Topics At A Glance
Improving gang intelligence over the past few years is a key component of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services’ (DPSCS) efforts to make Maryland institutions safer for both staff and inmates. Through dedicated analysis staff, surveillance, validation and information sharing with other law enforcement we are better managing this population, while making communication among gang members more difficult. During FY12:
- Since FY07 efforts have resulted in 7,365 validations of incarcerated offenders as gang members.
- DPSCS continues to root out corrupt staff that may be aiding this population through regulations implemented in FY10 by the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions to check gang membership of prospective correctional officers.
Contraband inside correctional facilities often fuels violence by inmates, particularly gangs who often manage the sale and trade of illegal items. In FY07 DPSCS made contraband reduction a priority, especially cell phones which allow inmates to connect to criminal activities on the street, circumventing intelligence efforts. DPSCS continues to be a leader in cell phone interdiction by using multiple approaches and techniques. During FY12:
- 159 phones located throughout Maryland during FY12 by cell phone sniffing K9.
- Procured a cell phone suppression pilot during FY12, which utilizes electronic detection equipment and began at the Metropolitan Transition Center in Baltimore in FY13.
- Following a spike in contraband finds due to increased interdiction efforts, cell phone numbers are leveling off at 1,312 during FY12, similar to 1,304 in FY11.
- 77% increase in finds over FY07 when tracking began.
- Since investing $1.1 million in entrance technology in mid-FY09, we have seen a steady increase in the percent of cell phones found outside the facility. During FY12 19% of the total confiscated were found prior to getting in the hands of inmates, up from 11% in FY10.
- By opening lines of communication with States Attorney’s offices and hiring an investigative officer dedicated to cell phone prosecution in mid-FY10, DPSCS has opened 834 cases statewide, resulting in approximately 420 being adjudicated through the end of FY12. Of those, 60% have resulted in a guilty finding.
All of these security efforts have made our institutions safer then they have ever been. DPSCS’ commitment to gang intelligence, contraband interdiction and prosecution of those who violate contraband laws have driven down the number of serious assaults (defined as incidents requiring more than basic first aid) on both staff and inmates over the past four years. During FY12:
- 65% decrease in serious assaults on staff since FY07.
- 47% decrease in serious inmate on inmate assaults since FY07.
- Md. Gets Grant to Fight Cell Phone Use in Prisons 04/23/12
- New Program Wants To Keep Cell Phones Out Of Prisons 04/23/12
- Maryland Receives Grant to Fight Cell Phone Use in Prisons 04/23/12
- Pilot program targets keeping cell phones out of prisons 04/20/12
- O'Malley Announces Funds to Remove Cell Phones from Prison - TheBayNet.com 09/20/11
- Sniffing out cell phones - The Gazette-Online 03/11/11
- Fed to Pay 20M Towards 2 MD Prisons - Eyewitness News at 6 PM - WJZ-TV 02/08/11
- Md. hands keys to Baltimore Supermax facility to U.S. - Baltimore Sun - Online 02/08/11
- New plans for Supermax emerge - Baltimore Sun - Online 02/08/11
- Fewer Cell Phones Smuggled Into Md. Prisons - Associated Press 02/01/11
- State Prisons Battling Contraband Cell Phones - Government Technology - Online 01/05/11
- Maynard says serious assaults in prisons are down - Herald-Mail 12/15/10
- Prison Tour Reveals New Safety Improvements - WHAG-TV - Online 12/13/10
- Fewer Mobile Phones in Prisons, Officials Say - WMAL-AM-Online 7/29/10
- Prison Cell Phone Crackdown is Working - WJZ-TV 7/29/10
- State, federal officials push cell phone jamming in U.S. prisons - The Calvert Recorder 6/11/10
- Officials: Test supports prison phone jamming - Associated Press 5/12/10
- Battling Prison Violence - WMDT-TV 2/25/10
- Cell phone jamming equipment in place at local federal prison - Cumberland times-News 2/18/10
- Our view: A test of technology to block cell phone signals at a prison is an important step - Baltimore Sun-Online 2/18/10
- Md. prisons chief pursues use of cell phones - The Washington Times 12/18/09
- Prison Dogs Sniff Out Contraband Cell Phones - WMDT-TV 11/4/09
- MD Prisons Say Scanning Technology Will Help Cut Down On Contraband - WMDT-TV 11/4/09
- MD Buys $1 Million In Security Equipment - WJZ-13 TV 11/4/09
- Md. Buys $1M In Prison Security Equipment - WBAL-TV-Online 11/4/09
- Maryland using body scanner to find contraband in prisons Maryland turns to scanner chairs to find - Washington Post-Online 11/4/09
- Your Tax Dollars At Work: Prison Officials Unveil High-Tech Strip Search - The Maryland Reporter 11/4/09
- Md. buys $1 million in security equipment - AP Alert-DC Daybook 11/4/09
- Inmates with Cell Phones - CNN 9/7/09
- Maryland Corrections Official Stresses Importance of Jamming Cell Signals - TR Daily 9/3/09
- Maryland prison officials are exploring the latest high-tech tools to keep cell phones out of prisons - Fox 45 WBFF-TV 9/3/09
- Maryland Tests Cell Phone Detection In Prison - WJZ-TV 9/3/09
- Prison officials examine ways to curb illicit use of cell phones - Baltimore Sun - Online 9/3/09
- Md. officials test cell phone detection at prison - Baltimore Sun - Online 9/3/09
- Mikulski, O'Malley Issue Joint Statement on Cell Phone Jamming and Technology Demonstrations - Afro-American Newspapers - Online 9/3/09
- Fighting Cell Phones in Prison - WMAR-TV 9/3/09
- Md. officials test cell phone detection at prison - WBAL-TV 9/3/09
- Panel approves prison phone jamming bill - Associated Press - 8/6/09
- Mikulski Behind Jamming Prison Phones - WMAR-TV 8/6/09
- Knives, cell phones seized at jail - Associated Press - 5/22/09
- FEDERAL CASE O'Malley won't rule out prison cell phone jamming - Delmarva.com 5/18/09
- Corrections officials seize contraband shipment - Associated Press 5/15/09
- Md. prison visitor drops off cell phones, chargers - Associated Press 5/15/09
- Visitor brought cell phones, memory cards, cash into prison - Cumberland Times-News 5/13/09
- O'Malley seeks OK to jam cell phone calls in prisons Federal law currently forbids it - Baltimore Sun 5/10/09
- Tobacco found outside Prison complex - Hagerstown Herald-Mail 4/22/09
- K9: Maryland corrections officials have begun using dogs to sniff for cell phone contraband - CNN 8/18/09
- Maryland Corrections Participate In Gang Forum... - WCBC Radio 6/30/08
Cell Phone Finds
- FY07 = 741
- FY08 = 1,236
- FY09 = 1,658
- FY10 = 1,128
- FY11 = 1,304
- FY12 = 1,312
- Began tracking location of cell phones found in Feb. 09
- 19% of total phones found FY12 were intercepted outside vs. 11% in FY10
Cell Phone Prosecutions
Since prosecution efforts expanded in 2009 thru end of FY12
- 834 contraband cell phone cases opened statewide
- 420 cases adjudicated
- 60% guilty conviction rate
FY07 vs. FY12
- 65% decrease in overall serious assaults on staff
- 47% decrease in overall serious assaults on inmates