As previously reported on Conduit Street, the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) is undertaking and departmental reorganization, which DPSCS states will not have any impact on the counties or local jails. In tandem with the reorganization, DPSCS is also looking to change the inmate reentry process, with a shift towards more local reentry. This reentry shift will have costs for county governments unless DPSCS identifies and provides funding to cover the costs of the shift.
At the January 10 meeting of the Maryland Correctional Administrators Association (MCAA), DPSCS Commissioner of Correction J. Michael Stouffer stated that there would not be any departmental legislation concerning the reorganization or reentry changes for the 2012 Session but that legislation was likely in 2013. Commissioner Stouffer also stated that for the reentry process, DPSCS would identify funding sources for any new local jail responsibilities for reentry.
Subsequent to the meeting, DPSCS has prepared a presentation outlining the proposed reorganization. The presentation lists the reasons for the reorganization; describes how DPSCS oversight would be broken into three regions – North, Central, and South; and discusses initial reentry ideas.
In the presentation, DPSCS states the reorganization “breaks down vertically siloed custody and supervision operation” and will lead to operational and communications efficiencies and lower recidivism. Both MACo and MCAA will work with DPSCS during the reorganization process but will also protect county governments from absorbing new unfunded costs relating to reentry.