Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

December 11, 2013

Mixed bag

On balance, corrections chief’s record was positive

Gary Maynard, Maryland’s public safety and correctional services chief, is departing his post with a mixed performance record.

Maynard, who had extensive correctional administrative experience in Iowa, Oklahoma and South Carolina before being hired to run Maryland’s prisons in 2007, deserves credit for closing the dangerous Maryland House of Correction.

But he had his record blemished following this year’s federal indictment of 25 people including 13 correctional officers, in a contraband scandal at the Baltimore City Detention Center. Last month, the federal investigation produced conspiracy charges against 19 more people, including 14 current or former correctional officers.

From the outset, Maynard took responsibility for the Baltimore detention center problems and promised to do away with the corruption and lapses. He instituted a number of changes before his departure and moved his headquarters to the center to oversee reforms.

Maynard also was plagued by complaints from correctional officers about inadequate staffing that the union representing the officers contends creates dangerous conditions in state prisons.

But Maynard also should be remembered for his emphasis on putting inmates to work on projects that benefit the local community. Under his leadership, inmates planted more than a million trees to help with the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay.

On his frequent visits to Cumberland, Maynard always attempted to reach out to local government officials by offering inmate help with local projects. He expressed frustration at times that his offer rarely was taken up by local government bodies.

Maynard visited the offices of the Cumberland Times-News nearly 10 times during his tenure, always inviting reporters to ask “any questions” and discuss any concerns about local prison operations.

Maynard will join the Criminal Justice Institute, where he will be senior vice president. CJI is a private, nonprofit national firm that provides services to federal, state, county and municipal criminal justice agencies.

He still has much to offer from his extensive correctional administrative experience. We hope the positive programs he put into place in the Maryland penal system will continue.

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • C-minus grade C-minus grade

    If a survey conducted by Thumbtack.com and the Kaufman Foundation is an accurate portrayal, Maryland has a long way to go to become a business-friendly state.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big loophole Big loophole

    How ironic — and how sad — that the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority plans a closed executive session to discuss the open meetings law.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Preposterous Preposterous

    File this one under the We Thought We’d Heard Everything category: A man who attempted the armed robbery of a pizza shop is now suing the pizzeria and the employees who tackled him and wrestled his gun away during the holdup.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • No secrets No secrets

    The idea of fracturing for natural gas makes many people anxious about potential harmful effects. For that reason alone, it is incumbent on Maryland government to require full disclosure of chemicals used in the process.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don’t do it. Don’t do it

    Temperatures have been moderate recently but are projected to rise to the upper 80s and low 90s later this week, so we want to remind you: Never leave children unattended in a vehicle.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • July 20, 1969 July 20, 1969

    When Apollo 11 landed on the moon 45 years ago today, it was until that time the mostwatched television programming in history.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stopgap

    Kicking the can down the road was one of the things American kids did to pass the time in the old days, particularly if they lived in rural areas where there was little traffic to contend with.

    July 16, 2014

  • Maryland on target to meet 2025 bay restoration goals

    July 16, 2014

  • Tough luck Tough luck

    The state has for a second time declined to help Allegany County get federal flood recovery funds in the wake of the June 12 storm.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Heard it all Heard it all

    Pesky thing, this requirement that political candidates file campaign finance reports.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo