"Freedom through Responsibility"
The PRRS Division oversees the 171-bed Montgomery County Pre-Release Center (PRC) and provides evidenced-based transitional services to soon-to-be released sentenced and incarcerated adults from the county’s two detention centers, and from state and federal prisons who are returning to Montgomery County and the larger Washington metropolitan area. Participants are released from incarceration with employment, treatment, family support, and the Division saves taxpayer money, reduces institutional crowding, and reduces recidivism and victimization rates. The Division advances the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation’s mission to improve public safety and relies on a considerable body of research that demonstrates the cost-benefit advantages of releasing incarcerated individuals through a highly-structured community-based program. Since 1972, the Division has served over 17,850 men and women.
The PRC is a county-run, state-accredited correctional facility that also has received accreditation from the American Correctional Association. It is located in Rockville’s rapidly growing White Flint area, and its proximity to jobs and transportation makes it an ideal site for the work release component of the program. In the 1990s, PRRS also developed “Home Confinement” which allows the Division to monitor clients using electronic technology (e.g. GPS) in their homes.
PRRS carefully screens and accepts only those individuals that it assesses can be legally and safely managed in a community setting. By law, all participants must have one year or less time remaining on their sentences, and PRRS is authorized to determine eligibility for Pre-Release status, but must receive judicial consent for the actual placement of the individual at the Pre-Release Center. While the program primarily serves those individuals with sentences of 18 months or less who are incarcerated in the County’s detention centers, the Division has had contracts with the state and federal correctional systems to provide reentry services to their prisoners who are returning to this area and who are within 6 months of release. Thus, the Division serves individuals convicted of all offense types serving sentences ranging from 10 days to 30 years with the one exception of excluding from eligibility those convicted of prior escape.
The Division requires program participants to work, pay room and board, file state and federal taxes, and address restitution and child support obligations. Each client works with a case manager and work release coordinator to develop an individualized reentry plan that addresses their specific transitional needs including employment, housing, treatment, family and medical services. Whenever possible, family members of participants are encouraged to participate in the development of the plan. The program employs other evidenced-based reentry practices including risk/needs assessments, cognitive behavioral programming, monitored community-based treatment, college/GED/Literacy classes, and a “work first” philosophy.
Additionally, the Division holds clients accountable for their location at all times, and residents only access the community with pre-approval. Through the use of the latest technologies in electronic monitoring, substance abuse testing, and by utilizing mobile teams of staff, residents are held to high standards of conduct and compliance. There is a zero- tolerance policy with regard to engaging in criminal activity, possessing drugs and alcohol, and accessing the community at locations and times that have not been approved. Individuals found in violation of such policies are immediately returned to secure detention. The few escapes that do occur each year are vigorously prosecuted, and consequently, the rate of escape is among the lowest of any work release program in the country. Most of the escapes involve individuals approved to leave the facility for work or community treatment and then who fail to return to the PRC as scheduled. All escapees in the program’s 42 year history have been apprehended and most were returned to custody within 24 hours.
In 2013, the program served 683 individuals of which 85% successfully completed the program, and 80% were released with private-sector jobs. In total, the individuals in the Division earned over $1.6 million and paid nearly $300,000 in taxes, $300,000 in family support, $285,000 in program fees, and $5,000 in restitution. From a system perspective, the program diverted 53,400 jail bed-days, and provided strong incentives for good institutional behavior in our detention centers. Recidivism rates defined as either a conviction or return to incarceration for a parole/probation violation are 9.3% within 1 year and 29.7% within 3 years using local and national data, which is 40% lower than nationally-measured rates. The Division’s performance metrics are evaluated monthly, and the Division reports its performance and programmatic and security activities quarterly to an active Community Advisory Committee.
Resident Programs and Services Information
|Employer Information / Work Release||(240) 773-4200|
|Family and Friends Support Program||(240) 773-4242|
|Internship Program||(240) 773-4242|
|Program and Services||(240) 773-4242|
|Screening and Home Confinement||(240) 773-4252|
|Victim Services||(240) 773-4262|