Institutional Security


DPSCS has taken the lead on this critical public safety issue, using grant money to hire an analyst, design and maintain a gang database; developing an information-sharing agreement with dozens of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies; and beefing-up DOC Intelligence Coordinating Unit staff and equipment. Net result: 35% more gang members validated in FY09 than FY08.

Technology Investment & Random Searches

DPSCS has gotten better at stopping contraband before it gets in, and finding it if it does. Twenty-eight electronic body orifice security scanning seats (BOSS Chairs) were secured in FY09 as part of a $1.1 million investment. Every DPSCS facility now has a BOSS chair. The purchase also included other high-tech scanners for facility entrances, x-ray machines and protective vests for officers.

Random, systematic, computer-based searches are also reducing contraband in both DOC and DPDS facilities.

Cell Phones Found

Fewer Cell Phones & Less Contraband

Maryland is a leader in cell phone interdiction, pioneering the use of canines specifically bred and trained in-house to detect cell phones, leading to 189 contraband phones found by dogs alone since June 2008. In FY09 DPSCS found a total of 1,658 cell phones. We believe the flow of cell phones is slowing, evidenced by the reduction in the percentage found department-wide from FY07 to FY08 vs. FY08 to FY09.

In February 2009 DPSCS began systematically tracking captured contraband. Not including cell phones, over 4,600 items have been recovered through the end of CY09, a monthly average of 16 per facility

Update: Contraband Cell Phone Cases Get Boost In Recent Months 6/8/10

Safer Institutions

All of these efforts have dramatically reduced seriousSerious Assaultsinmate-on-staff and inmate-on-inmate assaults. Across DPSCS serious assaults on staff are down 50% in FY09 from FY06, while assaults on inmates/detainees are down 48% during the same time period.





Gang Intervention and Prevention Resources

Confronting the issue of gang violence requires collaboration with key partners in the law enforcement community. In 2008 the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) brought together over 50 law enforcement and criminal justice stakeholders from around the State to tackle Maryland’s growing problem of gang violence. Through this process, we collectively identified four critical problem areas in Maryland’s approach to combating gangs and worked with our statewide partners to identify strategic goals and solutions.

gang brochure

For Parents & Citizens

As a parent or concerned citizen it can often be overwhelming to know where to turn when you think someone you know is involved in gang activity.  One of the many products of the 2008 meeting between Maryland’s criminal justice stakeholders on this subject is the Gang Intervention and Prevention Resource booklet. For further information on Gang Intervention and Prevention in Maryland, please contact the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention at 410-821-2828.

For our Criminal Justice Partners in MD

If your agency would like to display the Gang Intervention and Prevention Resource booklet on your website, please contact our Communication Office at 410-339-5081.  For printing (by local, state and non-profit entities only) please see Maryland Correctional Enterprises ordering information here.

Latest Institutional Security News

Quick Facts

Cell Phone Finds


  • FY07 = 741
  • FY08 = 1,236
  • FY09 = 1,658
  • 67% increase from
    FY07 to FY08
  • 34% increase from
    FY08 to FY09

Serious Assaults

DOC FY06 vs. FY09

  • 48% decrease in overall serious assaults on staff
  • 55% decrease in overall serious assaults on inmates

DPDS FY06 vs. FY09

  • 71% decrease in overall serious assaults on staff
  • 25% decrease in overall serious assaults on detainees

DPSCS Serious Assaults

  • Inmate on Staff:
    FY06 = 28, FY07 = 20, FY08 = 10, FY09 = 14
  • Inmate on Inmate:
    FY06 = 263, FY07 = 271, FY08 = 217, FY09 = 136
One Sheet
Download our Quick Fact Sheet
for Institutional Security.