Jay Handzo has worked in the Special Educational Program with the Montgomery County Public Schools for 20 years. The outdoor education program he is currently teaching at the Kingsley Wilderness School is an adjunct to the residential program which has been in existence for 37 years. It is a day program for K through fifth grade students who are referred by their teachers. It began in September of 2007, and anticipates serving 4,000 children per year.
Concerns are still unanswered concerning the proposal to build a bus depot at the entrance to Whelan Lane. MCCF staff regularly attend planning meetings on this project. We agreed to advise Kathie Hulley of future public bus depot meetings.
The new County Ombudsman is Kathy Mitchell (240-543-6175) with the Office of the County Executive.
Clarksburg Civic Association
The next meeting of the Clarksburg Civic Association is January 28.
The county budget has been a big topic recently. The County Executive has asked all departments to cut their operating budgets by 2%. Corrections developed a savings plan without forfeiting any jobs or programs.
Model Learning Center
After a long process to get the Montgomery County Public Schools to take over the Special Education Program for the jail, they have announced that they would not support students who wanted to pursue a GED. As a result, MCCF is not in compliance with the educational standards. We have been developing some contingency plans to get the GED services back. As expected, there are budget issues that may play a role. All present expressed great concern over this and pledged support to pursue services for these individuals.
Transporting Inmates (Emergency- Non-Emergency)
There was discussion concerning a policy of transporting inmates to hospitals (emergency or non-emergency). The primary responsibility of inmate transport to the hospital is with the Sheriff’s Department and the Police Department is secondary. There has been serious discussion supporting DOCR creating their own Transport Unit. A Criminal Justice Coordinating Commission (CJCC) meeting is to be coordinated with all involved parties to discuss current procedures and hopefully, improve upon them.
The siren is tested the first Monday of the month at 1 p.m. The question was asked if the siren could be used for different purposes such as a tornado warning or other weather emergencies for the Clarksburg community. A different alarm sequence would be used with the prior emergency plan going out to the community, churches, schools, businesses, etc. Possibly an emergency link could be added to the Department of Corrections new web page (to be established in the near future) for citizens to access concerning the MCCF siren or emergency status.
In addition, Kathie Hulley mentioned two incidents which occurred in the Clarksburg community in the past month, which may have a connection to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility. The details will be given to the Warden, who will explore the circumstances of each and report back to Ms. Hulley.
Wendy Miller gave an overview of Re-Entry Services. She is a Social Worker who meets with inmates who are sentenced within 90 days of release. Ms. Miller talks to the inmates about continuing the services and resources at home that they received at MCCF, especially in regards to their recovery. Re-Entry Services has a Family Out Reach Nite for the family members of inmates to help them prepare for the inmates return home.
The MCCF Library will be registering inmates who are eligible to vote. This has been done in the past and been very successful.
February is Black History month. MCCF will be conducting several activities in recognition of such.
There are two free camps (Camp Hope and Camp Starfish) coming up for the children of inmates. Each year the number of children has increased. Volunteers will be needed as well as additional funds. Mary Saxon-Clipper will start distributing applications.