TopofemailSharing Our Stake in Maryland's Public SafetyMay 2012

        The Public Safety Stakeholder
all iconsAn E-publication of the 
Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services 
for our Criminal Justice and Community Partners 

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The Huffington Post, 5/21/12 
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 DPSCS' mission is to protect the public, our employees and those under our supervision.

Seal
Governor Martin O'Malley
 Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown
 DPSCS Secretary Gary D. Maynard  
 

 

Mt. Auburn ribbon-cutting 

 Gov. Martin O'Malley at the May 14 ribbon-cutting re-dedication of Mt. Auburn Cemetery. More photos are available. 

 

This Month's Featured Stories:

 

Building a Bridge to a Better Tomorrow

 

Gavel  keeping communities safe 
KCSDPSCS teams up with FBI in record-sharing effort 

  

DPSCS recently began contributing information to the Law Enforcement National Data Exchange (N-DEx), a nation-wide information-sharing system, becoming the first state/local agency in Maryland to submit records to N-DEx. DPSCS initially uploaded 250,000 of its legacy records and will continue to add data in the future.

 

DPSCS Secretary Gary D. Maynard first learned about N-DEx last year. "Our state has become a leader in security integration - that is, seamless coordination and information-sharing among all levels of government with a focus on public safety - so I wanted Maryland involved as soon as possible. This is a one-stop-shop for investigative data from across the country, which will help make our state safer," Maynard said.

 

The agency's involvement with N-DEx makes perfect sense, as the national system is similar to the state's Dashboard.

 

Continued here   

Human Capital  believing in human capital
BHCBuilding a Bridge to a Better Tomorrow

  

 "Taking advantage of the resources here today will prepare you for what's beyond these walls and the hurdles you will face when you return to society," Maryland Correctional Pre-Release System Warden Betty J. Johnson informed a crowd of 116 inmates who filled the auditorium of Brockbridge Correctional Facility on May 18, 2012.  The pre-release offenders, who are all within 90 days of release from the Maryland correctional system, attended the Building a Bridge to a Better Tomorrow reentry conference. 

Initiated by Warden Johnson, this is the first comprehensive reentry event for males housed in Maryland's pre-release facilities. "We've held resource fairs at individual institutions around the state at one point or another, but nothing that brought together men from across the pre-release system like this," reflected Johnson.  "By bringing inmates from the eastern shore, central and southern Maryland our staff was able to pool resources to provide a broader scope of speakers, vendors and workshops."

 

May 2012 MCPRS job fair

 

 

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PSW  public safety works

  

 Williamsport, a small western Maryland town, was one of the first municipalities to take advantage of DPSCS Secretary Gary D. Maynard's offer of inmate crews to help with "wish-list" projects small towns could not otherwise afford. Williamsport has employed an inmate crew for about three years. The crew has painted town hall, helped restore an old barn that now serves as an affordable event venue and installed public restrooms in a park.

 

"Especially with the way the economy is now, there are things we just couldn't get done because we didn't have the manpower. The inmates filled in those slots," Mayor James G. McCleaf II said.

 

Public Safety Works crews cost about $300, making them a cost-effective way to staff special projects. But rather than replacing a municipality's Public Works or maintenance department, PSW crews simply augment them on an as-needed basis for projects not covered by the budget. 

 

See more photos! 

 

Williamsport crew working on house 

 

 

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KCScontDPSCS teams up with FBI in record-sharing effort continued  
 

 "The criminal justice system must work as a system, not a collection of parallel lines of organizational cultures, datasets, and intelligence systems that never connect," said Kristen Mahoney, Executive Director, Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention. "Contributing data to N-DEx ensures that Maryland's security integration efforts expand beyond our regional borders to a national platform. This project will contribute to a safer Maryland and a safer country." 

N-DEx is a repository of criminal justice records available in a secure, online environment. Registered N-DEx users can access millions of federal, state, local and tribal records housed in N-DEx, to include incident reports, arrest reports, case files, booking reports, incarceration records and criminal histories. N-DEx enables law enforcement agencies to search, analyze, link and share information on a scale never before possible, allowing them to identify relationships between people, places and crime characteristic across jurisdictional boundaries.

 

N-DEx services are free to users.

 

   
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Renard Brooks, the Reentry Program Coordinator for the Mayor's Office in Baltimore City was the keynote speaker, opening the day's activities with a talk on the challenges of returning to society as productive citizens, and the advantages of apprenticeship programs.  Two other speakers, Elder Anthony Briscoe and Thomas Lane, spoke about their own success stories as returning citizens.

 

Lane, who now holds a job with Maryland Correctional Enterprises as a Graphic Designer, told the men "Are you willing to find a job, be on time for work, be disciplined and dependable?  These are soft skills that you need to maintain a job - otherwise you can be free in society, but still be bound." Since leaving prison he has also been active in Toastmasters, serves on the Education Workforce Training Coordinating Council for Correctional Institutions and is currently enrolled in classes at a community college.

 

Partner organizations at the conference ranged from Veterans Reintegration to the Baltimore Center for Green Careers to the Federal Bonding Program.  Businesses that provide work release employment were also in attendance for inmates to discuss resumes and the job application process.  Staff from Community Supervision, who supervise offenders upon release, as well as the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, who provide education and occupation skills training to offenders, were also on hand.  Workshops included cognitive thinking and financial planning.

 

"This collective effort began the building process by connecting organizations, resources and potential employers with inmates prior to their release," said Warden Johnson. 

 

The conference is in line with the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services' recent reorganization that aims to streamline the offender reentry process and reduce recidivism - integrating services that will prepare offenders for release while also improving community partnerships to create a continuum of care for this population.

    

 May 2012 job fair

 

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PSWcontInmate Crews Benefit Williamsport Park continued

 

 

We checked in with the Williamsport crew on hot, humid day in May. The men were scraping paint off an old house on park property in Byron Memorial Park. The house was nearly destroyed by arson in 2006, and the town is taking small steps to restore it. Contractors are doing much of the specialized labor, but the PSW crew steps in to supplement when needed. 

 

McCleaf encountered some concern about using inmates on projects around town, but it didn't last long. DSPCS offered the inmate work crews to the town after the massive blizzards of 2009 and 2010. "Those gentlemen dug everyone out who possibly needed help. After that, we never had another question about having them here, or about the safety factor," he said.

 

Of the many inmates who have worked in Williamsport over the years, only a few - five or six - haven't wanted to work. Corrections officials immediately replaced them, McCleaf said.

 

Showing up to work each morning, reporting to a boss and dealing with co-workers are all important "soft skills" required for the jobs offenders will  need after release. Working as part of a Public Safety Works crew instills those principles. The actual work: painting, carpentry, etc., teaches trade skills, giving offenders an advantage when they later seek employment.

 

"I feel confident enough in some of these guys, I would actually offer them a job," Mayor McCleaf said.

 

The Public Safety Works workforce amounts to about 400 offenders across the state. Together, they logged more than 705,000 man-hours during the last fiscal year.

 

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