Under the Lt. Governor's leadership, Maryland became the first state in the nation to establish
a statewide Office of Character Education, so schools support parents in teaching children
core values such as honesty, fairness, courage, respect and responsibility.
Modeled after President Kennedy's Peace Corps and the military's ROTC, the national Police
Corps program is the culmination of Lt. Governor Townsend's 15-year effort to promote public
service through law enforcement by providing scholarships to college students in return for a
four-year commitment to serve as a police officer. The first class of 44 cadets graduated in
1997 from Maryland's academy with special instruction in ethics, fitness, and leadership.
Hotspot Communities Initiative
Developed by the Lt. Governor when she served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the
Justice Department, this national model is the first statewide effort that systematically targets
high-crime neighborhoods with a comprehensive array of enforcement and prevention
strategies. The initiative coordinates hundreds of previously fragmented efforts, sparking
unprecedented cooperation among government agencies and mobilizing thousands of
citizens in the fight against crime.
Gun Enforcement Initiative
Lt. Governor Townsend has opened a second front in the battle against gun violence,
balancing Maryland's tough gun laws with an unprecedented effort to target illegal gun
traffickers who supply weapons to criminals and juveniles. The initiative launched a new
State Police Office of Gun Enforcement to coordinate statewide investigations (tracing and
ballistics testing of every firearm recovered by police), and assign the first state trooper in the
nation to serve as liaison to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF).
Break the Cycle
Lt. Governor Townsend's "Break the Cycle" Initiative is a groundbreaking effort to cut drug-related crime by targeting offenders on probation and parole, those mostly likely to commit
crimes to support their drug habits. Bypassing the national debate between punishment and
rehabilitation, Break the Cycle combines the two approaches by requiring addicted offenders
to undergo frequent drug testing and face escalating penalties for each failed test to motivate
them to stay in treatment and remain drug-free.
Afterschool Program Initiative
Recognizing that the bulk of juvenile crime and teen pregnancy occurs in the afterschool
hours, before parents return home from work, Lt. Governor Townsend established the Maryland Afterschool Program Initiative. She has quadrupled funding for programs that use mentoring, tutoring and other proven "best practices" to prevent youth violence, drug use, gangs, and other high-risk behavior.
Spotlight in Schools
Acting forcefully to prevent school violence, Lt. Governor Townsend spearheaded the
placement of juvenile probation officers directly into 80 at-risk schools across the state.
These officers are uniquely able to focus on those students most apt to commit violent acts,
keeping them under close supervision, reducing classroom disruption and helping resolve
disputes before they escalate.
Work & Family Solutions
As more and more women have entered the workforce, Americans have increasingly
struggled to balance the daily demands of work and family. In June 1998, Lt. Governor
Townsend convened a national summit, "Solutions: Women's Juggle for Time," to spotlight
creative and practical solutions for business, government, communities, and individuals. The
solutions identified will help the State of Maryland lead the nation to policies and practices
based on "what works."
Under the Lt. Governor's leadership, Maryland is instituting one of the most comprehensive
statewide efforts in the nation to prevent and reduce domestic violence. Through the Family
Violence Council (which she co-chairs), the State has strengthened laws and established
dozens of new programs and policies to protect victims, hold batterers accountable, and
break the cycle of abuse that passes between generations.
Lt. Governor Townsend is leading Maryland's effort to mobilize and sustain thousands of
volunteers from the private and public sectors to bring five critical resources to the 38,000
children most at-risk in the state. The initiative creates "Communities of Promise" in
partnership with businesses, local governments, and charitable, service and volunteer
organizations in each of Maryland's 24 local jurisdictions.
Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families
Lt. Governor Townsend is directing Maryland's "reinventing government" effort to improve the
effectiveness of services for children and families. By eliminating duplicated services, establishing measurable results, and transferring decision-making authority to local boards, the initiative reinvests savings in prevention efforts and creative new programs that
improve the lives of children and families.