Changing the policy was the right thing to do for people in Western Maryland, Maynard said.
The Department of Parole and Probation performs a home and employment investigation - known as a home plan - before inmates are released, public information officer Elizabeth Bartholomew said.
Inmates will have to prove they have certain reasons for staying in Western Maryland, either because they were once residents or because they have family in the area, Bartholomew said.
Temporary addresses, like hotels and shelters, are not usually accepted as part of a home plan because they are unstable housing, a DOC spokesman said.
Releasing inmates from Baltimore will ensure they are released closer to their homes, families and re-entry services, a news release from the office of Gov. Martin O'Malley said.
A group of Washington County officials in July discussed the state's prison release policy with Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler.
Corrections officials performed an "exhaustive study" of the releases in Hagerstown and Cumberland from January to June of this year, according to Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services spokesman Mark Vernarelli. The study showed the number of released inmates who stay isn't as high as many people think, he said.
Local elected officials commended Maynard for the policy change, but said it was only the first step in the right direction.
Hagerstown systematically picks up criminals from across the state through the prison system, Hagerstown Police Chief Arthur Smith said.
"It never made sense just to drop them off at our bus station," he said.
Washington County is still affected by a "New York drug dealer problem," said Del. Chris Shank, R-Washington. Drug dealers from other states who commit their crimes in Washington County will still be released to the Hagerstown area, he said. Supervision by the Department of Parole and Probation actually keeps them in the area, Shank said.
Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II called the policy change a victory, but said it wouldn't solve all the city's crime problems. Bruchey said he wants to work with Maynard to ensure that inmates on work release in Washington County are those who have ties to the area.
Washington County Sheriff Douglas C. Mullendore said his department would be monitoring how the policy change affects the local crime rate.
Wardens from Maryland Correctional Institution-Hagerstown, Roxbury Correctional Institution and the Maryland Correctional Training Center attended the discussion.
The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services report about inmate releases showed:
· Of the 622 inmates released and supervised by the Department of Parole and Probation, eight who were not sentenced in Washington County remained in the area.
· Two of the 622 inmates had family in the area.
· Of the 86 inmates released at the completion of their sentences who did not have to report to parole and probation, only one without ties to Hagerstown before his sentencing remained in the area.