BALTIMORE (AP) — A new state policy could mean that Maryland inmates serving parole-eligible life sentences for their childhood crimes may now be considered for minimum-security facilities and possibly work-release programs.

The Baltimore Sun reports Public Safety Secretary Stephen T. Moyer this month reversed rules that prohibited any Maryland inmate sentenced to life in prison from being placed in a below medium-security facility.

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Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services spokesman Gerry Shields says the change follows recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions on juvenile life sentences.

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The court ruled in January that prisoners sentenced to life in prison for crimes committed under the age of 18 could seek a chance at parole.

The Maryland Parole Commission says 271 inmates are eligible, but would need commission approval to move to a lower-security facility.
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Information from: The Baltimore Sun, http://www.baltimoresun.com

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