Warden Green welcomed everyone to the second meeting of the new community group, Montgomery County Correctional Facility Community Advisory Group.
It was determined there were not enough attendees present to form a quorum (as noted in the bylaws) to nominate a co-chair. It is tabled until next month.
REVIEW OF MINUTES - No Changes were noted
MONTH IN REVIEW
The facility has been in operation a little over seven months and everything is going extremely well. The building / systems are working well with no major concerns. Communications between the Police and the Sheriff’s Department have been excellent. All facility positions are filled as of this date.
The population as of today is 668 with a bed capacity of 1029. The facility is housing 53 Federal inmates.
Warden Green reported that the Department did not receive the national grant for (Therapeutic Community Jail and Addictions Program). All grants in this area went to State facilities.
A question was asked concerning the woodchips project (as a result of the hurricane) that DPWT delivered to the MCCF site. The woodchips are behind the jail at the construction house. Steve Howie requested more information on the project, specifically how long the chips would remain and if there is any environmental impact.
The Gazette recently published an article by Susan Singer-Bart titled, “Crimes Being Committed in New Jail”. The focus of the article was that MCCF was not going to accept crime in the jail and we are not going to accept destruction of tax payer’s property. There have been eight successful prosecutions. It’s was a very positive article.
The Department of Correction participated in the Germantown October Fest on October 3 and 4. The alternative sentencing population worked very hard cleaning up, which helped to offset the costs of the festival.
With the holidays coming up, Warden Green asked anyone present if they knew of any organization, event, or families that are in need, Corrections would like to get involved with community support. Attendees were asked to please let DOCR know where we could help.
GROUP COMMENTS / ISSUES / CONCERNS
1. Steve would like an update on the woodchips pile to include the environmental impact on the watershed. Rob will forward the request to Mr. Gennetti for an update.
2. Rev. Grant asked if the Women’s Vesper group could have use of a larger room. Vespers is being held in a Multi-Purpose Room in a Housing Unit. Rob will contact Vonda Henley, Volunteer Coordinator to see if they could have a larger space.
3. Does an inmate in the Medical Unit have access to programs? Inmates are housed in the Medical Unit because they are too ill to be in General Population. Their programmatic movement is limited, but not in all cases. It would depend on the inmate’s illness. There is a dayroom in the Medical Unit where some programs are held. Custody and Security does not get involved in the doctor’s orders.
4. Volunteer Orientations are being held bi-monthly. There are more and more individuals interested in becoming volunteers (there have been approximately 165 new volunteers since becoming a two facility system). There was a request to find out how many of the volunteers are from the up-county areas (Germantown, Clarksburg).
5. Steve Howie asked if there are statistics for recidivism in connection with whether the many programs have an impact. Warden Green reported that there are few jurisdictions that can report this. It is hoped that these statistics can be calculated in the future.
Barbara James is the Program Manager for the Model Learning Center (Montgomery County Public Schools) at MCCF. She had taught the GED classes at the jail for ten (10) years before becoming Program Manager. She has been the Supervisor of the program for thirteen (13) years.
- The Educational program started in the jail in 1958
- Corrections contracts Montgomery County Public Schools to run the MLC Program
- There are ten (10) part-time teachers and a few volunteers
- There are four (4) classrooms with each having a television
- There are certain MLC classes that award Industrial Time (time off their sentence). These classes are Remedial Reading, Adult Basic Education (ABE), Pre-GED, GED, college, or ESOL classes. All the classes are listed in the MLC Guidebook that is attached.
- There is a twenty (20) station computer lab. The Plato System (integrated management system) is installed on each computer. It has first grade reading level to twelfth grade level. The teachers teach in their classrooms for four days and one day in the Computer Lab.
- There are two tracks of learning. The academic track – starts with the lowest ESOL individuals or individuals that may not know how to read or write. The second track is the self improvement track – this is five GED classes to include computer classes.
- Each inmate is given a MLC guidebook when they come into MCDC. When ever anyone under 21 comes into MCDC, Ms. James interviews them to see if they are entitled to special services or education. If they are, they are referred to the appropriate department in Montgomery County Public Schools. The Home Instruction section sends an instructor who will work with the student six (6) hours a week. It is Maryland Law that they are to be taught exactly what is being taught in their home high school so they don’t fall behind.
- There have been nine (9) individuals to graduate from the GED program this year. There is a very short waiting list to get into GED classes. There are no excused absences from GED classes or any of the educational programs.
- The philosophy of the MLC staff is that they take the education program very seriously and work hand in hand with the Correctional Officer.
- MLC is a very cost effective program with a budget of $258,000.0
Next month the featured MCCF speaker will be Craig Dowd, Workforce Program Manager.