Victims of Crime
Robert C. Murphy Courts of Appeal Building, 361 Rowe Blvd., Annapolis, Maryland, March 2009. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
Maryland's criminal justice system involves the Judiciary with its Court of Appeals, Court of Special Appeals, Circuit Courts, and the District Court of Maryland; law enforcement agencies, including the Department of State Police, and local public safety and police departments. Also included are agencies concerned with detention and imprisonment, such as the
Department of Juvenile Services, and the
Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, as well as local departments of corrections, and detention centers.
Wicomico County Detention Center, 411 Naylor Mill Road, Salisbury, Maryland, June 2018. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
Concerns about criminal law are addressed by the General Assembly through the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, the House Judiciary Committee, and certain joint legislative committees.
Persons convicted of a crime in Maryland may be sentenced to imprisonment in a State prison, or a local department of corrections. Typically, such local departments, detention centers, or jails hold prisoners sentenced for shorter periods of time and for lesser offenses than those held in State prisons.
Prince George's County Courthouse, Duvall Wing, Upper Marlboro, Maryland, April 2014. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services operates 24 correctional facilites, as well as the Patuxent Institution (providing specialized treatment), the Central Booking and Intake Center, and the Baltimore Pretrial Complex.
According to the Division of Correction, in Fiscal Year 2020, the average daily number of sentenced inmates in Maryland was 18,281 with an annual variable rate of $13,303.40 spent per offender (some $36.35 per day). In Fiscal Year 2019, the average inmate age was 38.1 and the average sentence length was over 18.5 years (222.6 months), while the length of stay was just under 7 years (83.3 months).
Courtroom no. 1, Caroline County Courthouse, 109 Market St., Denton, Maryland, August 2016. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
The State also administers programs which are sentencing alternatives to imprisonment. These include boot camp, home detention, intensive supervision, and day reporting.
Rehabilitation. In order to reduce prison idleness and improve the employability of prisoners when they are discharged, inmates are given the opportunity to work. In Fiscal Year 2019, some 11,726 inmates earned up to $2.75 daily in paid work assignments.
Somerset County Detention Center, 30474 Revells Neck Road, Westover, Maryland, May 2017. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
Maryland Correctional Enterprises, a financially self-supporting State agency, employs and trains offenders. Various programs are offered, including the Meat Apprenticeship Program, the Forklift Training Program, and the Computer-Aided Design and Drafting Program.
In Fiscal Year 2019, Maryland Correctional Enterprises employed 1,516 inmates and had revenue of $52 million. According to the 2019 National Correctional Industries Association Directory, Maryland Correctional Enterprises ranked ninth in the nation for sales and eighth for traditional inmate employment.
Metropolitan Transition Center (formerly Maryland Penitentiary), Baltimore, Maryland, January 2000. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
While helping the community, some programs allow prisoners to learn skills. In these, inmates tend gardens inside prison walls and donate the produce to the poor, while others harvest crops for the Farm to Food Bank Program of the Maryland Food Bank. Through the Department's Public Safety Works in Fiscal Year 2020, inmates worked with Farming 4 Hunger a nonprofit organization, to farm and harvest more than 358,024 pounds of food. Inmates also helped build and rehabilitate houses for Tuckahoe Habitat for Humanity and assisted county recreation and parks departments with grounds maintenance. In Fiscal Year 2014, about 120 inmates helped with the deconstruction of the Maryland House of Correction, after they received training in the abatement of hazardous materials.
Throughout Maryland, some prisoners work with animals in various programs. Inmates learn how to care for rescued and retired race horses at the Second Chances Farm at the Central Maryland Correctional Facility in Sykesville, a Public Safety Works program which began in 2008. Through the Canine Partners for Life, prisoners train dogs to become service animals for disabled individuals, while those working with America's Vetdogs train puppies to become service dogs for wounded veterans.
Talbot County Department of Corrections, Public Safety Center, 115 West Dover St., Easton, Maryland, June 2018. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
Correctional Education Program. To give inmates the opportunity to further their education, the Maryland Department of Labor partners with the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services in overseeing the Correctional Education Program. Indeed, education is required for some inmates, including those without a diploma or GED (COMAR 09.37.02). Inmates can participate in educational programs through partnerships with Anne Arundel Community College,
Hagerstown Community College, Wor-Wic Community College and Goucher College.
In Fiscal Year 2020, some 3,544 inmates participated as students in the Correctional Education Program, 1,334 learned occupational skills, and 1,991 were in transitional programs. Of those, 178 students received high school diplomas, 849 earned occupational certificates, and 1,483 were awarded Transition Program certificates. In Fiscal Year 2019 Tablet Program (initiated in November 2017) equipped 79 tablets for 520 students in eight facilities.
Juvenile Offenders. Persons under age 18 who are charged with a crime generally fall under the jurisdiction of the juvenile justice system. Maryland's juvenile justice system is the responsibility of the Department of Juvenile Services. The Department provides care and treatment for youths who have broken the law, or who are adjudicated a danger to themselves or others. For young offenders, the least restrictive setting is preferred, but for serious and chronic offenders, secure institutional detention is a viable sentencing option.
Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center, 300 North Gay St., Baltimore, Maryland, June 2007. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
In Maryland, for certain crimes, youths may be tried and sentenced as adults. As of July 2019, some 19 individuals under age 18 and 42 eighteen-year olds were imprisoned in State correctional facilities for adult offenders.
Lower Eastern Shore Children's Center, 405 Naylor Mill Road, Salisbury, Maryland, June 2018. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
Victims of Crime. In Maryland, victims of crimes are offered a range of services throughout the criminal justice process. Notification on the status of cases in criminal court, pretrial conferences, court accompaniment, and crisis intervention are provided in most counties by the County State's Attorney's Office, or in Baltimore City, the City State's Attorney's Office (see local law offices). Within the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, victims services units provide information about the detention and release of offenders and their whereabouts. They also advise victims how to obtain financial compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. Also, the Victim Services Program is overseen by the Governor's Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services.
For victims of juvenile crimes, the Department of Juvenile Services provides direct assistance. It also considers their emotional, physical and financial needs when resolving cases. Often, young offenders are required to reimburse the victim directly for losses resulting from their delinquent acts.
© Copyright December 01, 2020 Maryland State Archives