Regarding readers’ responses to recent article on prison labor

Ed Desk Blog

The Towerlight published an article titled “Protesters urge Towson to divest from prison labor” in our Nov. 14 issue. That article has garnered responses both in support of and in opposition to the protesters’ message. Particularly, some readers questioned why students were protesting a program that they (the readers) felt was a positive and productive outlet for prisoners. Some readers also questioned whether the prisoners themselves have been asked how they feel about the program.

Our intention for the original article was to cover the protest itself, and I stand by that decision. That said, I also respect readers’ requests for the protest to be further contextualized. The article has now been updated to clarify Towson University’s contract with Maryland Correctional Enterprises.

The Towerlight did cover Towson University’s purchase of products made by prisoners in regard to the related #OccupyTowson demand in an article that we published in October 2016. Last year, at the time of that article’s publication, The Towerlight requested a tour of one of MCE’s facilities; we were denied.

Due to readers’ push to hear from the prisoners themselves on this issue, I have contacted MCE again, requesting to allow The Towerlight to tour one of their facilities and speak with prisoners who are part of the program. We will update you if that request is approved and any information that may come from those interactions.

Thank you to everyone who provided their feedback. We are committed to providing the Towson community with fair and accurate journalism, and we strive to make our reporting process as transparent as possible. The Towerlight welcomes continued dialogue on all of our articles in the form of comments on our social media pages, and as letters to the editor submitted to editor@thetowerlight.com

— Marcus Dieterle, Editor-in-Chief

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