Cumberland Times-News

Letters

March 2, 2013

It’s money well-spent

Costs for American Correctional Association (ACA) accreditation, approximately $12,000 spread over a three-year period, are an investment Maryland is sure to gain from.

They provide for third-party, nationally known expert auditors from across the country to come and audit our prisons. We know this because ACA accreditation is already here in Maryland at two of our largest institutions — Western Correctional Institution and Eastern Correctional Institution.

Moreover, the State would pay these fees for only 21 additional institutions, not the 32 mentioned in a Feb. 22 letter to the editor (“Passage of this bill could cost considerable amount of money”).

 When I arrived in Maryland to head the state’s correctional system in 2007, it was widely known as the one of the most violent prison systems in the U.S.

With support from the O’Malley-Brown Administration, creating safer prisons for our correctional officers became a top priority. The same goes for the offenders under our care. This began in 2007 with the closing of the Maryland House of Correction, one of, if not the most, violent prisons in the country.

Since then, thanks to a relentless focus on developing gang intelligence, sharing information with local law enforcement, capturing more contraband, interdicting illegal cell phones, and a $1.1 million investment in to security entrance technology, we’ve driven down serious assaults on staff by 65 percent throughout our state-run correctional facilities.

Serious inmate-on-inmate violence is also down by 47 percent over the same time.

All of this has been made possible through the hard work of our correctional officers and employees working together to meet our mission — to keep the public, our employees and offenders under our care safe.

 With this groundwork in place, we will utilize ACA accreditation to build upon our success and take us to the next level.

This will help us create a standardization of policies, procedures and training — based on national best correctional practices — which will propel us to becoming one of the best correctional systems in the country.

Savings would be realized by taxpayers through more efficiently run prison. Reduced liability, better employee retention, fewer workmen’s compensation claims, a more efficient inmate grievance process, and less state audits are all benefits of ACA accreditation.

 The benefits of ACA accreditation at the Western and Eastern Correctional Institutions can be seen when comparing these facilities with others in Maryland of similar security levels during FY12:

• $566 in workers compensation incurred per employee in accredited facilities, versus $1,001 per employee in non-accredited facilities;

• Less staff attrition when compared to non-accredited facilities in their geographic region of the state, a probable indication of better morale;

• Fewer instances of staff discipline in accredited institutions than those that are not accredited;

• The inmate MRSA (a bacterium responsible for many difficult-to-treat infections) rate in our accredited facilities is 1 percent versus 2 percent at non-accredited facilities;

• 100 percent per capita of inmates in accredited facilities trust and use the inmate grievance process, versus 59 percent in non-accredited facilities;

 The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services is building a system of true excellence and ACA accreditation will get us there.

This will challenge us to stay on the cutting edge of correctional practices and holds us accountable for efficiency in our operations — something every taxpayer can appreciate in a government agency.

 Gary D. Maynard, secretary

Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services

1
Text Only
Letters
  • Please return valuable items taken from woman’s parked van

    On July 8 at 2:33 p.m. my 16-year-old granddaughter Caitlyn Cook and I arrived at Children’s Medical Group for a 3 p.m. appointment.

    July 23, 2014

  • Legion honor guard available to honor veterans at their funerals

    We in the honor guard of Fort Cumberland Post 13, American Legion, performed 196 veterans service in 2013.

    July 22, 2014

  • Remember, we’re not immune to extinction

    I’d like to pose a theoretical scenario to Cal Thomas.

    If a medical specialist said, “Cal, you’ve got a serious physical problem. Do nothing and you’ll die soon. Follow my prescription, which involves certain life-style changes, and there’s a good probability you’ll live, even if your life may be a bit more constrained than now.”

    July 21, 2014

  • America has three branches of government for good reasons

    “Mikulski Calls for Continued Action to Protect Women's Health Following Dangerous Supreme Court Decision” is the heading you will find on Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s website.

    July 21, 2014

  • Tell legislators to do what is right for America’s vets

    Without our veterans and those who made the ultimate sacrifice, where would America be today? It is anyone’s guess, however certainly not the Freedom and Liberty we enjoy.

    July 18, 2014

  • Move over Move over

    Have you noticed, in your travels, that the front end of a police cruiser usually protrudes a bit more than you would expect when the officer has it parked behind another vehicle on the side of the road?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Use local workers in building new Baltimore Pike travel stop

    As a delegate to the Maryland General Assembly representing Allegany County, and specifically the City of Cumberland, I welcome you to our community as you prepare to construct a Love’s Travel Stop at the above referenced location (on Baltimore Pike).

    July 17, 2014

  • Northern Garrett Rescue Squad raising funds, seeks members

    The Northern Garrett County Rescue Squad recently conducted several fund raising events to raise funds for new Lifepak 15’s, which are EKG monitors with AED / defibrillator.

    July 16, 2014

  • Citizens should be more ready to deal with power failures

    An open letter to the electrical power companies in West Virginia and Maryland:
    The return of electrical power to my home recently, after its unexpected failure for approximately 48 hours, as a result of such a sudden and violent storm, reminded me anew of how much I take for granted.

    July 14, 2014

  • Scare tactics, misinformation abound regarding marijuana

    In response to Frank J. Clark’s well intentioned letter, “Don’t be too quick to legalize marijuana use,” July 10 Times-News), I believe that his letter misses the point of legalizing and regulating marijuana.

    July 12, 2014

Latest news
Facebook
Must Read
House Ads