Gary D. Maynard, Maryland's secretary of public safety and correctional services, has been honored by his peers as the top corrections director in the country.

Maynard received the award from the Association of State Correctional Administrators at a banquet on Oct. 30. Maynard has led the public safety and corrections agency since 2007, after leading state correctional divisions in Iowa, South Carolina and Oklahoma. 

Gov. Martin O'Malley said Maynard has "made safety in our state’s correctional institutions a priority."

"Through a focus on developing gang intelligence inside our facilities, sharing that information with local, state and federal criminal justice stakeholders, and innovative efforts to target the use of illegal cell phones inside our prisons, DPSCS has helped make our state safer," O'Malley said in a statement. "Our efforts to reduce violence are attributable to home-grown ideas that came about as a result of Secretary Maynard’s leadership.”

Maynard has also pushed inmate work programs, called "restorative justice," that give inmates job skills and help the community, such as the recent cleanup of the historic Mt. Auburn Cemetery in South Baltimore.

jfenton@baltsun.com