Community Revitalization

Topics At A Glance

Habitat for HumanityHabitat

  • Inmates from Eastern Pre-release Unit completed five Habitat for Humanity houses at Federalsburg in Caroline County.
  • Inmates continue to work on four new properties there, and DPSCS is exploring other potential Habitat partnerships.

Williamsport’s Full-time Inmate Labor Detail

  • In 2008, the town of Williamsport in Washington County was the first to ask for a full-time inmate labor crew. So successful has been the work done by the inmates, that in the spring of 2010, the town called a news conference and lauded DPSCS and Division of Correction (DOC) personnel.
  • The inmates have done everything from rebuilding the largest barn in Maryland to installing restrooms and painting the town hall.
  • Their work has saved Williamsport more than $40,000 in labor costs.
  • Inmate crews have performed more than 4,000 hours of work throughout the town.
  • Williamsport’s mayor reports “zero problems” with the inmates. The town carpenter, who sometimes supervises them, adds: “They’ve been a great help to the community.”

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Hagerstown Newspaper Poll

  • The Hagerstown Herald-Mail conducted a poll, asking its readers whether inmate labor outside prison walls was a good idea. The overwhelming response among voters was yes:  88% of the people who responded resoundingly approved (The Herald-Mail, April 20, 2010). 

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Second Chances Farm

Veterans Cemeteries

  • Vet CemeteriesMaryland continues to be the only state in the country to use honorably-discharged veteran inmates to restore State veterans cemeteries.
  • Currently, four of the state’s five veterans cemeteries are being restored and tended by inmates.
  • Inmates from Southern Maryland Pre-release Unit  (SMPRU) and Central Maryland Correctional Facility worked more than 9,611 hours at the cemeteries in FY10. Brockbridge Correctional Facility inmates also contributed several thousand hours.
  • Through a unique partnership with the State Department of Veterans Affairs, inmates may qualify for permanent jobs in veterans cemeteries once they are released from prison. Three inmates were hired in the past fiscal year.

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Salisbury Safe Streets

  • In the spring of 2010, pre-release inmates from Poplar Hill and Eastern Correctional Institution (ECI) hit the streets of Salisbury, removing trash, clearing alleys of brush, and concentrating on neighborhoods in the “Safe Streets” initiative.
  • Inmates also removed 10Safe Streets tons of debris from seven miles of railroad right-of-way directly alongside U.S. 13 Business, the main north-south road through the heart of the city.
  • The Salisbury Daily Times editorialized that the inmate labor arrangement was a fantastic idea, declaring, “It’s working for Salisbury…to everyone’s benefit” (The Daily Times, May 5, 2010).
  • In addition to the Salisbury work, ECI inmates are on a special test work detail in Somerset County, marking the first time that jurisdiction has allowed outside inmate details in 23 years.

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Winter Snow Removal

  • The brutal winter of 2009-10 which dumped several major storms and blizzards on much of Maryland allowed a number of areas to benefit from inmate labor.
  • More than 80 DOC inmates cleared dozens of bus stops, storm drains, and fire hydrants in Baltimore City after two record storms hit within a four-day period.
  • 200 DOC inmates descended upon the Ravens football stadium, clearing tons of snow, which prevented the team from having to cancel a game. The work drew praise from the Maryland Stadium Authority.
  • Inmates worked at the Maryland Zoo, allowing caretakers to reach animals whose living areas were buried under several feet of snow.
  • Charles County highways were cleared in part by inmates from SMPRU.
  • Several other jurisdictions have made preliminary inquiries about using inmate labor during future winter seasons.

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Latest Community Revitalization News


PSW logo

Quick Facts

Public Safety Works Projects

  • Restorative justice initiative launched in 2008
  • Approx. 400 offenders working daily on PSW projects

 

Second Chances Farm

  • Opened May 2009 – Partnership with Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation
  • 70 acres of reclaimed farm land
  • Anticipated capacity of 40 horses and 15 inmate employees

 

Veterans Cemeteries

  • Honorably discharged inmate veterans giving back to fellow soldiers
  • Crownsville, Garrison Forrest and Cheltenham Cemeteries
  • More than 10,000 hours of maintenance in FY10

 

Other Community Projects

  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Salisbury Safe Streets
  • Winter Snow Removal
  • Local neighborhood clean-ups