Clarksburg Citizens and Business Advisory Group Monthly Meeting

Montgomery County Correctional Facility  | Telephone: (240) 773-9700

MEETING DATE: July 15, 2003

Bina Allgood, Lt. Joe Anastasi, Capt. Jeanette Barber, Rob Green, Nancy Hislop, Steve Howie

Rob reported that the past month has been uneventful. Everything has been on target as far as institutionally, programmatically, security and safety. The average daily population has been approximately 610 inmates.

Rob reiterated that the Medivac helicopter was called to respond to the facility for a routine medical emergency shortly before our last meeting (June). Because this may have alarmed members of the community, Rob put an announcement on the emergency line recorded message referencing the Medivac circling and landing at the facility. An email was sent out to all the CBAG members as well. For safety reasons, the helicopter has to circle around the sight many times before landing.

Transportation issues are continuing to be worked out with the Sheriff's Dept. All public safety agencies and emergency preparedness colleagues are working together and are very supportive.

The siren has been operating without problems. The siren is tested the first Monday of each month at 1:00 p.m. MCCF bought a device that was attached to the siren to better check if the solar batteries were charged.

MCCF has been approved to house Federal inmates, but has not started the program yet. The total inmates agreed upon is 75 (64 male and 11 female). The Federal inmates and staff have been accounted for in the operating budget for FY04. Six new correctional officers have been hired to cover the shifts of this program. These officers will shadow a FTO Officer for 30 days before being assigned to a one-man post and are required to attend the Correctional Academy in their first year of employment. The Federal inmate pod will be managed differently than the other pods. For the most part the federal inmates will be kept from the other population.

As stated last month, we are continuing to focus on programming. Over half the inmates are involved in programs. If the inmates are not in programs, the law requires that they get the minimum privileges, which is one hour out of their cell a day. If the inmates are in programs, there are more privileges (e.g. more time in the day room, an extra hour of recreation).

Susan Singer-Bart, with the Gazette Newspaper will be coming in to the facility this week to interview inmates. She has heard from the community and correctional staff about the new facility and now wants to hear comments from the inmates.

Nancy asked what the statistics were for inmates suffering from learning disabilities. When the inmate is first screened they are not screened for any learning disability. Screening for a learning disability is a complicated and time consuming process. We screen for the current education level and start at that point with adult education. There are approximately 100 inmates a month enrolling in the Basic Education program, but only one in 100 will complete the program to get their GED. Those inmates that do not complete this course are at least connected in some way to services that are available when they are released. The average stay at MCCF is 31 days. Many of the programs are tailored for the short term inmate.

Rob shared an interesting change observed in many of the pods. Because television in the facility is restricted, inmates are now interested in watching educational programs instead of sports events or talk shows.

The By-Laws prepared by the MCCF Advisory Committee (Work Group) were reviewed. Steve reviewed them and made a few changes and additions which were agreed upon by the group present. Bina will make the changes and email it to the Work Group to review one last time. There will be discussion with the entire membership at the next meeting.

Steve reported that he has not received any comments from the community in reference to the CBAG Issues Matrix (construction issues matrix) Steve proposed that it be closed and maintained as a historical document. It will remain on the Corrections website as a public document. It can only be re-opened for discussion as a special item of interest.

Jenny spoke about the accreditation assessment (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc.) that the Sheriff's Department will be going through in August. It requires the agency to meet standards in four basic areas; policy and procedures, administration, operations, and support services. She invited who ever would want to speak to the assessment team to attend the public information session on Monday, August 4, 2003 at 7:00 pm (Executive Office Building Auditorium, 101 Monroe Street, lobby level, Rockville, MD). They can also call (240-777-7074) with their comments on August 4, 2003 between the hours of 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm. Comments in person or by telephone are limited to 10 minutes and must address the agency's ability to comply with the Commission's standards (available at the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, 50 Maryland Avenue, Room T-8, Rockville, MD). Comments can also be written and mailed to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., 10302 Eaton Place, Suite 100, Fairfax, VA.

Steve volunteered to speak and Rob will talk to Art about speaking at this session.

The National Night Out event in Germantown is scheduled for early August (date to be confirmed). This is an event where citizens walk in the neighborhood, there are street gatherings, residents keep their porch lights on, the Police Department walks in the neighborhood telling the community about their services that are available, etc.

The Germantown Oktoberfest is to be held at Seneca Creek State Park. It is the 21st year. Because of the budget cuts, they did not get a grant from the County. They will have to pick up the cost of police overtime and trash pickup. Rob volunteered 20-30 ACS offenders to empty the trash receptacles.

Rob asked that Corrections be kept in mind to help with community events.He can arrange to have staff direct pedestrians.

The next meeting will be August 19, 2003 at MCCF, in the Warden's Conference Room (second floor)