Wellness Policy


Please e-mail  DOCR Wellness Policy Team DOCR.Wellnesspolicy@montgomerycountymd.gov if you have any questions or comments.
Print Wellness Policy click here


Background

The Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation (DOCR) is committed to providing an environment that promotes and protects the health, well-being, and the ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity.  The Montgomery County Correctional Facility (MCCF) is committed to providing educational programming to offenders that supply them with knowledge and tools to successfully manage their lives in the community emphasizing the promotion of health and personal well-being as a vital element of recovery and returning to the community as a productive member of society.
 
The DOCR has established a wellness committee to include personnel from various disciplines that are stakeholders in promoting the health and well-being of our clientele (inmates and staff).
 
The mission of the wellness committee is to promote healthy eating and physical activity through successful completion of established wellness goals. The committee is responsible for monitoring and evaluating progress in meeting these goals.

Wellness committee

The wellness committee includes the following positions, and the individuals that currently hold these positions are identified below:

Food Service Manager/Registered Dietitian (Chair)  Eliane T. Dunn-Johnson
Food Service Supervisor     Delores Dunkins
Facility Administrator     Suzy Malagari
Administrative Nurse Manager (Co-Chair)     Jada Sewell
Montgomery College Program Director
Model Learning Center   
Franklin Moore
Food Service Office Services Coordinator    Shirley Taylor

Correctional Specialist IV
(Youthful offender unit Inmate Services Supervisor)    

Kara Davis


The Food Service Manager/Registered Dietitian position is the chair of the committee, and the Health Services Administrator position or designee is the co-chair of the committee.
 
As a correctional facility, participation from parents and community members would require special clearance.  If meetings can be held virtually, there may be an opportunity for parents and community members to participate after receiving clearance. Consideration will be given to the addition of a community volunteer to the committee if one could be recruited or volunteers through the volunteer program could also be utilized. Additionally, an inmate dorm representative from the Youthful Offender unit could be included in quarterly meetings of the committee. 

Posting of the wellness plan to the department’s website has occurred, and the ability to allow feedback or participation from family members or the community via the website is also available.  

Progress towards goals and initiatives will be communicated and updated on the website on a quarterly basis as the committee meets, determines, and evaluates this progress. 

Nutritional Guidelines

The DOCR’s Nutrition Policy is an integral part of the wellness policy.  The following excerpts from the nutrition policy address the nutritional guidelines that the department has set: 

  • All offenders receive three meals daily.
  • Modifications to the menu are made only for medically ordered diets, or to provide a vegetarian diet upon request for those who express such a preference.  
  • There are no ala carte items served, no vending machines, or stores available to offenders.   
  • No competitive foods or beverages are sold Sunday through Friday around the clock.  A canteen service is available to order the purchase of beverages and snacks one time per week, and delivery of these items occurs on Saturday. 
  • Meals served at the facility will meet the nutrition recommendations of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans and all standards and nutritional requirements of the USDA Child Nutrition programs and School Meals.
  • The Child Nutrition program will comply with federal, state, and local requirements.
  • A qualified nutrition professional will be responsible for meal planning to provide nutritious and appealing foods that meet the health and nutrition needs of offenders, taking into consideration the diversity of the population with regards to religious, cultural, and ethnic food preferences. 
  • Menus are planned to provide less than 30% of total calories from fat, and less than 10% of fat calories from Saturated Fat. 
  • The facility serves a variety of fruits and vegetables. 
  • At least two different fruits, and two different non-fried vegetable servings are provided daily.
  • The facility serves only low fat (1%) and fat-free milk. 
  • No soda or carbonated drinks are available, served or sold within the facility to offenders. 
  • Safe, unflavored, drinking water is available throughout the day to all offenders at no cost. 
  • Whole grain versions of pastas, cereals and breads are provided when these items appear on the menu. 
  • 10% of Lunch and Dinner Entrees are meatless or vegetarian. 
  • 20% of Breakfast Entrees are meatless or vegetarian. 

Nutrition Education and Promotion

The Montgomery County DOCR aims to teach, encourage, and support healthy eating by offenders.  The following goals for nutrition education have been set:

  •  Nutrition Education will be offered as a part of the Model Learning Center’s Life Skills class and integrated into the educational curriculum for the Youthful Offender unit. *** 
  • Nutrition Education will be integrated into Health Education. 
  • Nutrition Education, Wellness and Safe Food Handling is offered as a part of the Model Learning Center’s Food Service Training Program for all assigned kitchen workers to include those from the Youthful Offender unit. *** 
  • Staff who provide Nutrition Education will have appropriate training to provide this education. 
  • The Food Service department will sponsor at least one activity to increase offender’s awareness of nutrition during National Nutrition Month each March. 

Physical Activity

The Montgomery County DOCR encourages and supports participation in physical activity and aims to emphasize the importance of caloric balance between food intake and energy expenditure.  The following goals for Physical Activity have been set: 

  • Youthful Offenders will have the opportunity to participate in a structured physical training program for thirty minutes at least three times per week. *** 
  • Offenders will be given the opportunity to participate in recreational activities daily. 

Other Wellness Activities

Meal periods are scheduled at appropriate times, and no activities are scheduled during those meal periods. Food and beverages are not used as a punishment or reward. A clean, safe, and quiet setting is provided for the consumption of meals allowing adequate time to consume the meal. The facility provides offenders with at least 10 minutes to eat once they sit down to breakfast and at least 20 minutes to eat once they sit down to lunch. The following wellness goals have been set: 

  • Nutrition information for products offered from the canteen will be readily available. 
  • The Wellness Committee will review food and beverage items available through the canteen and ensure that at least 20% of these items are low in calories, fat and added sugar. 

Staff wellness has also been addressed on various levels, through a variety of programs: 

  • A Hydration station is available in the Staff Dining room daily.
  • A Salad Bar is available daily to promote consumption of fresh vegetables.
  • An assortment of fresh fruit is available daily
  • Vegetarian or non-meat options are available to staff.
  • Breakfast parfaits of yogurt and fresh fruit are available or can be made from the offerings of yogurt and fruit available daily.
  • An instructor has been hired to provide an exercise class weekly for staff who wish to participate as desired virtually through the County’s Wellness program. ***
  • All employees receive a “Live Well, Wellness Wednesday” email from the County addressing various topics, and advertising webinars and classes on various wellness topics that employees can access.
  • A fully equipped exercise room is available to all staff to use during their off-work hours. 

Community wellness has been addressed by the County through the County’s Live Well Plan. 

Monitoring

The Food Service Manager and Supervisor will ensure compliance with Nutrition policies and report to the wellness committee. 
The Wellness Committee will meet quarterly (Sept. Dec. Mar. June) to review progress and compliance with the wellness and nutrition policies and goals, and to make modifications as necessary. The committee will assess and identify new areas of need related to wellness and nutrition on an ongoing basis. 
*** These activities have been suspended at present due to the current COVID pandemic. They may resume at a later date.