Clarksburg Citizens and Business Advisory Group
January 16, 2001
Bina Allgood, Jeanette Barber, Sandra Batterden, Lynn Glassbrook, Robert Green, Steve Howie, Barbara James, Cathy Jewell, Mary Jones-Brown, Suzy Malagari, Catherine Matthews, Loretta McClintock, Teresa Noone, Tom Odt, Terry Reister, Guy Ruffner, Bruce Sherman, Brent Simmons, Susan Singer-Best, Kenneth Snedden, Rick Tegethoff, Harry Vaughn, Art Wallenstein
Several Correctional staff attended the meeting.
Rick Tegethoff, Deputy Warden in charge of Custody and Security. Deputy Warden Tegethoff has been with the department for 27 years, starting out as a Correctional Officer. He oversees all security procedures and operations, such as seeing that the facility is secure when it comes to the staff, inmate disturbances, transporting inmates, and the cleanliness of the facility.
Mary Jones-Brown, Deputy Warden in charge of Programs and Services. Deputy Warden Jones-Brown has been with the department for 29 years, starting out as a Correctional Officer working in the Women’s Section. Programs and Services includes, but is not limited to, education, religious programs, parenting, vocational classes, community release transition, volunteers, and accreditation. After the transition to MCCF she will also be in charge of the Medical and Mental Health Sections.
Harry Vaughn, Deputy Warden in charge of Facility Operations. Deputy Warden Vaughn has been with the department for 11 years, with 27 years in the Baltimore City Correctional System. Facility Operations includes day to day maintenance, facility replacement (from building fixtures to furniture), the security system, recycling, and food services. After the transition to MCCF he will also be in charge of inmate property and outside grounds. (Note: Mr. Wallenstein congratulated Mr. Vaughn for all his hard work increasing recycling at MCDC from 9% to 57% in 120 days. We are well on the way to the department’s goal of 90%)
Barbara James, Education Supervisor. Educational programs have been at MCDC since 1958. Ms. James has been with the department for 18 years, starting out as a teacher. The educational programs are a part of the Montgomery County School System. The main program is GED. Other classes are Adult Education, Parenting, English as a Second Language, and Computer, and Vocational courses. There are also onsite classes taught by Montgomery College .
Are juveniles under the age of 18 housed at MCDC? If they are remanded to adult status because of their charges, they could be at MCDC. MRT (Moral Reconation Therapy) is a program for juveniles under the age of 21. The focus is on behavior as the primary issue, not chronological age. It is a very structured program where the juveniles have access to anger management and domestic violence counseling, Alcohol Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous as well as educational classes. It was found that there are fewer juvenile behavior problems when they are housed together as a unit.
What is the percentage of youthful offenders with a high school diploma? Mr. Wallenstein estimated it is approximately 50% to 60%. The average reading level is at a 7.5 grade level. The MCCF population has varied levels of education. There is a part of the population that do not have English as their first language and are reading at a second grade level, whereas there are a number of offenders able to do college level work.
Barbara James spoke of some of the current volunteers not being able to come to MCCF once we are moved. Steve Howie stated that the Clarksburg community has an obligation to help in volunteerism. The presence of church representatives and community members at tonight’s meeting shows their willingness to help in any way they can. A good flow of communication is essential. Volunteers are such a valued part of the Correctional Facility and are needed in all program areas. Volunteers run most of the programs. A volunteer coming into the facility says that the community cares. It will probably take two to three years after opening to recruit a new group of volunteers.
A question was raised in reference to the Program List distributed at a previous meeting. The members would like to know which programs are in need of volunteers so that they could start thinking about how they can help.
A Volunteer Coordinator position (a funded full-time position to be hired soon) will become very involved with community members and groups, welcoming all volunteers for any of the MCCF programs. This person will explain the security, the recruiting, and the screening of volunteers and how the programs are designed. They will coordinate and answer all the above questions and concerns at that time.
Inmate Reentry and Community Linkage
A focus of Mr. Wallenstein is to completely integrate the new facility into the community and into the human service delivery system. The ultimate goal of the facility is to ensure that an inmate and his family leaving the facility are linked to the community. Community based programs most likely are already providing services to inmates and their families before they were incarcerated. The Montgomery County Health and Human Services Department has been offered space to provide these services to the inmate’s family at the jail level using the lobby or a community program room. Volunteers could also help by working with the inmate to identify areas of concern as their release becomes closer and follow-up with the inmate and their families after release. This resembles having a mentor program. Montgomery County can impact public safety at the county level ten times greater than the releases from the State and Federal systems.
How are we meeting our staffing requirements? Recently the department has hired 32 positions through much advertising, fully staffing the department. This has all but eliminated overtime. We need to hire 72 new positions by the end of July and are working on the hiring procedure at this time. Mr. Wallenstein will report each month on the status of position hiring.
The other positions we are recruiting for are Community Health Nurses (RN). The County has given the department the approval to offer flexible wages for these positions.
Sandra Batterden gave a construction report. Winter has started very early this year. The contractors have had to schedule work according to the weather. Gas was turned on in the building at the first of the year. Heat blowers were used up until that time. Major pieces of equipment are going in at this time. The boilers are to be delivered this week and the chillers are in. The electricity is to be turned on mid February for full service, which will allow us to get equipment up, tested, and running. . Some of the areas yet to be completed is drywall and ceiling perimeters. The construction completion percentage is 55% to 60%. Substantial completion is now scheduled for December 2001.
Recently, a MOSHA inspector came to the construction site to do a random inspection. He met with Heery’s safety inspector. After a complete review of the site and the files, the inspector came up with zero violations.
Is there sufficient drinking water for the inmates in the new facility? Yes there is. The sink in each cell has a device that allows the inmate to stop the water flow at the spout so the water will flow out the top like a water fountain.
Guy Ruffner reported on the Transition Team’s progress. The scenarios are very close to being completed and the Team is now ready to begin writing the policy and procedures for the new facility. He added that the new Warden, Robert Green, has contributed many new ideas to make the operation better.
Robert Green started December 4, 2000 and has been on the job for a little over a month. He stated that Montgomery County is very fortunate to have such a model facility (upon completion). The emphasis on programming is a positive investment in terms of basic education.
What recreation facilities will be available to the inmates? There is not a big outdoor recreation yard. Off of each housing unit there is a small recreation area.
What is the status of available Public transportation to come to the new facility? What is the County going to provide? Mr. Wallenstein will go to Public Works and Transportation to have a transportation planner attend our next meeting to answer questions. We are currently setting up the visiting schedule that will provide daytime hours as well as evening hours.
What kind of psychological services will there be at MCCF? Mr. Wallenstein would like to put this subject on the agenda for next month’s meeting. He will have Patricia Sollock, (Supervisor of the MCDC Mental Health Unit), and Mildred Williams (Chief of Adult Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services for Montgomery County ) come to discuss the new mental health initiative for criminal justice. Because behavioral health is as much a part of substance abuse as mental health, Mr. Wallenstein will also ask Catherine Mcalpine (Health and Human Services, Mental Health Initiative) to attend our next meeting. She would be able to answer questions about substance abuse and co-occurring disorders (substance abusers are 70% of the inmate population).Steve Howie shared information about a meeting he attends regularly with concerned individuals on mental health issues. He extended an invitation to anyone who wanted to attend to see him for the details.
Bruce Sherman spoke about recent training that members of the Sheriff and Police Departments attended. It was extensive specialized training in Crisis Intervention of the mentally ill. They will bring their knowledge back and train other officers to establish a Crisis Intervention Team. They would respond to specific calls where there is contact with someone with mental health problems and try to de-escalate the situation.
Clarksburg Civic Association
Steve Howie extended an invitation to everyone to attend the next Clarksburg Civics Association meeting. It is the fourth Monday of the month, 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM . Warden Green asked about church softball leagues in the area that the Corrections softball team could join, as well as other events in the community that the department’s staff can support and get involved in.
Mr. Wallenstein would like to invite the Montgomery County Government Employees Organization (MCGEO) Union representative, Gino Renne to attend a future meeting.
NEXT MEETING – February 20, 2000 at 7:00 PM