MCDC REUSE – PROJECT STATUS – David Heltemes
MCDC Reuse is getting to a great start. The architect that was chosen out of three (3) bidders was DMJMH+N from Alexandra, VA selected by three (3) members of an interview panel. At this time we are going through the contractual finalization. Once the contract is finalized and signed, the design work will begin and that will take about twelve (12) to fourteen (14) months. The architects would like to meet with community members to discuss the design and to answer any questions. During the time of the Reuse, there will be regular meetings that we would need one (1) person to attend from the community, police department and the Rockville city police department. The architect firm is real excited about starting the project and once the project is completed, we will be asking the community to help out with renaming this facility. Full community engagement will be part of the design development process and this is important for both county and neighborhood and city. We urge community and city participation to ensure community interface is strong, focused and fully considered as the process moves forward. This commitment was made over three (3) years ago when Reuse planning stared afresh and that commitment will be implemented.
FULL OPENING OF MCCF/CLARKSBURG
Montgomery County Correctional Facility in Clarksburg has now been opened for sixty (60) days. MCCF is fully staffed at this time except for normal turnovers; the facility at this time has about 630 inmates. The transports from MCDC to MCCF or vise versa are going great. MCDC saved at least ten (10) to fifteen (15) positions by not having inmates come down from MCCF to MCDC every night to go to the courts the next day. The Sheriff’s pick up all inmate transports for court at MCCF every morning. The Clarksburg committee group continues to meet every month and if you would like to look over the minutes; they are posted on the County website (http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/www.montgomerycountymd.gov).
LOCAL ISSUES SURROUNDING THE OPENING AND CURRENT NEIGHBORHOOD CONDITIONS
Since the opening of MCCF, there are no cars parking on Seven Locks Road. The recreation yard is not occupied since there is no recreation at MCDC. Before the opening of MCCF, MCDC held about twenty (20) Federal inmates daily and at this time MCDC holds not more then fifty (5) at a time. Holding Federal inmates was a way for the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation not to lay off fifty-one (51) employees since we receive $4.000.00 dollars a day in revenue. In the past the jail in Rockville has held as many as 120 federal prisoners. This number has diminished and our working agreement with the US Marshal limits the number to fifty (50). They stay for a period of generally less than ten (10) days and are then moved to a regional airport and are transported to correctional facilities across the nation in the Federal Bureau of Prisons. In the past as many as 100 Federal prisoners were held at MCDC.
The county imposed major target budget reductions on all county agencies and DOCR was no exception. To balance the county budget reductions of over $2 million were imposed. Had the department reduced its budget by this amount major staffing reductions would have been necessary that would have compromised security and safety. Given available space at present we were permitted to work with the US Marshal and utilize revenue growth in place of staffing reductions. There will be federal detainees at MCDC and MCCF and BOP prisoners in their last months at PRC. All are continuations of long standing programs.
IMPROPER RELEASES AND COMMUNITY NOTIFICATION
The article in the Washington Post regarding the improper releases at the Montgomery County Detention Center last year was not a surprise to the department. The department provided the Washington Post all the information on case data that was posted in the paper. We emailed all RNAC committee members the full report that was presented to the County Council. Montgomery County is not the only jurisdiction that has improper releases, but we are working to try and reduce the number to as close to zero as possible. As of this May 29, 2003, we have had a total of four (4) improper releases. Two (2) of the releases where held to long and one (1) of the releases was released one (1) hour early and the other release was released one (1) day early. The inmates that where released early where brought back to the detention center within one (1) hour and one (1) day after their release.
The policy of community notification was discussed in detail – community and city representatives agreed and support the continuation of the current policy in effect since April, 2002. If any event happens that is observable or creates any measure of public observation the Rockville Neighborhood Advisory Committee list will be activated to ensure full information is provided. This process was used during the four (4) week period during transfers to MCCF/Clarksburg and worked well. There was no desire to receive notifications on other matters. An escape of course would bring immediate community notification. The April 2004 policy will be continued and regular reports will be provided to ensure full community notification on policy and process improvement and efforts.
All agreed there has been no community impacts. A community member living across the street noted there had been no disruption during the transports to MCCF and in reality one could not tell they had actually happened – there had been no impact or nay community disruption.
Nancy Schoenfeld and Dwayne Jenkins agreed to review the full list of Home Owners Association representatives to ensure an up to date email and phone list was available to both the city and the Rockville Neighborhood Advisory Committee. This will be done in the coming month.
FISCAL 2004 BUDGET SUBMISSION AND COUNCIL HEARING
The department had a Council hearing that went very well. The discussion regarding Federal inmates resulted in an agreement that MCCF would not exceed a total of seventy-five (75) Federal inmates and that MCDC would not exceed a total of fifty (50) Federal inmates. The department did loss two (2) positions due to the budget cut. One (1) position was the part time Liberian and the other position was the Recreational Specialist position that was moved to a full Correctional Specialist.
FUTURE MEETING SCHEDULE
Dave Heltemes will be contracting the architect firm to have a meeting with the community with a tentative date of July 17, 2003, starting at 6:30 p.m. and ending around 9:00 p.m. Reminder – all Neighborhood Advisory Committee meetings are public and everyone is welcome.
Next Meeting: July 17, 2003 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Montgomery County Detention Center
Address: 1307 Seven Locks Road, Rockville, Maryland 20854
Contact : Warden William L. Smith at (240) 777-9962
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Light breakfast served