Detention Center Inmate Services
Classification is a sorting out process that assigns inmates to the appropriate custody level within the St. Mary's County Detention Center, under the proper degree of staff supervision. Classification also fosters enhanced staff/inmate communication and facilities program and service decisions in terms of the most likely benefit to individual inmates. All inmates are subject to the classification process in order to determine appropriate custody, security level, housing and program placement.
The classification process is individualized, dynamic and recognizes the potential of human beings to grow or regress both emotionally and socially. Classification is an on-going process that exists as a continuum for each inmate on an institutional life basis. For some inmates, the progress may even extend to community placement.
Detention Medical Center Medical services are provided in-house for inmates through an existing contract with CONMED, Inc. This contract provides for a sick call up to five days per week. During sick call, inmates are seen by a doctor who evaluates their medical condition and prescribes treatment as needed. Inmates continue to receive medical care from external medical providers when necessary.
A legislative initiative passed by the Maryland Legislature now gives the Sheriff the authority to charge those inmates who can afford it a nominal fee for medical services. This fee, which was set by the Board of County Commissioners at $4.00 per visit, in no way hinders an indigent inmate's ability or opportunity to obtain medical care. This fee helps recoup some of the funds expended on the inmate's behalf, reduces the number of frivolous medical complaints and reinforces the idea that incarcerated inmates remain responsible for themselves.
Some of the services performed within the facility include routing x-rays, specimen collection and certain testing.
In addition to the cost savings by providing these services on-site, additional monies are saved, as Correctional Officers are not required to transport these inmates to the doctor or hospital.
The need to control these expenditures is even more significant due to the continuous rise in medical costs. The current health care problems facing the United States are magnified in Detention Centers. Inmates are being sentenced to longer periods of incarceration. Medical issues common to the correctional environment such as Tuberculosis (TB), Human Immune Deficiency Virus (HIV) and Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) are becoming commonplace and must be addressed both medically and legally.
MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
The Maryland Community Criminal Justice Treatment Program (MCCJTP), under the management of CONMED, Inc., began providing mental health services in the St. Mary's County Detention Center on February 1, 1998. The primary goal of the MCCJTP of St. Mary's County is to meet the needs of persons with serious mental illness who are incarcerated and to reduce the recidivism to state psychiatric hospitals, detention centers and homelessness.
Under the direction of a Sheriff's Office volunteer, the Detention Center Library provides recreational reading material, reference books, special interest books and high school / GED materials to all inmates. Additionally, Correctional Officers assist interested inmates in obtaining legal books, and copies of court cases relevant to their situations.
The majority of reading material stocked in the Detention Center Library is donated at no cost to the taxpayer. The availability of these materials in particular has boosted inmate morale.