Note that the method of calculating the percentage of inmate involvement changed for FY14 and may reflect a 5% higher participation level due to the methodology.
Why is this measure important?
- Programming while incarcerated in the State of Maryland can result
in the inmate receiving diminution credits from his/her sentence. That
reduces the actual days incarcerated benefiting both the inmate and the
taxpayer by a reduction in prisoner days.
- Data and results
driven programming has been shown to significantly reduce recidivism,
and institutional violence while creating reentry focused returning
- 94% of those incarcerated in Montgomery County will
return to the streets of our community. Programmatic engagement is an
essential investment in public safety.
Factors contributing to current performance
- Evidence-based practice in Corrections documents that
offender-related programs (e.g. education, workforce development,
faith-based, self-growth and development, cognitive learning, and
broad-based cultural, art and volunteer efforts) generate significantly
safer correctional environments by providing meaningful and structured
activities to keep offenders occupied and focused on diminished violence
and moderated gang involvement.
- Programs that support
reentry employment are critical to the majority of the offender
population. Obtaining lawful and sustainable employment is a critical
component to breaking the offender recidivism cycle. Programs in the
Correctional Facility Job Shop and the pre-employment job search
activity provided in the American Job Center (formerly the One Stop
Employment Center) provide needed skills to enhance the probability of
post release employment success and life beyond the walls of
Factors restricting performance improvement
- Mandatory budget reductions imposed on all departments has
incrementally diminished DOCR's ability to grow certain programs that
show evidence based promise.
- Some programs such as
professional adult literacy and electronic/digital learning require paid
instructors and are difficult to sustain utilizing volunteer
- The population acuity (mental health and
behavioral disorders) has greatly increased within the confined
population. This presents a much more difficult population to engage in
both therapeutic and educational programs. The consistency of
programming will be affected.
Performance improvement plan
- DOCR has expanded its collaboration with Montgomery College as a key resource in educational program development and reentry resources.
- The Bridges to College Program is providing access to post secondary education which has been shown to be a key educational factor in reducing recidivism.
- Utilize the PEW Results First Report to guide further program engagement.