Improving Reentry – DPSCS Shares Reentry Efforts at Maryland Symposium
February 29, 2012 –Addressing more than 250 participants who gathered in Annapolis for the Maryland Statewide Community Reentry Symposium, Deputy Secretary for Operations J. Michael Stouffer highlighted the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services’ (DPSCS) efforts to return offenders to society with the tools necessary to lead crime free lives. The event also featured brainstorming sessions and workshops on the topic of reentry.
A statewide Task Force on Prisoner Reentry was developed at the direction of 2009 legislation to examine the institutional programming and community-based transitional services provided to individuals who leave state prisons and local jails annually. Several recommendations which DPSCS can influence include reducing barriers to reentry, utilizing technology to share and manage resources and measuring reentry outcomes.
Key to DPSCS’ current reentry efforts is a recent reorganization of our Operational units, including detention, corrections and community supervision. By improving system-wide communications and offender flow through the Department, we will be better able to further address offender needs, such as drug treatment, public health, workforce development, housing, vital records, etc., starting at intake and continuing through community supervision.
A new Offender Case Management System, anticipated to be fully implemented by fall 2012, will also improve DPSCS reentry efforts by creating seamless electronic case planning, while also giving the Department the ability to track reentry outcomes.
Additional DPSCS reentry efforts highlighted at the symposium included incentive-based parole for lower-risk offenders, a public/private partnership that provides community-based drug treatment as an alternative to prison and lowering recidivism through a Justice Reinvestment Initiative grant that would aid in better integration of Maryland’s criminal justice system. Scroll through the entire presentationhere.