Howard County Chosen to Participate in “Transition from Jail to Community” Program

An October 4 Baltimore Sun article announced that Howard County has been chosen by the United States Department of Justice from a nationwide pool of applicants as one of six jurisdictions to participate in a “Transition from Jail to Community” program established by the Urban Institute and the National Institute of Corrections.  The program will provide consulting assistance to Howard County to help the County to refine its inmate transition program.  The goal of the program is to reduce recidivism, increase public safety, and save costs.

“We said in our grant application we are open to having experts come in and tell us we need to do things differently,” says Jack Kavanagh, director of the Department of Corrections. In particular, he says, he feels the agency needs help screening for inmates who are most likely to commit crimes again and using county resources more effectively to help them get on their feet when they get out of jail.  …

Kavanagh says the effort can potentially save money, as jailing each person costs about $90 a day. It’s also a way to make the county safer.

“It’s not just a do-gooder kind of thing,” says Kavanagh, who has been with the agency for 10 years, four as director. “It is an important public safety project.”

The head of the national program, Jesse Jannetta of the Urban Institute, says the county was chosen in part because the Department of Corrections already is collaborating with many social service agencies.

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