DPSCS FY2010 Secretary’s Report Finalized
Continued efforts to keep communities safe, highlight the value of human capital and make public safety work in FY2010

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TOWSON, MD (January 31, 2010)--- The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) has continued to move forward during Fiscal Year 2010 in our efforts to improve public safety for all Marylanders who live and work in the state. That’s the message in the FY10 Secretary’s End of Year Report which was released today.

Under the O’Malley-Brown Administration, DPSCS has made significant progress in numerous public safety areas, from gang and cell phone interdiction, to information-sharing with law enforcement, to victim services and restorative justice and reentry efforts for inmates.  The full report can be found on the DPSCS website.

Some highlights:

Safer Communities and Safer Prisons

  • DPSCS has been a leader in cell phone interdiction efforts – one of the main causes of violence within prisons.  In FY10 DPSCS made it a priority to increase the prosecution of illegal cell phone cases.  Through the addition of a dedicated investigator in the fall of 2009 and by opening the lines of communication with local State’s Attorney’s Offices, 116 cases have had charges issued with forty being adjudicated during the first year of this effort.
  • Overall serious assaults on staff in correctional facilities are down 50% since FY07. Serious offender-on-offender assaults are also down 35% since FY07.
  • Baltimore and other jurisdictions saw continued decreases in serious crimes, thanks in part to the Division of Parole and Probation’s Violence Prevention Initiative, a top priority of the O’Malley-Brown Administration targeting repeat violent offenders, better cross-border collaboration, and intelligence-sharing efforts.

Technology Improvements

  • Parole and Probation supervision used technology more effectively during FY10 to improve safety and security measures in the community.
    • Livescan machines were installed in all DPP offices to allow a parolee or probationer to be digitally fingerprinted and photographed at intake - now other law enforcement can immediately ascertain an individuals supervision status through their RAP sheet.
    • Kiosk technology is also now being used in DPP offices across the state to enhance low-risk offender supervision by verifying identification and status through an automated system that in-turn frees up agent time.The technology is also used for high-risk offenders as an added supervision tool in addition to their face-to-face visits.
  • The Law Enforcement DASHBOARD continues to allow dozens of criminal information databases to be consolidated into a single platform visible to law enforcement in minutes or seconds.
  • The first portion of a $15 million Offender Case Management System was implemented in October 2010 at the Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center. The web-based database will create a single integrated system that can be used by all DPSCS agencies with offender management responsibilities.

Proactive Health Care Measures

  • Through early intervention in infectious disease cases and by improving patient outreach, DPSCS has been able to reduce the number of related hospital admissions during FY10 by 34% over just last year.  This reduction saved an estimated $1.5 million for infections disease related costs.
  • An Alcohol Detox program for new arrestees entering Central Booking in Baltimore was instituted in late FY09.  It was anticipated the program would serve only a few patients a week, but has seen a total of 1,942 men during FY10.  A female program started in mid-FY10 has since served 864 patients.
  • Overall proactive health care efforts have in part reduced the need for emergency room visits for offenders over the past few years.  At a rate of 53 per 1,000 inmates, our emergency room trip rate in FY10 exceeds National Commission on Correctional Health Care standards of less than 100 per 1,000.

Victim Services Enhancements

  • DPSCS increased victim training through both Division of Parole and Probation supervisors and agents who learned about domestic violence and rights issues, as well as the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions which will now incorporate routine education for law enforcement personnel regarding laws of notice, service, support and rights available to victims in Maryland.
  • Technological enhancements by our Information, Technology and Communications Division (ITCD) have also supported victim services throughout Maryland.  Working with the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention, ITCD added a flag to RAP sheets for offenders convicted of domestic related crimes as well as assisted with implementation of an electronic notification system for victims/petitioners who file protective orders.
  • Recent reform to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board has improved claims proficiency by reducing the average number of days it takes to process a claim by 15% over FY09, while also virtually eliminating return of claims for misinformation.  The staff has also tripled revenue recovery efforts to increase the flow of funds that can be distributed back to crime victims.

Offender Reentry and Job Skills Training

  • To help soon-to-be-released inmates obtain vital records and identification cards that help with reentry, DPSCS continued to assist inmates who did not already have MVA Licenses, Social Security Cards and Birth Certificates.  During FY10 the Department also increased our focus on educating key stakeholders about the importance of these documents and how their involvement can make a difference.
  • Maryland Correctional Enterprises employed a record monthly average of 2,038 inmates, a 56% increase over FY07.  They also graduated their 100th student from the Continuing Allocation of Reentry Services transitional program during FY10.
  • Inmate Public Safety Works projects across the state that give offenders job skills are helping with community revitalization while also improving the sustainability of our natural resources.  Projects in FY10 included the correctional horse rescue in Sykesville, clearing alleyways for Salisbury Safe Streets, winter snow removal in Baltimore City and harvesting oysters in conjunction with the Department of Natural Resources.