Rate of Ex-inmates returning to prison for new crimes declining

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The rate of ex-inmates returning to prison or community supervision for new crimes within three years of release has fallen from 47.8% in 2007 to 40.5% in 2012. The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) attributes the reduction in part to job skills training, information-sharing with other agencies and its restorative justice initiative, Public Safety Works.

"In Baltimore City, the Department has pioneered a localized model of re-entry, which uses wrap-around offender services inside and outside prison walls to prepare inmates for their return to society," DPSCS said. The agency has entered into multiple partnerships since 2007 including with the departments of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, Health and Mental Hygiene, and Natural Resources.

It also noted that a departmental reorganization is eliminating barriers between DPSCS corrections and supervision disciplines, allowing custody and Community Supervision to work together. A $15 million investment into an Offender Case Management System is also said to have contributed to the improvement.

"Marylanders are safer and fewer people are becoming victims because we have invested in technology, focused on maximizing drug treatment, educational and job skills training resources," DPSCS Secretary Gary D. Maynard said. The DPSCS partnership with the MD Dept. of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation has yielded significant improvements, DPSCS said. From FY 2010 through FY 2013, the Correctional Education Program run by DLLR had 2,746 students receive high school diplomas; 3,419 complete a career and technology program; and 2,884 passed a national certification exam.