The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) is undergoing a major reorganization over the next year that will have some effect on local corrections and law enforcement officials. DPSCS representatives have stated that while the reorganization may shift certain costs and responsibilities over to local governments, they will enjoy a net savings due to improved efficiencies in other areas. MACo will work with DPSCS as the reorganization moves forward to make sure that county concerns are adequately addressed. :
The following description of the reorganization was supplied by DPSCS:
The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services has achieved much success over the last five years. We have created much safer prisons, fostered unprecedented cooperation with our law enforcement partners to keep track of the most violent offenders supervised in the community, and developed a groundbreaking inmate public works restorative justice initiative. All of this and more has made the Department better and helped make Maryland safer.
Building on the progress we have made, the Department will reorganize efforts in the next six to 12 months. Our goal is to create a more successful rehabilitative process for our offenders, better reentry, and ultimately lower recidivism in Maryland. All of our changes are about integrating our current divisional structure bringing together custody and supervision operations under one umbrella, which will be regionally based.
Although their divisional structure will change, all custody and supervision operations and disciplines will remain the same. There will be no DPSCS job losses as part of this reorganization. Parole and Probation agents will stay in place. Correctional Officers will continue to report to their current institutions. Both custody and supervision supervisors’ functions will stay the same. And administratively there will be very little functional change.
While this process may take up to a year to complete, many of these changes will be put in place very soon, as custody and supervision operations begin to report up through regional directors.
We have created a page on our website explaining the overall concept of the DPSCS reorganization. Please use this as a clearinghouse of information and for updates concerning these changes going forward. There you will find a series of FAQs, a regional map of what the new DPSCS concept looks like, and you can even sign up for updates throughout the process.
DPSCS reorganization focuses on successful offender reentry and lower recidivism. Seamless integration of DPSCS divisions breaks down vertically siloed custody and supervision operations. Operational and communications efficiencies result.
A regionally-based DPSCS across three areas of the state – North, Central and South
Better-served offenders flow through DPSCS system efficiently, utilizing fewer resources
Leveraging a new Offender Case Management System, DPSCS operational shift improves offender rehabilitation process
While we have the concept in place, as with any major organizational change it will take some time for the operational details to evolve and be put in place. Some of these operational changes will happen very soon, others will take longer. We will continually update our progress through the DPSCS website.
As we move forward, backed by the incredible efforts of our employees, I am confident we can build on all of our success over the last five years and take the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services to the next level.
UPDATE 2011-12-14: In a subsequent Conduit Street post, DPSCS states that the departmental reorganization will not impose any new responsibilities or costs on local jails. However, DPSCS is considering changes to the intake and reentry process that may impose new responsibilities (or provide new benefits) to local public safety agencies. Any such changes will be introduced and handled separately from the reorganization.