Clarksburg Citizens and Business Advisory Group Monthly Meeting

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

MEETING DATE: March 18, 2003

Bina Allgood, Jenny Barber, Wayne Fryer, Leon Grant, Rob Green, Vonda Henley, Nancy Hislop, Steve Howie, Cathy Jewell, Mary Jones-Brown, Michael Knapp, Brian Long, Suzy Malagari, Loretta McClintock, Terry Reister, Guy Ruffner, Susan Singer-Bart, Rick Tegethoff, Harry Vaughn, Art Wallenstein

Now that the project is complete and we are soon to officially open, Art Wallenstein recognized Capt. Guy Ruffner and Suzy Malagari on their outstanding work with the Transition Team. They were relocated to the Transition house in early 1999 when the Transition Team was created. We thank them for all their hard work. Guy has now returned to Custody and Security Operations and Suzy to Case Work Management.

The County's Executive Budget was announced yesterday. Art reported to the group on the budget process and what impact the reductions could have on full MCCF operations. It is one of the most difficult budgets the County has had in quite a long time. A few months ago the County projected a $319,000,000 budget deficit. There were major reductions imposed on all County departments (Public Safety agencies took a smaller cut).

The required target reductions for DOCR (FY03 and FY04) were:

FY03 Savings Plan $640,820
FY04 Reduction:Round 1 $624,400
FY04 Reduction: Round 2 $624,100
Additional Mandates not in FY04:  
Food Service - Self Operation $360,000
MCGEO (Union) Contract Impact $60,000
Inflation for contracts and operation expenses $150,100
Combined Impact


In the FY04 budget process DOCR had to make up a savings of $2,459,320. The average annual salary for one employee is $48,000 (salary and benefits), which would equal 51 positions if staffing reductions were required to meet the target reductions and other direct service costs. If staff reductions were necessary, the security plan for MCCF would be compromised and security staffing for the facility has been and continues to be a priority for both DOCR and the Community. Food and medical care could not constitutionally be reduced.

Art explained to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that the one area DOCR could generate revenue was with bed space within the existing facilities. He asked if he could present a plan to utilize bed space allocations for Federal prisoners and given the safety and security mandates of proper staffing we were given the authority to develop a revenue plan for consideration.

DOCR Revenue Initiatives for FY04 - Federal Inmates

U.S. Marshall Service
The County has always had a contract with the U.S. Marshall Service. The Marshall Service recently had a need to use MCDC to house inmates prior to moving them to Federal prisons around the country (in and out in a week). Approximately 45-50 Federal inmates are at MCDC waiting to be transferred. The generated revenue net impact would be - $682,550

Bureau of Prisons
The County has always had a contract with the Bureau of Prisons for Federal prisoners in our work release program. The Pre-Release program accepts Federal prisoners returning to this area in their last 4-5 months. This has been an on-going program-, but we have increased the number of Federal prisoners accepted into the program, not to exceed our bed capacity at the Pre-Release Center. The generated revenue net impact would be - $496,250.

Bureau of Citizens and Immigration Services (BCIS) (formerly INS)
The BCIS is now a part of the Department of Homeland Security and is a part of our Federal contract relationship. Art met with BCIS to see if they would be interested in utilizing the new facility. We have offered them one housing unit (64 men) and 11 beds for women at MCCF. BCIS is reviewing the proposal and we are waiting for the decision from their district director. The generated revenue net impact would be - $1,318,540.

Therefore, the total generated revenue initiated from Federal Inmates would be $2,497,340.

In addition to the above reductions a few staffing issues were also explained by Art. A CPU Manager position at MCDC will be abolished (individual is retiring) and will be replaced with a Lieutenant. We are abolishing the position of Recreation Supervisor. This employee will be moving to a position with our Case Management staff. A part-time Librarian Assistant position will no longer be funded through the library. This employee will take another position within the Library System.

A question was asked, "How long will we be housing Federal prisoners?" Art stated we will take them until there are no beds or there is no budget problem. The County Executive would ultimately make this decision. The Department's goal for FY04 is not to lose one employee. With the proposed revenue reduction initiatives our goal would be met.

NOTE: The CBAG Matrix numbers 5 and 16 reference taking other inmates and maintaining a proper budget.

The budget hearing schedule for DOCR is public information and on the County web site. Art will also send it to all CBAG Members.

Steve Howie raised questions of what he thought the community might ask. What is the nature of the BCIS inmate regarding security? The BCIS inmates are all criminal inmates, not political inmates. Why are the Federal inmates going to be separated from the general population? By segregating them we can foster more cultural sensitivity into the unit. How long would the BCIS inmates be held? We will know more about the length of stay when there is an agreement in place. There would not be any additional security issues. Would the women be integrated into the general population? Yes

Steve Howie voiced his thoughts about the County's history of projecting figures and statistics in relation to the increased inmate population and the new jail project. Did we over build the jail to make money with the extra bed space? Steve has been involved with the new jail project since 1995. Councilman Mike Knapp stated we should house our prisoners first and foremost and if space is available and there is still a budget problem, the space could be used for Federal Prisoners. He reassured the group that the council will monitor the sensitive situation. Steve noted that past history was not the responsibility of the current Correctional administration and the sharing of information had been very good since this process started with the community.

Rob reported that MCCF completed a major special operations exercise with other law enforcement agencies. Scenarios were conducted in all areas of the building and were very successful. Capt. Fryer stated how helpful the joint training was to his staff.

Most staff are on board at MCCF and training is continuing.

The Inmate Video is complete. We are waiting for additional copies of the video. At the next meeting the video can be viewed by the group.

Rob, Lt. Anastasi - Police, and Mr. Clark - School Security met as a group with the Rocky Hill Middle School PTA to discuss security and any concerns they may have.

The gate has been installed that would keep out visitors that would mistakenly make a wrong turn going back to the Kingsley Wilderness School.

All County schools are developing their own emergency plans. When the jail project began Cathy spoke of her skepticism in being near the jail, but the Facility and DOCR staff worked closely with the Kingsley Wilderness School and will be good neighbors. She is happy to report that she feels that the Kingsley Wilderness School will be one of the safest schools in the County.

Discussion was requested about the recent Washington Post article concerning releases. The Washington Post asked Art for data on releases for three years. They chose to only report on the data from 2002. There were 7 inappropriate releases out of 68,500 releases with no serious incidents. The Rockville community was notified when necessary (when there is an incident that they can see, hear or touch). The Clarksburg community is aware that there serious incidents. The Rockville community was notified when necessary (when there is an incident that they can see, hear or touch). The Clarksburg community is aware that there are no releases from the Clarksburg jail. Art stated that the council is holding a hearing on Monday and that interested members should attend.

The three public events went extremely well. The Simulated Incarceration had 170 stay over night out of 275 invitations. Considering the snow storm, this was a great turnout. The public visiting days also went very well with 2,500 visitors. The Formal Dedication had over 300 people attend.

Most all of the MCDC volunteers will be coming to MCCF to do their programs. There will be no programs at MCDC. Vonda reported that there are currently over 150 programs scheduled. She has 15-20 new programs in the proposal stage. 170 out of the total 400 current volunteers have attended the Volunteer Orientation and have started the background process. There are 100 interested new volunteers that have made contact or filled out applications. Orientations are schedule once a month. The next orientations are scheduled for the third week of April (one on a weekend and one on a weekday).

The next meeting will be April 15, 2003 at MCCF, in the Warden's Conference Room (second floor)