Institutional Security

Topics At A Glance

Gang Identification, Intelligence and Information Sharing

Gang member dataImproving 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 FY13:

  • Since FY07 efforts have resulted in 8,126 validations of incarcerated offenders as gang members.
  • DPSCS continues to root out corrupt staff that may be aiding this population through regulations implemented by the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions to check gang membership of prospective correctional officers.
  • Included in the new Internal Investigative Unit is a dedicated polygraph unit which will conduct pre-employment polygraphs, criminal and administrative examinations for DPSCS correctional officer candidates.
  • A calculated reorganization and expansion effort has increased the DPSCS Internal Investigative Unit staff by 91 percent. The addition of 32 positions will help streamline intelligence gathering and investigative operations and strengthen security efforts throughout. 

See DPSCS Gang Intervention and Prevention Resources

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Contraband Reduction

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 FY13:Cell phone data

  • Following a spike in contraband finds due to increased interdiction efforts, cell phone numbers are dropping to 874 during FY13, a 33 percent decrease over 1,312 in FY12.
  • Cell phone suppression, which utilizes electronic detection equipment, began at the Metropolitan Transition Center in Baltimore and more recently, at the Baltimore City Detention Center.
  • Opened 232 cell phone investigations with 146 resulting in charging documents issued and 208 cases being adjudicated.
  • Since investing $1.1 million in entrance technology in FY09, there has been a steady decrease in the percent of phone found outside the facility. During FY13, 16 percent of the total confiscated phones were found outside the facility prior to getting into the hands of inmates.

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Safer Institutions

Serious assaults graphAll 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 six years. During FY13:

  • 60% decrease in serious assaults on staff since FY07.
  • 52% decrease in serious inmate on inmate assaults since FY07.

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Institutional Security News

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Quick Facts

Institutional Security In FY13

  • Due to crackdown on contraband, cell phone finds dropping.

Cell Phone Finds

  • FY07 = 741
  • FY08 = 1,236
  • FY09 = 1,658
  • FY10 = 1,128
  • FY11 = 1,304
  • FY12 = 1,312
  • FY13 =    874

Inside vs. Outside

  • 16% of cell phones found outside institutions in FY13
  • Began tracking location of cell phones found in FY09


  • 232 investigations opened
  • 146 people charged
  • 208 cases taken to court
  • 432 convicted since FY09

Serious Assaults

  • 60% drop in serious assaults on staff since FY07
  • 52% drop in serious assaults on inmates since FY07