Special Education Program
Barbara James, Manager of the Model Learning Center, gave an update of the Special Education Program. The program would provide services to inmates 21 years of age and under with special needs. There is currently a case load of 28 inmates the Model Learning Center is giving services to. Warden Green reported that the young people in this program are succeeding, they are learning, they are doing well and they are building self esteem.
The program has two different tracks; those who want to work towards a high school diploma and those who want to work towards a GED. To work towards their high school diploma Montgomery County Public Schools sends in teachers from the Home and Hospital Teaching Department to give these students what ever they need to graduate (from English to Physical Education). Some inmates choose to work towards a GED. The students in the Special Education Program pursuing their GED are kept separate from the Adult Education GED students because of the difference in age and maturity.
Since recently starting the Special Education Program, there have been six students reintegrated back into their home schools after their release from MCCF.
The Model Learning Center is preparing to be audited by the Correctional Educational Association in May. If successful, MCCF would be the only jail in the State of Maryland to be fully accredited in the area of correctional education.
Two students graduated from the second Plumbing Class on March 16th taught by a Montgomery College instructor. This is a six week program on plumbing education which is the same as a reduced semester at Montgomery College.
Warden Green’s goal is to get more vocational/trade education in the jail. He will be hosting Montgomery County Builders Association at MCCF in the future.
MCCF and MCDC will be audited on March 26 to 28 by the American Correctional Association (audited once every three years). Auditors will come in and review everything we do and how we do it. There are 468 standards of operation from how we manage individuals, to chemical control, to personnel regulations.
Family Outreach Nite:
“Family Outreach Nite” took place on Monday, March 5, 2006, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. This was the third evening that was planned to reach out to the families and provide information on benefits of the Re-Entry Program as people prepare to go home. The Family Outreach Nite has been poorly attended. Warden Green welcomed suggestions from the group of how to improve attendance.
Ideas brainstormed included:
- Meeting locations - facility near Metro, churches, community centers, Regional Centers
- Food (mention in flyer and letter)
- Start later in evening to accommodate families
Nancy Hislip volunteered to do research into better meeting locations and availability in the county and assist with accessing those areas.
One Stop Center
About three months ago we asked for volunteers to be trained on how to run a One Stop Center. Approximately twenty faith based volunteers have been trained and are now able to run the One Stop Center during the evening hours, at no cost to Montgomery County. This will greatly increase the operational hours of this vital reentry program.
Gang Resource Cards
Warden Green handed out Gang Resource cards, which he received from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. They are in both English and Spanish. It is a resource card that tells what parents can look for and what to do to prevent gang involvement. They are a great tool and Warden Green encouraged the group to reproduce the cards for their use.
Warden Green, Craig Dowd, (MCCF Workforce), and Rev. Warner (St. Marks’s UM Church) will be going to Kansas City, Missouri to do a Workshop on our Reentry Program at the American Correctional Association conference in August.
President’s Faith Based Initiatives Luncheon
Gale Starkey, our Reentry Coordinator will be going to the White House as a guest to represent MCDOCR at the President’s Faith Based Initiative Luncheon.
Civilian Employee of the Year
Our Librarian, Joan Deacon, has been recognized as the Civilian Employee of the Year by the American Jail Association, one of only five awards they give across the country. She has published articles in the American Jails Magazine and does an exceptional job in her field. Joan has worked with the Montgomery County Department of Correction for twelve years. A reception will be held at the facility in her honor April 17 from 3 to 5 pm.
Chamber of Commerce Public Safety Awards
Twenty-nine of our staff have been recognized with a Unit Citation by the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce for their handling of the “Sniper Case.” The Commerce held an awards luncheon on March 22 to honor these individuals for their outstanding work during that time.
- Because of recent news, the question was asked if we had received inmates from the closing of Jessup State Institution. MCCF was not asked to assist or house any inmates.
- Questions were raised about the recent Gazette article which said MCCF was opening a “new unit.” The community thought that a new unit was being “built” on the property. Because the population had spiked we had to open the last unit within the original facility while adding the appropriate staff. No new construction was needed.
- Vicky Dorworth spoke of a change in curriculum. Montgomery College has developed an Associate Arts Degree in Criminal Justice.
- Life Skills Workshop would like to do a summer workshop. Kelly Jones is also looking for volunteers to be mentors for her workshop participants.