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Howard County Receives State Grants for Crime Prevention and Control

February 25, 2020

Media Contact:

Scott Peterson, Director of Communications, Office of Public Information, 202-277-9412


ELLICOTT CITY, MD – The Governor’s Office on Crime Control and Prevention has recently awarded the Howard County Department of Corrections (HCDC), the State’s Attorney’s Office, and the Howard County Sheriff’s Office more than $233,000 for sixteen programs that offer inmate reentry, attorney training, police recruitment and retention, and other critical support.

“I’m thankful to the Governor and the State for their support to fund crime prevention and control on multiple fronts,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “These programs work across the board to ease inmate reentry with job readiness, provide incentives for high quality applicants to our police and sheriff departments, and offer external advocacy training for our State’s Attorney. These grants are supportive steps in creating a safer and more engaged community for all in Howard County.”

The Department of Corrections received $190,000 for its Sustainable Reentry Demonstration Project, a partnership with Open Door America (ODA) to develop and run a demonstration project to permanently transition reentry clients from “dependent inmate to independent citizen”.

A majority of the grant will fund HCDC’s partnership with ODA to provide a 12-month reentry program with heavy emphasis on intensive job readiness training and a protracted employment onboarding feature, offering the employer the ability to reduce early employment failures and costly turnover. Program elements include weekly case management, monthly group therapy, job readiness and life skills training, job placement services, and employment onboarding support, as well as wraparound services with community partners such as faith congregations and business fraternal organizations. Partner employers in the Howard County area have signed on to work with the program.

“The Department of Corrections has placed increased emphasis on offender reentry; noting recidivism reduction is dependent on a comprehensive reentry program,” said Jack Kavanaugh, Department of Corrections Director. “This grant helps further our efforts in this vital area.”

The Howard County Sheriff’s Office received $41,000 for a “Police Recruitment and Retention” grant. The funds will be used to create incentives that will keep current Howard County deputies with the agency and to increase the quality and quantity of applicants applying for the vacant lateral Howard County Sheriff deputy positions. One of the major incentives is a bonus for veterans both for new recruits and those currently employed at the Office.

“I am proud that our Office was able to locate and receive the Police Recruitment and Retention grant this fiscal year,” said Marcus Harris, Howard County Sheriff. “This grant will allow additional incentives for those who are seeking to join and retain professional law enforcement officers in this outstanding agency that’s mission is to protect and serve the citizens of Howard County”

The Howard County State’s Attorney Office also received $2,085 for attorney training on advocacy, allowing a prosecutor to attend a week-long training offered by the National District Attorneys Association.

"This is the first year our office has received this grant and we are eager to put this dedicated funding to good use," said Howard County State’s Attorney Rich Gibson. “It will allow one of our prosecutors to participate in a week-long, hands-on trial advocacy training session designed to not only hone their litigation skills but impart this knowledge to our entire prosecutorial staff.”