State Prison Chief Leaving

      After more than six years on the job, Gary Maynard is stepping down as the Secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections. In a news release late Tuesday announcing the resignation,  Governor Martin O’Malley credited Maynard with closing the House of Correction in Jessup in just 12 days, shortly after taking the job in 2007.  The nearly 130 year old prison had been plagued by inmate violence, including the stabbing death of a corrections officer in 2006. O’Malley also credited Maynard with policies that drove down both recidivism among inmates and serious violence from 2007 to 2012. This year, Maynard was in charge of making improvements at the Baltimore City Detention Center, a state run jail in Baltimore City. Earlier this year 44 people, including 27 corrections officers,  were indicted by a federal grand jury for smuggling drugs, cell phones and other items in to the facility. Maynard’s resignation was announced one day before a legislative task force announces its recommendations to lawmakers on ways to improve the jail. In June, he told that task force that he could see the day when the state would transfer control of the facility to an independent party. Maynard is expected to leave his job by the end of the month, and will become senior vice president of the Criminal Justice Institute.  It’s a non-profit consulting firm for prisons. The governor has named Gregg Hershberger, Acting Secretary of Public Safety and Corrections.  He is currently the Deputy Secretary for Operations.  Hershberger as worked for the department for more than 31 years, beginning his career as a corrections officer.

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