Md. Law Prof Turns Class Into Think Tank
Posted Apr 24, 2008 11:21 AM CDT
By Molly McDonough
So far lawmakers and law enforcers haven't had much luck improving conditions in crime-plagued Baltimore. So University of Maryland Law Professor Orde F. Kittrie has put the challenge to his class.
He's asked the 13 students enrolled in "Crime in Maryland: Problems and Proposed Solutions" to spend the semester acting like a crime-fighting think tank, coming up with proposals and strategies that will be shared, upon request, with State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy and Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler. Both have addressed the class at the downtown Baltimore campus, the Baltimore Sun reports.
Kittrie's students have already produced some interesting findings. Take student Dennis E. Robinson, who at 26 is a former Army intelligence officer who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a fan of community policing efforts, he wanted to know why citizen patrols weren't having much impact in Morrell Park where he lives.
"I wanted to see a substantial, statistical measure of success, because if you prove that it works, you could get money to ramp it up," he is quoted saying. But while Robinson was able to show that community patrols in general deter crime, he discovered that a primary problem in Baltimore is that the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice employs just two people to create Citizens on Patrol programs and coordinate efforts for 180 neighborhood associations.
"A lot of these programs are driven by individual personalities," Robinson says, "but if you can build up the infrastructure, you can sustain the effort."
Hat tip Criminal Justice Journalists.