Feds to fund Arenas's stay in Montgomery, corrections official says
In response to our story about Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas's expected arrival soon at a Montgomery County county facility for his community service stint, reader Arkygirl666 asked:
Why are the Montgomery County taxpayers getting stuck with his bill for room and board?
County corrections chief Arthur Wallenstein responded in the article comments.
Montgomery County residents will not be contributing a dime -- the entire cost is paid by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. We have a long standing professional services contract with BOP and the per diem is $113 per day per offender. It covers any federal offender coming to us from either a federal prison or a probation sentence for community service in the Metro area. It is a solid working relationship that focuses on offender reentry and probation requirements such as community service coupled with residential/overnight supervision.
Montgomery County exercises a veto and reviews carefully every person referred or suggested to complete their last six months or complete probation sanctions. Our federal corrections partners are thoroughly professional and demand strict attention to community supervision as it relates to public safety and offender accountability.
Montgomery County operates two maximum security jails (average daily population of 950), Pretrial assessment, supervision and diversion programs (averaging 2200 on a daily basis) and the PreRelease and Reentry Program averaging 175 convicted offenders focusing on reentry, work release, workforce development, substance abuse treatment, faith community mentoring and support and family reengagement.
A super-professional staff at the PreRelease Center provides intensive treatment, work release and job development and equally demanding security supervision. The program is serious business for offender reentry is one of the most demanding and pressing social policy issue areas in this nation. A 65% failure rate within three years of release speaks to the complexity and challenges of offender reentry all over this nation.
In Montgomery County we are working very hard to attack this totally unacceptable national data element. Too much time is spent complaining about offender recidivism and not enough doing something about it. Public attitudes are content to leave all offenders in prison until their last day of sentence -- that sounds good but skills must be developed and barriers overcome and work found or else reentry outcomes remain miserable.
The Montgomery County PreRelease and Reentry Program is challenging this area of practice -- there are miles to travel but a superior staff and a quality County government (Executive and County Council) is seeking answers and strategies that do more than simply complain.
There is no magic -- there is aggressive attention to networking with community based organizations such as the faith community and many treatment providers and employers. There is serious work in progress within the Montgomery County adult correctional system.
The story also has a photo gallery in which you can see the basket at the facility, which residents can use when not performing community service, work-release jobs or other components of their sentences.
I took my own picture of the hoop from inside the facility's courtyard.
-- Dan Morse
April 5, 2010; 11:37 AM ET
Categories: Celebrities , Dan Morse , Montgomery , Reader Questions
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