DPSCS Secretary Gary D. Maynard Receives American Correctional Association’s Highest Honor

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TOWSON, MD (January 25, 2012) – The American Correctional Association’s (ACA) highest honor, the E.R. Cass Award, this year goes to Maryland’s own Gary D. Maynard, Secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Service (DPSCS).

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is among those who wrote letters of support on Maynard’s behalf, calling the Secretary, “a man of impeccable integrity, even temperament and outstanding judgment.”

The E.R. Cass Award, named for an ACA president emeritus, goes to those corrections professionals who serve above and beyond the call of duty. Inmates harvesting crops

Maynard has more than 30 years of correctional and military experience – retiring from the Oklahoma Army National Guard in 1995 as a Brigadier General and serving as the head of corrections for four states prior to coming to Maryland in 2007. He is actively involved in ACA, having served as a past President, Commissioner, auditor of Accreditation and member of ACA’s Standards Committee.

In his letter of support, acknowledging Maynard’s many accomplishments during his career, O’Malley focused on the DPSCS Public Safety Works (PSW) program. In addition to developing the program, Secretary Maynard has invested himself in ensuring its success. PSW adopts the ideals of restorative justice, giving inmates an opportunity to make up for past wrongs through community service type projects prior to reentry. The program also benefits communities in Maryland that would not otherwise have the resources to complete special projects.

“He has crisscrossed the state, meeting with county commissioners and local mayors, to offer the services of inmate work crews and solicit ideas on how inmates can give back to the community,” O’Malley said.

Maryland’s first PSW project involved a commitment to plant one million trees across the state. That millionth tree was planted in May 2011.

This past year alone inmate crews contributed more than 700,000 hours towards projects that included growing and planting nearly 40,000 shoreline grassed in an effort to prevent erosion on the Chesapeake Bay, supporting oyster repopulation efforts that yielded 25 million spat, caring for retired race horses that may otherwise face slaughter and gleaning more than 200,000lbs of food, which was distributed through the Maryland Food Bank.

Under Secretary Maynard’s direction, DPSCS believes in returning offenders to society with the tools necessary to lead productive, crime free lives. To that end, in addition to the PSW program, Maynard has also made it a priority to ensure correctional education seats are being filled as well as drug treatment programming. Through a proactive approach to inmate health care DPSCS has also increased HIV awareness as well as reduced hospital trips for infectious diseases.

Secretary Maynard has also spearheaded many institutional security initiatives that over the past four years have resulted in decreased serious assaults within the state’s prisons, as well as made Maryland a national leader in innovative cell phone interdiction. In conjunction with the O’Malley-Brown Administration, DPSCS also implemented a Violence Prevention Initiative to proactively supervise the state’s violent offenders living in the community, and opened lines of communication with local, federal and state law enforcement to improve public safety.