ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Today, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced Jama Acuff as the new Director of the Howard County Department of Corrections beginning May 3rd. As Director, Acuff will oversee more than 170 employees and be responsible for the operation of the Howard County Detention Center, Howard County Central Booking Facility, and oversight of the Howard County Pre-Trial Community Supervision Program. This includes departmental budget preparation, procurement, and fiscal management, compliance with Maryland State Correctional Standards, development of Policies and Procedures, Internal Investigations, In-Service Training Programs, facility maintenance, the custody of inmates and the security of the facility.

Our Department of Corrections is made up of highly motivated and professional staff, and their dedication is a testament to the center’s high compliance and standards for more than three decades. Through Jama’s leadership and depth of experience, we will continue to ensure that those in the care of Corrections are treated fairly, provided a safe environment, and encourage educational opportunities to assist in re-entry and reduce recidivism.

Calvin Ball
Howard County Executive

The Department of Corrections is committed to protecting the residents of Howard County by providing secure, safe and humane conditions for persons legally under its authority. Within this framework, Corrections strives to provide offenders with the necessary opportunities to become law abiding and productive members of society prior to their release back into the community. Such programs include education, health/mental health care, substance use disorder counseling, medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorders, anger management, housing, employment and transition counseling.

“I am thrilled to join Howard County as Director of the Department of Corrections, which operates the Howard County Detention Center, a world class facility,” said Acuff.  “I was especially drawn to Howard County because of its innovative programs which prepare inmates for their successful return to the community.” 

Bio of Jama Acuff

To her new position with Howard County Government, Jama Acuff brings 40 years of correctional experience. Acuff retired from the U.S. Department of Justices’ (DOJ) Federal Bureau of Prisons after 29 years of service, where she began her career as a Correctional Officer. During her tenure with the Bureau of Prisons, Acuff held various positions, including Regional Administrator, Associate Warden and Director of Strategic Management. She also worked closely with the DOJ on developing a process to streamline federal law enforcement efforts. Additionally, Acuff recently worked for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, serving as Warden for the Department’s Pre-Release system and as Warden at the Maryland Correctional Institution in Jessup.

Ms. Acuff received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Criminal Justice and her Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Eastern Kentucky University. 


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