and leading experts to develop ideas to better combat school violence in Maryland.