AFSCME Calls on Governor Hogan to Fill and Fund Parole & Probation, DJS & Corrections Positions to Reduce Crime in Baltimore and Address Massive $250M Overtime

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 14th, 2020

Katie Mostris, [email protected], 410.350.9756


30.5% of Baltimore Murder Victims on Parole & Probation Supervision

27% of Baltimore Murder Suspects on Parole & Probation Supervision 

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Today, AFSCME, Maryland’s largest and fastest-growing union for public service employees, joined with Advocates for Children and Youth, ACLU of Maryland and NAACP Maryland to call on Governor Larry Hogan to address the State staffing crisis that is damaging efforts to reduce crime in Baltimore City and reducing services to the citizens of Maryland in agencies across State government, including Health, Juvenile Services and Public Safety & Correctional Services.

 AFSCME’s “Maryland Deserves Better March” also highlighted the nearly $250 million in State overtime spending that is a result of Hogan’s mismanagement and understaffing.  The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, where 20% of positions are vacant, alone accounted for approximately $125 million in overtime spending – nearly three times as much as the well-documented $48 million in overtime spending by the Baltimore Police Department. 

“Last week, Governor Hogan called reducing crime in Baltimore ‘the number one problem facing our state,’ but his actions don’t match his words,” said AFSCME Maryland President Patrick Moran.  “The agencies he controls that have a role in reducing crime – Parole & Probation, DJS and Corrections – all are understaffed and underfunded.” 

According to the Maryland State Budget, both Parole & Probation and the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services have 7% fewer employees than in 2011, which was the last year that Baltimore experience fewer than 200 murders.  Department of Juvenile Services staffing is down by 10.5% since 2011. 

  • Public Safety and Correctional Services has shrunk from 11,223 to 10,414.
  • Parole & Probation is down from 699 to 653.
  • And Juvenile Services is down from 2,219 to 1987. 

The reduction in Parole & Probation staff is particularly troubling in the wake of a recent Baltimore Police Department analysis, which found that 30.5% of murder victims in 2019 were being supervised by Parole & Probation, as were 27% of arrested murder suspects.  More investment would result in better supervision.

 The understaffing crisis cuts across Maryland State government, reducing services for citizens and making workplaces more dangerous for staff and patients – as well as more costly in the long term.  For example, from 2017 to 2018, staff at the Maryland Department of Health experienced a 21.4% increase in patient-on-staff assaults.  Additionally, there have been at least three major outbreaks of violence at Department of Juvenile Services facilities that required the Maryland State Police to restore order.

 “Hardworking State employees are being attacked on the job, and hundreds of Maryland citizens are being killed in Baltimore, every year,” Moran continued.  “Our State budget – which is introduced by the Governor and can only be reduced by the legislature – is the clearest indication of what Governor Hogan thinks is important.  He hasn’t invested in making Baltimore safer.  And he hasn’t invested to keep State employees safe or reduce out-of-control overtime spending.”

To add insult to injury, Governor Hogan is denying thousands of critical Maryland Public Safety, Juvenile Services and Health workers the 1% raise that he provided to all other state employees in retaliation for AFSCME’s successful challenge of Hogan’s illegal labor practices.

 In 2018, the Department of Legislative Services reported that the number of executive branch employees in Maryland decreased by over 6,500 positions between 2002 and 2018.  Low compensation – Maryland ranks 29th in average State employee salary – makes it difficult to recruit and retain staff.

AFSCME Maryland represents over 25,000 hardworking and dedicated employees in Maryland State government and in our public higher education institutions.  It is the state’s largest and fastest-growing union for public service employees.  We Make Maryland Happen.