Leighton W. Dudley, 70, Maryland's former deputy secretary for correctional services and a former lecturer in criminology at American University and the University of Maryland, died of cancer April 28 at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Wilmington, Del.

Mr. Dudley, who had been a civilian corrections adviser to the Department of the Air Force from 1952 to 1969, also served as director of the Maryland Department of Parole and Probation before he became deputy secretary in the state's Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services in 1972.

He lectured at American University and the University of Maryland from 1974 until he retired in 1977.

Mr. Dudley, a resident of Rockville, was born in Houlton, Maine, and graduated from the University of North Carolina and Harvard Law School. He was a corrections officer in Ohio before serving in the Army in Iceland during World War II.

He moved to the Washington area in 1951 upon his appointment as chief of the confinement branch of the correctional division of the Air Force Provost Marshal, and a year later he became technical adviser to the corrections directorate of the Air Force security police.

A colonel in the Air Force Reserves, Mr. Dudley was a former president of the Twinbrook Citizens Association in Rockville, a former chairman of the Rockville Civic Center Commission, a former chairman of the steering committee for Rockville's Urban Renewal Advisory Commission, and a former vestryman at Christ Episcopal Church in Rockville.

Survivors include his wife, Ora Kate, of Rockville; two daughters, Anne Cockley of Jacksonville, Ala., and Susan Jenks Dudley of Los Angeles; two sons, Joseph Paine Dudley of Gainesville, Fla. and John Wesley Dudley II of New Orleans; two sisters, Virginia Eveland of Ann Arbor, Mich., and Mary Culbertson of Oxford, Md., and two grandchildren.