The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) is committed to protecting the health and well being of our staff, inmates, and detainees who live and work in our facilities. DPSCS, in conjunction with Maryland Department of Health (MDH) and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), are closely monitoring developments associated with COVID-19. DPSCS is prepared to handle any potential cases of COVID-19 within the state-operated correctional institutions in Maryland.
Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery
Maryland took early, aggressive, and unprecedented actions to contain and slow the spread of COVID-19. Thanks to these efforts, and the incredible sacrifices of Marylanders who stayed home and practiced physical distancing, we have successfully flattened and lengthened the curve.
The “Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery” has been developed based on the recovery plans issued by the federal government, the National Governors Association, and premier institutions like Johns Hopkins and the American Enterprise Institute; shaped by the expert advice of the scientists and public health officials on Maryland’s Coronavirus Response Team; and tailored to our situation here in Maryland. The result is a responsible, gradual, safe path forward for our state.
Maryland Takes Action to Slow the Spread of COVID-19
With Maryland’s positivity rate exceeding 5% for the first time since June and health metrics spiking across the nation, Governor Hogan announced on November 10 a series of actions to slow the spread of COVID-19.
- Indoor dining. The governor issued an emergency order reducing indoor operations for bars and restaurants from 75% to 50%, effective November 11 at 5 p.m. Bars and restaurants are permitted to be open for seated and distanced service only, with strict capacity restrictions.
- Indoor gatherings. With contact tracing data showing an uptick in cases resulting from family gatherings and house parties, state health officials have issued a public health advisory strongly discouraging indoor gatherings of 25 people or more.
- Travel advisory. Marylanders are strongly advised against traveling to any state with a positivity rate above 10% or any state with average case rates above 20 per 100K. Anyone traveling from these states should get tested and self-quarantine while awaiting results. This applies to personal, family, or business travel of any kind. Marylanders are advised to postpone or cancel travel to these areas until their positivity and/or case rates decline.
- Telework. Governor Hogan has directed the Maryland Department of Budget and Management to immediately execute a period of mandatory telework across state agencies, except for essential direct public-facing services and other essential personnel. State officials strongly encourage all businesses to take immediate steps to expand telework.
- Hospital surge capacity. State health officials have issued an emergency order expanding hospital surge capacity that provides state EMS officials with the flexibility to shift patients to alternate care sites and to add capacity at those sites if the need arises.
- Nursing homes and assisted living facilities. State health officials have issued new guidance for slowing the spread of COVID-19 at nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Marylanders should stay home if sick and get tested before they visit. Staff should minimize their contact with large gatherings and communicate early and often about infection control issues at their facilities. Indoor visitation is not permitted if the facility is currently conducting outbreak testing and in accordance with federal guidance on this subject.
Amcelle Rubble Landfill
The existing landfill is located at 12501 Arnel Avenue, Cumberland, 21502 in Allegany County, Maryland. The current permit requires semi-annual monitoring of the groundwater for metals and organic compounds. The proposed permit allows MDE to set and maintain requirements for the continued monitoring of groundwater quality at the closed rubble landfill, and does not authorize an expansion or other change to the facility.
An Informational Meeting will be held if a written request is received by MDE on or before August 26, 2020. The request should indicate the name, address and daytime telephone number of the person making the request, the name of any party whom the person making the request may represent, and the name of the facility. Send the request to: Ms. Kaley Laleker, Director, Land and Materials Administration, 1800 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21230-1719.
Contact: Sara Haile: (410) 537-3315
The Gardens at Eastern Correctional Institution
Since 2014, Eastern Correctional Institution in Westover has partnered with Somerset County Health Department to harvest more than 55,000 pounds of produce from it’s Inmate Tended Garden. This year marks another milestone. The prison now has 3 gardens and is sending produce to Wicomico County as well. Thank you ECI for making a difference in our communities!
Customers of the four major wireless carriers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon) who are enrolled in their carriers’ text messaging and/or data plan can send text messages to 911 in an emergency when they are unable to place a phone call. This includes those who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or speech impaired, those who may find themselves in a situation where placing a voice call could put them in danger, or those who are experiencing a medical emergency and are unable to speak.
If you are in need of emergency services and unable to place a phone call, you can enter 911 in the “To” line of a new text message and begin your message with the location of the emergency and the type of help needed—police, fire, or emergency medical services. Once the message has been received at the 911 call center, a 911 specialist will respond. You should be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions.
Additional tips for using text-to-911 service:
- As with all text messages, messages to 911 may take longer to receive, may be received out of order, and/or may not be received at all
- If text-to-911 service in not available, you will receive a bounce back message from your carrier telling you to place a phone or relay call instead
- Photos and videos cannot be received by 911 call centers
- English is the preferred language for text messaging, though some limited translation services may be available in your area
- Keep text messages short and simple, and avoid using slang or abbreviations
- Including an additional contact on your text message may prevent it from being received by 911
- Call if you can, text if you can’t
- Do not text and drive
Salute to Class 20-03
Send Care Packages to Your Loved Ones Through Access Securepak!
Through Access Securepak, you can customize care packages to be delivered to your loved ones within our system. Securepak offers a variety of necessities such as hygiene products while also allowing the option to select and send various snacks and products. You are in complete control and customize the packages to fit your loved one’s needs. Click the link below to find out more and get started!
Access Corrections Secure Deposits is the fastest, most convenient way to deposit funds into your loved one’s account!
Send money with your Visa or MasterCard using one of the following options:
1. Smart Device: Download our Android or iOS app.
2. Online: accesscorrections.com
(The app and online options offer the lowest handling charge!)
3. Toll-free Telephone: 866-345-1884. Call 24/7 to speak with a bilingual representative.
MD State Prisons Implement Video Visitation
In the face of the extraordinary circumstances driven by the global COVID-19 pandemic, with travel restrictions and the need for social distancing, the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) has developed a solution to enable our inmate population to have the means for virtual visitations.
DPSCS will ensure that technology is available in each visitation location to allow inmates to contact their support network (family, friends, etc) using Skype. Skype is technology, which enables people to communicate with both voice and video. To enable a Skype session, an email address is required and the Skype software must be installed on your computer or smart phone.
Please see the Virtual Visitation guide: Video Visitation DPSCS
MD State Prisons Prepared to Act on Executive Order Implementing Alternative Correctional Detention and Supervision
(Towson, Maryland Monday April 20, 2020) — The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) is ready and prepared to respond and implement Governor Larry Hogan’s Executive Order.
The Maryland Parole Commission, the Division of Correction, and the Division of Parole and Probation are working collaboratively to identify those inmates eligible for expedited release or parole pursuant to the Executive Order.
Those inmates who are eligible and will be affected by the Executive Order will be notified individually.
Maryland Survivor Benefits Program
The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services provides for a one-time payment of death benefits to the surviving spouse, child, dependent parent, or estate of an individual who, after January 1, 2006, died as a result of performing assigned duties for a qualified Maryland Public Safety Organization. Benefits are also available to the qualified surviving family member(s) of Maryland residents who died in service in the US Armed Forces in Afghanistan on or after October 24, 2001, or in Iraq on or after March 19, 2003. Read More
MD State Prison Visits Suspended Effective March 12, 2020 Until Further Notice
Towson, MD (March 12, 2020) –-In order to protect our employees, inmates, and detainees and their families, the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services is suspending all visits to its correctional facilities effective today, March 12.
The Department will provide free phone calls and video visitation for inmates. Read entire Press Release
We Want You: Why Now is the Time to Start Your Career as a Correctional Officer
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy
One of the most constant components in life is change. Change can come in many forms and be caused by a variety of factors such as physical environments, demographics, economics or politics.
And as former U.S. President John F. Kennedy said, change is inevitable. It is how you harness that change that can predicate your future – especially when it comes to your career.
If you’re considering a career change where you can make a positive impact on your community and on individual lives, then the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (MDPSCS) is for you.
As one of the largest state agencies in Maryland, the MDPSCS employs more than 11,000 dedicated individuals that oversee 19 correctional institutions and 42 community supervision offices.
MD Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Announces Plan To Open Comprehensive Re-Entry Facility
Will Support Reentry Programming for Women and Men
ANNAPOLIS, MD (January 16, 2020)– The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) today announced a plan to redeploy Brockbridge Correctional Facility (BCF) in Jessup as a comprehensive Pre-release, Re-entry, and Workforce Development Facility.
“Brockbridge Correctional Facility presents incredible existing programming space as well as other opportunities to create a facility fully-dedicated to reentry programming, continued workforce development, education, work release, family mediation, and other essential programming,” said DPSCS Secretary Robert Green. “This will allow the department to create additional bridges of connection and expand on our already existing pre-release and reentry facilities across the state.” read more
Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Highlights Funding in Fiscal Year 2021 Budget
$8 Million for New Correctional Officer Retention Program
TOWSON, MD – Earlier today Governor Larry Hogan unveiled his FY 2021 budget, highlighting funding for the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS). This includes millions of dollars for correctional officer retention and infrastructure improvements, further demonstrating the administration’s commitment to public safety and the state’s correctional and parole and probation systems.
“Hiring and retaining great employees, keeping the public safe, and providing real opportunities for inmates and probationers to change are critical to our mission,” said DPSCS Secretary Robert Green. “The governor’s budget reflects his ongoing strong commitment to support the mission of public safety in our state.”
The governor’s FY 2021 budget invests more than $1.5 billion for DPSCS’ day-to-day expenses related to the 24/7 housing of more than 18,000 detainees and inmates, the Parole and Probation and pre-trial supervision of more than 50,000 people, and rehabilitative services related to the Department’s mission of public safety and reduced recidivism.
In addition to funding the Department’s operating budget, this budget will help DPSCS retain correctional professionals during a time when law enforcement agencies nationwide are struggling to hire and keep qualified people. The governor’s budget includes an allocation of $8 million spread across two years to launch a new correctional officer retention program.
Retirement-eligible officers who commit to stay on the job for at least four more years would receive a $7,500 sign-on bonus, an additional $7,500 after two years, and a final payment of $22,500 at the end of the four-year period. This bonus will help address the issue of many officers retiring at or after 20 years of service.
To address issues relating to aging infrastructure, the proposed budget includes nearly $3.1 million dedicated to repairs at DPSCS correctional facilities.
DPSCS remains steadfast in its mission to provide around-the-clock custody, programs, and medical services, as well as supervision in the community for the growing number of people who are serving terms of Parole and Probation in lieu of incarceration.
Inside the Fence Episode XI
The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services has been made aware that members of the public are receiving phones calls indicating that a loved one has been taken into our custody and a fee was necessary to ensure their release. The caller indicates that money should be sent through Western Union.
While the caller is using the same institution name with each phone call, please note that no time will you be asked to send money via Western Union from any of our detention facilities or institutions.
The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services continues to investigate circumstances surrounding these phone calls.