DPSCS At A Glance

Commission on Correctional Standards

The Maryland Commission on Correctional Standards was established by the General Assembly to advise the Secretary regarding standards for state, local and privately-operated correctional facilities. The Commission staff audits correctional facilities and private home detention monitoring agencies to determine levels of compliance, develop audit reports and provide technical assistance to correct areas of noncompliance. Trained volunteers are used extensively to accomplish the inspection process. Final audit reports of correctional facilities are reviewed by Commission Members, who are appointed by the Governor for a term of three years. The Commission's work is forwarded to the Secretary of the Department for final review and comment.

The Maryland Commission on Correctional Standards oversees these programs:

  • Regulatory Agency
  • Volunteer Duly Authorized Inspector Program

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Criminal Injuries Compensation Board

Instituted in 1968, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board helps victims of crime. The Board administers compensation for innocent persons suffering physical injury or death as a result of criminal acts or in their efforts to prevent crime or apprehend criminals. The Board maintains an office and staff to investigate and hear claims for awards filed with the Board. The Board pays up to $45,000 for innocent victims of crime who have been injured.

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Division of Capital Construction and Facilities Maintenance

The Division of Capital Construction and Facilities Maintenance began in 1990 in the Office of the Secretary as the Division of Capital Construction and the Division of Facilities Maintenance. Both divisions combined in 1997 to form the present office.

The office prepares capital programs and capital budgets, and procures and manages construction of state correctional facilities, including those of Patuxent Institution, the Police and Correctional Training Commissions and the institutions of the Division of Correction.

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Division of Correction

The Division of Correction (DOC), which is an intricate part of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, is the largest criminal justice organization in the State of Maryland. A widespread workforce supervised by talented, highly qualified professionals manages this multi-faceted operation. The Division is comprised of 27 prisons and pre-release facilities throughout the State.

The professional and dedicated staff of the DOC provides public safety and victim services to the citizens of Maryland and the general public. These services promote safe communities and are accomplished through the secure confinement of offenders and their successful reintegration into the community.

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Division of Parole and Probation

The Division of Parole and Probation (DPP) helps make communities safe by supervising/monitoring offenders who are serving or completing sentences in the community. DPP operates 43 field offices with some 700 parole and probation agents and 95 drinking driver monitors. These employees supervise/monitor approximately 67,000 offenders who are under mandatory, parole, or probation supervision in communities throughout Maryland. In addition, about 60 agents function as full-time investigators and conduct pre-sentence, pre-parole and other investigations for the Maryland Parole Commission, the courts, and other criminal justice agencies.

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Division of Pretrial Detention and Services

The mission of the Division is to serve the citizens of Maryland through booking, processing and managing the care, custody and control of Baltimore City arrestees.

The Division of Pretrial Detention and Services has jurisdiction over three agencies:

  • The Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center (BCBIC)
  • The Baltimore City Detention Center (BCDC)
  • The Pretrial Release Service Program (PRSP)

The Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center opened in November 1995 as the central location for booking and processing arrestees in Baltimore City. Nearly 100,000 arrestees are processed yearly in this internationally recognized center.

The Baltimore City Detention Center is one of the largest pretrial detention facilities in the United States and the largest in Maryland. More than 40,000 inmates are taken into custody at this Center each year. An array of mental and physical health, social, educational, recreational and spiritual programs are provided for the inmates.

The Pretrial Release Service Program provides pretrial services to an average of 1,250 clients through four primary functions: investigative, case management, case diversion and detention. The program assesses criminal history and personal data on Baltimore City arrestees, provides community supervision to defendants awaiting trial and provides risk classification for bail review.

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Emergency Number Systems Board

The Emergency Numbers Systems Board was formed in 1979 (Chapter 730, Acts of 1979). The Board coordinates installation and enhancement of county 9-1-1 emergency telephone number services systems. The Board issues guidelines and determines review procedures to approve or disapprove county plans for these systems and sets criteria for reimbursing counties from the original 9-1-1 Trust Fund and from ongoing funds, and provides for audit of Trust Fund accounts.

The Board’s 15 members are appointed to four-year terms by the Governor with Senate advice and consent. The Governor names the chair (Article 41, §18-103).

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Handgun Permit Review Board

This Board was established in 1972 (Chapter 13, Acts of 1972) to review decisions regarding handgun permits. Any person whose application for a handgun permit or renewal of a permit has been rejected or whose permit has been revoked or limited may ask the Board to review the decision of the Superintendent of the Maryland State Police. The Board can sustain, reverse, or modify the decision of the Superintendent, or conduct a hearing to establish the facts.

The Governor appoints the Board's five members from the general public to three-year terms with Senate advice and consent (Article 27, §36E).

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Information Technology and Communications Division

The Information Technology and Communications Division (ITCD) provides automated criminal justice information services for criminal justice and noncriminal justice purposes to the Department, other federal, state, and local criminal justice agencies, and authorized users among the general public. The program includes:

The Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) Central Repository (Criminal Procedure Article, 10-201 et seq.), which maintains Maryland's fingerprint- supported criminal identification records and criminal history record information (the Maryland "RAP" sheet), and performs related functions such as expungements;

The Public Safety Data Center, which provides systems operations support for numerous departmental information systems, as well as networking interfaces for many national, state, and local criminal justice agencies; and Systems Applications support, which provides the programming necessary to maintain and develop the variety of criminal justice and management information systems needed by departmental and other criminal justice users.

Major ongoing activities of the ITCD include:

  • Providing authorized fingerprint-supported criminal history records checks ("criminal background checks") for a variety of non-criminal justice purposes ranging from business and professional licensing, to employment in various childcare, educational, and recreational settings;
  • Maintaining the Arrest Booking System (ABS) in operation at the Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center and at eight other sites throughout the State;
  • Providing programming necessary to implement federally- and State-legislated mandates in departmental and related systems; and
  • Maintaining and updating the required automated infrastructure to support systems networked throughout the State and the nation; e.g., Maryland's link to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).

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Inmate Grievance Office

The Inmate Grievance Office reviews all grievances filed by State prisoners. Those grievances that are not administratively dismissed for procedural or substantive reasons are scheduled for hearings to be conducted by Administrative Law Judges. The hearings are held in correctional institutions throughout the State. Some hearings are conducted by videoconferencing. The presiding judges issue their decisions in writing. If a judge concludes that a grievance has merit and recommends specific remedies, the written decision is forwarded to the Secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services for review and final action.

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Internal Investigative Unit

The Internal Investigative Unit conducts criminal and administrative investigations of serious misconduct within the DPSCS. In addition to conducting investigations within statutory authority, the agency is the Department's liaison with allied federal, state and local law enforcement agencies providing investigative services and support to their investigations.

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Office of the Inspector General

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is a part of the Office of the Secretary.  The OIG is responsible for conducting a full range of independent and objective audits, inspections, management analyses and investigations.  These assessments help to safeguard and efficiently manage the department’s resources, operations and business functions, and to prevent and detect fraud, waste, and abuse. This office also coordinates the department’s legislative audit response process, and provides technical assistance and advisory services to its audit customers. The OIG's efforts help the department to achieve the highest standards of good management, accountability, and professional integrity.

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Office of the Secretary

The Office of the Secretary provides executive direction and guidance for the Department and all of its agencies. It establishes policy, sets priorities, and provides central support services, oversight, and accountability for Departmental agencies. Units within the Office of the Secretary include:

  • Financial management
  • Human resources
  • Administration
  • Procurement
  • Emergency and Risk Management Operations
  • Professional Development and Training Division
  • Information technology and data services
  • Legal services
  • Fair practices
  • Public information and communications/media
  • Legislative liaison
  • Planning, policy, regulations and statistics
  • Office of the Inspector General
  • Internal investigations
  • Capital construction and facilities maintenance
  • Office of Treatment Services
  • Property management

Boards and Commissions within the Office of the Secretary include the Handgun Permit Review Board, Sundry Claims Board and Emergency Numbers Systems Board.

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Office of Treatment Services

The Office of Treatment Services strives to maintain the health and safety of those individuals in the custody of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, as well as staff.

OFFICE OF TREATMENT SERVICES

The Office of Treatment Services, under the authority of the Assistant Secretary for Treatment Services, is responsible for the provision of treatment to offenders under the control and custody of the Department.  Such treatment is delivered in an integrated fashion to address the full range of needs of the offender and to ensure a continuum of care for offenders from the street, through incarceration, and upon release to the community.  The treatment services offered include:  medical health, mental health, and substance abuse that comport with community standards; treatment program opportunities to address criminal behavior; and release planning assistance to ensure continuity of care and continued treatment upon release.   These services are provided through the following distinct treatment units:

Office of Inmate Health Services (OIHS)

This unit oversees a health care delivery system that provides comprehensive primary, secondary, specialty health and hospitalization services to the pretrial and resident populations.  The health care system provides medical, psychiatric, dental, and pharmacy services consistent with generally accepted standards of care through competitively bid contractual relationships with private health care providers having expertise in their respective health discipline.  Direct service clinical practitioners are located on site, in numbers and type, consistent with the needs of the offender population.  The services delivered by these practitioners and the performance of the private health care providers are continually monitored by the staff of the Office of Inmate Health Services to ensure contract compliance and quality of care.  For more detailed information on the Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, go to (text link).  For more information, contact:

Mental Health

This unit oversees the delivery of mental health services to ensure a continuum of care and a comprehensive service system that includes acute inpatient, long-term residential, step-down, out-patient and transitional care.   Psychologists are located in every geographical region of the State to:  treat the seriously mentally ill, respond to mental health crises, and provide routine as well as follow-up counseling services to the offender population.  These clinicians work together with the private psychiatric services provider to ensure that the mental health needs of the offenders are met in the most clinically appropriate manner.  For more information, contact:

Patuxent Institution

The Patuxent Institution falls under the administrative authority of the Assistant Secretary for Treatment Services because it is the only dedicated treatment facility within the Department.  This facility provides treatment to men, women and youth in its Eligible Person (EP) program through the use of remediation management that combines psychiatry, psychology, social work and custody on each team.  Patuxent is also the location for a number of substance abuse treatment programs for Division of Correction male and female offenders as well as the Correctional Mental Health Center-Jessup, the in-patient mental health unit. The Director serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Institution and is assisted by three Associate Directors:  the Warden who maintains responsibility for custody and security of the Institution; the Associate Director for Behavioral Sciences who manages the EP program; and the Associate Director for Psychiatry  who attends to the psychiatric issues relating to the Patuxent treatment regime.  For more information, contact:

Social Work Services

The primary mission of this unit of licensed bachelor or master degree level social workers is to assist special need offenders in developing a plan for continued treatment upon release.  Release planning is provided to anyone with a serious medical or mental health need, long-term incarceration, or in situations of extreme antisocial behavior where release represents a public threat.   Social Work also provides individual and group interventions to offenders to assist them with: adjustment to incarceration or other difficult situations, their desire for life changes, and preparation for reentry into society.  For more information, contact:

Substance Abuse Treatment Services

The substance abuse treatment unit oversees a system of treatment that is conducive to treating all levels of addiction.  These services include modified therapeutic communities for the offender with a higher addiction risk, intensive outpatient for moderate addiction, and aftercare reinforcement and relapse prevention. The goal of these cognitively-based treatment modalities is to provide offenders with skill building techniques which will enable them to change their behavior and cope with high risk situations for drug abuse and criminal behavior throughout their lives.  For more information, contact:

Maryland Parole Commission

The Maryland Parole Commission is charged with determining on a case-by-case basis, whether inmates serving sentences of six months or more in state or local facilities are suitable for release into the community under certain conditions or supervision. Parole Commissioners and hearing officers hold hearings via videoconferences and in correctional facilities throughout Maryland. The Parole Commission now holds open parole hearings and has a strong commitment to victim rights.

The Maryland Parole Commission oversees these programs:

  • Open Parole Hearings
  • Victim Services

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Office of Property Management Services

The Office of Property Management Services was created in 1993. It was originally titled the Division of Support Services. It assumed its present name in March 2003. The office coordinates administration of all real estate functions for the Department and oversees fleet management, which purchases, maintains, and inventories all vehicles for DPSCS.

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Police and Correctional Training Commissions

The mission of the Police and Correctional Training Commissions (PCTC) is to ensure the quality of law enforcement and correctional services through the establishment and enforcement of standards and the facilitation and delivery of training, education and prevention programs. Its value derives from providing our customers with quality service, enhanced partnerships, problem-solving strategies and the support necessary for the prevention of crime and reduction of fear of crime. The Commissions foster and maintain ethics and integrity, encourage continuous learning, and treat everyone with dignity and respect. To this end, the PCTC is now housed in the new comprehensive Public Safety Education and Training Center. Other agency responsibilities include administration of the Maryland Community Crime Prevention Institute and the Executive Development Institute.

The Police and Correctional Training Commissions administer the following programs:

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Professional Development & Training Division

The mission of the Professional Development and Training Division (PDTD) is to provide a comprehensive, integrated system for the professional development and training of all staff. To achieve this end, PDTD collaborates with other DPSCS offices and divisions to ensure that DPSCS staff has proper training to perform its duties.

Guiding Principles of the Professional Development and Training Division:

  • Assist DPSCS staff in aligning with the organizational mission
  • Encourage life-long learning and growth for all DPSCS staff
  • Develop leadership at all levels within DPSCS
  • Stay focused on customers, both internal and external
  • Teach evidence based content, utilizing adult learning principles
  • Support all learning styles through creativity and innovation
  • Collaborate with the various agencies of the Department
  • Partner with external agencies to provide enhanced training and development opportunities for DPSCS staff

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Sundry Claims Board

In 1961, the Sundry Claims Board was established (Chapter 440, Acts of 1961). The Board administers claims filed by any inmate who has been injured on the job while working for compensation in the Division of Correction or Patuxent Institution.

Three ex officio members or their designees serve on the Board. The Governor designates the chairperson and secretary (Correctional Services Article, Title 10, Subtitle 3)

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