Correctional Officer Shortage in Maryland
The correctional officer shortage in Maryland has been a major concern for years. The current shortage of 3,400 correctional officers makes “Maryland prisons dangerously understaffed,” according to the correctional officer union. The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services is now operating “at an all-time low.”
As the number of vacancies in Maryland prisons continues to grow, it has become increasingly difficult to maintain a safe and secure environment for both prisoners and staff. One of the major consequences of this shortage is the increased use of excessive force and violence by correctional officers and staff against prisoners.
There are several reasons why the shortage of correctional officers in Maryland has contributed to this problem. First, when there are not enough officers to effectively manage the prisoner population, officers may be forced to work long hours and mandatory overtime shifts. This can lead to fatigue and burnout, which can result in increased frustration and aggression towards prisoners.
Second, when there are fewer officers to supervise the prisoner population, it becomes more difficult to maintain order and prevent conflicts from escalating. In these situations, officers may resort to using excessive force to regain control. This can include the use of physical restraints, chemical agents, and even lethal force.
Third, the correctional officer shortage can also lead to a lack of training and oversight. When there are not enough officers to provide adequate supervision, it becomes more difficult to identify and address instances of excessive force and violence against prisoners. Additionally, officers may not receive the training they need to effectively manage conflicts and use appropriate levels of force because of a lack of qualified supervisors and trainers.
The consequences of excessive force and violence against prisoners can be severe. In addition to the physical harm and dehumanization caused to prisoners, these incidents can also lead to legal action, public scrutiny, and damage to the reputation of the State of Maryland as a whole.
To address this problem, it is critical that Maryland takes steps to address the shortage of correctional officers. This may include increasing salaries and benefits to attract more qualified candidates, providing better training and support for officers, and implementing policies and procedures to ensure that officers do not engage in excessive use of force.
In conclusion, the correctional officer shortage in Maryland is a serious issue that has significant consequences for both staff and prisoners. By addressing this shortage and taking steps to prevent the use of excessive force and violence, Maryland can improve the safety and security of its prisons and ensure that prisoners are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.
If you or a loved one were the victim of excessive use of force by a Maryland correctional officer, then call Furman | Honick Law today and speak with a partner for a free case evaluation.