Maryland public safety officials are evaluating how the public is informed about its inmate work programs after a community outcry caused them to quickly cancel an initiative in which offenders worked at a horse farm.

The program began in early July, but was "indefinitely put on hold" last week, said a Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services spokesman, Rick Binetti. Elected officials and neighbors said they weren't informed about the initiative.

"Any time a breakdown happens, it's a good opportunity to look at what we do normally and improve the process," Binetti said.

Such problems haven't happened before, he said. About 400 inmates statewide participate in work initiatives, including Habitat for Humanity projects and maintenance at veterans cemeteries.

-- Emily Babay