Montgomery County Department of Correction & Rehabilitation
MONTGOMERY COUNTY PRE-RELEASE SERVICES PRRS Chief's Report
July 31, 2008 to December 18, 2008
·Budget Savings Plans FY’09 and FY’10: At the behest of the County Executive, the DOCR Director has convened the Department’s Division Chiefs for multiple meetings to consider options for developing savings plans for FY’09 and FY’10 to address the significant declines in revenues expected by the County in the next several years.None of these plans are final or public, but it is clear that all County Department’s must share in the efforts to reduce costs.
·Believe, Achieve, Succeed, and Excel (11/22): Resident Supervisors Andrea Baker and Goldsborough Sterling organized the second awards ceremony of BASE that recognizes the success of former program participants and provides them with an opportunity to share their stories with current program participants.Four individuals received awards and spoke to over 40 residents, staff, and volunteers.
·PRRS Medical Services Revamped:PRRS has increased psychiatric care and has improved efforts to connect residents with community health providers to respond to the increasing prevalence of physical ailments and mental health needs of its client population.In September, PRRS hired a community-trained psychiatrist and increased the weekly number of onsite psychiatric hours from three to eight.Also, PRRS is interviewing candidates for a newly created Nurse Practitioner position that will allow for timely and more comprehensive onsite medical care and for better collaboration with community providers.The costs for these enhancements are offset by decreased costs in medical service contracts.
·American Correctional Association (ACA) Re-Accreditation Audit (10/28):PRRS underwent a two-day comprehensive triennial audit of its compliance with national standards.The ACA-trained auditors were two retired Wardens with 61 years of correctional experience between them.After the audit, they provided staff with oral and written findings that they supported the re-accreditation of PRRS.Significantly, they found that PRRS had achieved 100% compliance with all 244 standards and cited the professionalism and commitment of the staffSection Manager Teresa Still shepherded the program through the accreditation process and she and the Division Chief will receive the Re-Accreditation Award in January on behalf of the staff members and Department at the Winter Conference of the ACA.
·Respect Open Doors (8/14-ongoing):This summer, PRRS staff members launched a remarkable campaign to improve the climate and culture of the program by fostering greater respect and encouragement between and among program participants, staff, and volunteers.Developed as part of a Labor/Management partnership to better equip staff to de-escalate incidents at PRRS, this campaign is ongoing and involves activities and training for staff and residents.
·Welcome Home Program:Melissa George was appointed as the new Welcome Home Coordinator in September. Melissa, who was an intern at PRRS in 2001, had most recently been working for the Court Appointed Special Advocate program which represents abused and neglected children in juvenile court.On 11/5, County Executive Leggett recognized Melissa, other Welcome Home Staff, the DOCR Director, and the PRRS Division Chief for the national NACO Achievement award earned by the Welcome Home program.In the past several months, the Welcome Home Program has added several new staff to expand reentry services in PrinceGeorgesCounty, the District of Columbia, and MontgomeryCounty.On 11/15, the Archdiocese held a Commissioning Ceremony for Mentors celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Martin Holley and Father Bryant.
·Strathmore: PRRS and Strathmore have forged a collaborative where the Strathmore kindly makes available at free or reduced cost tickets to some cultural and artistic events for residents and their family members. In addition, Strathmore has indicated its willingness to consider residents for future employment opportunities within their operations.CAB member Eric Brenner was instrumental in making this connection and organized a meeting between Strathmore President and CEO (and founder) Eliot Pfanstiehl and his staff and PRRS staff on August 21.Residents have recently had the opportunity to see such performances as the Soweto Gospel Choir to the singer Arlo Guthrie.
·Japanese Visitor (11/14):At the request of the National Institute of Justice, DOCR hosted a visit from a senior criminal justice researcher from Japan.The visit included a dinner that included the former research director for Federal Bureau of Prison, tours of MCCF, PRRS, and Pre-Trial, and a visit to Montgomery Works.
·MontgomeryCounty Fatherhood Conference (11/8):Circuit Court Judge Marielsa Bernard provided the inspiration and leadership for this first annual conference which aimed to highlight the importance of fathers in the lives of their children, and targeted families involved in County-funded programs and men who were court-involved.Many county agencies and non-profit groups assisted in sponsoring the conference including the DOCR.Seventeen PRRS residents participated and some arrived early to help with set-up.Screener Tina Michaels coordinated PRRS’ participation in the event with help from Intern Stacey Fleiner.
·RS Recruitment:PRRS launched an extensive recruitment effort in August to address persistent vacancies within the complement of twenty-eight Resident Supervisor positions.Candidates for this position must display a special set of talents to both maintain a respectful and encouraging rapport with our residents while playing the key role in ensuring their accountability.Recognizing the higher level skills needed, the position requires a college degree (many current Resident Supervisors possess or are currently pursuing advanced degrees).However, past recruitments had failed to identify a sufficient number of individuals who could meet the high standards required for the position.
In August, the DOCR sent out recruitment posters to every ACA-accredited Adult Residential program in the country as well as the major schools of social work and criminology.This effort paid off and the County received 305 applications, and PRRS has been able to fill all but one of the remaining vacancies.Interviews continue and candidates have been identified for the remaining vacancy.
·Newly Appointed Resident Supervisors:
1.Candida Perez joined PRRS on September 1, 2008 as a Resident Supervisor, and learned about the program through an academic internship that she conducted earlier this year.As an intern, she impressed PRRS staff with her serious and committed spirit, and her helpful guidance to residents. Her fluency in Spanish was of enormous assistance to Latino residents.Prior to PRRS, Candida worked as a Community Living Assistant for Target Community & Educational Service which provides structured programming and residential services for individuals in our community that need lifelong support.This year, she is expecting to receive her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
2.Hung Pham joined PRRS as a Resident Supervisor on October 27 but actually began his commitment to our program as an intern in July 2007.As an intern, he assisted Resident Supervisors on the Units and in our screening processes, and exhibited diligence and dependability.He also enjoyed an easy rapport with staff and residents alike.He earned his Bachelors in Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland at College Park earlier this year, and is fluent in Vietnamese.
3.Carlos Mellot joined PRRS on December 8 and learned of the program through his work as the Diversion Services Coordinator and Workforce Development Coordinator with Identity, a non-profit organization which serves Latino youth and their families.He earned his Bachelor of Science in International Relations from FrostburgStateUniversity and following college, joined the Peace Corps and was stationed in Paraguay for 2 years.He is bi-lingual in Spanish.
•Locks:PRRS has developed a replacement plan with the County’s locksmith vendor for all lock cylinders at PRRS to address a design defect.The plan will be implemented in January and costs are covered under a life time warranty.
•Generator/Switch Gear:Since September, the County’s General Services Department has coordinated multiple servicing and repairs of the Pre-ReleaseCenter’s electrical system and back-up generator.On December 13, GS coordinated a repair of the main power switch to PRRS that required the center to operate on generator power for an extended period of time.The maintenance procedure was successful and PRRS maintained normal operations.
Escapes ( 4 Escapes CY’08/0 on fugitive status)
2/13/08 (5 hours)
4 yrs sab 18 months
5 yrs sab 18 months
2/18/09 Jury Trial
12/23/08 Status Hearing
·11/21/08:Judge Boynton reconsidered the 18 months sentence given to Inmate Eric Irvingon July 24th on the Escape charge, and ordered him released pending the availability of a residential treatment program at Avery Road.
Critical Incidents (5 in CY’08)
Female resident failed to return from pass, and staff found that she had gone to the home of a former acquaintance in violation of a protective order.Staff responded to the home of the victim and found the escapee who then attempted self-harm.Resident was hospitalized.
Two residents fought briefly on Unit III and staff immediately intervened and used minimal force to restrain/subdue the fighting residents.The residents sustained bloody lips but refused medical treatment.
Resident Joseph Randolph escaped from PRC while he was being cuffed by staff for transport back to detention.Resident Randolph was immediately placed on escape status.No injuries incurred.
Female visitor engaged in a verbal altercation with a program resident that led to her flinging a beverage at him, and striking him with her hands after staff directed her to leave.The program resident’s father was also involved. Staff interrupted the altercation and the visitor fled the PRC.No injuries occurred. Police called but resident refused to file complaint.
Power fluctuation burned out a motor in the PRC basement.Staff set-off fire alarms due to the smoke and evacuated building.Police, Fire and Rescue, and General Services responded.Building re-occupied soon after Fire Rescue declared it safe to reentry building.GS has subsequently placed power protectors on these devices.