Scores of studies and research continues to show that by giving prisoners educational, vocational and life-skills, that recidivism rates drop greatly. The Maryland Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services feels very strongly about giving prisoners and offenders tools for a successful reentry into society.
There are several programs within the Maryland Correctional Services that are geared for this success.
From incarceration to reentry into the community, DPSCS strives to provide seamless, integrated supervision services for all offenders that results in lower recidivism rates
In collaboration with their partner agency-Labor, Licensing and Regulation, correctional education continues to be a high priority within the Maryland Correctional Services. One of the main goals is to maintain a focus on getting prisoners to enroll in continuing education programs and completing these courses as well.
What is encouraging about the correctional education program is to see how much higher enrollment is from previous years. Many of the prisoners are now receiving their GED's and a high school diploma. In addition, the completion rate for the Occupational Skills Training classes is increasing, resulting in certificates in occupations such as carpentry, printing and warehouse distribution.
This program is essential in helping ex-offenders get paperwork vital to reentry. Included are Motor Vehicle Administration Administration ID, Birth Certificates and Social Security Cards. Having this paperwork makes it much easier for ex-offenders to secure housing, apply for employment and gain medical assistance.
In connection with this, the Maryland Correctional Enterprises, which is the industry arm of the Division of Correction, uses job training skills to employ prisoners and give them job skills for reentry. Much of the employment in this program is with the Upholstery Plant at the North Branch Correctional Institution and also in flag production for Maryland.
This program provides drug treatment and substance abuse treatment, resulting in reduction of drug problems that will help ex-offenders be successful upon reentry.
For prisoners that are incarcerated while going through drug withdrawals, the drug treatment program has included a methadone maintenance program and if needed, will continue the maintenance program upon release.
Many prisoners come into prison with poor health often linked to drug use or poor lifestyle choices and this can become a public health issue for the state.
The Maryland Correctional Services uses a proactive health care policy for inmates. Detecting and controlling HIV, diabetes, TB, hepatitis, hypertension and cardiac problems can greatly reduce tax-payer dollars and keep the spread of any infections down.
The proactive health care has greatly reduced emergency room visits for inmates.
The Maryland Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services is making a positive and progressive move forward towards reducing recidivism rates and keeping the public safe.