Ocean City Today

Jail proposals continue to earn county approval

By Brian Gilliland | Oct 19, 2017

(Oct. 20, 2017) For the last month, Warden Donna Bounds has been a fixture at Worcester County Commissioner meetings, updating old memoranda of understanding and getting approval to sign on for new services at the jail.

The first saw the commissioners going above and beyond the proposal for a one-year approval by assenting to an ongoing contract for several services provided by the Life Crisis Center in Salisbury, so long as the annual price of $1,200 doesn’t increase.

First, the center will provide a 24-hour hotline for confidential crisis intervention by accepting phone calls from inmates regarding reports of assault, abuse or neglect from fellow detainees or staff. The center will also notify the jail of the reports, provide data collection and email the reporting to Bounds immediately after the alert, plus calling her no more than two hours after notification during regular business hours.

The MOU also obligates Bounds to immediately begin an investigation into reported claims.

The phone privileges of inmates are controlled, Bounds said, but certain phones are always accessible.

Along the same lines, Bounds was also authorized to sign a deal with the Worcester County Sheriff’s office to provide an official investigator to evaluate claims of abuse.

Both contracts are based upon requirements of the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003, signed into law by President George W. Bush.

A deal between the jail and the Wicomico Health Department Substance Abuse Services to provide methadone to incarcerated pregnant women already enrolled in a treatment program.

Bounds said the women need to continue the treatment for the health of the unborn.

The commissioners needed to sign the deal because the county has no such program, and to allow the substance to be transported over county lines.

Bounds also wanted to continue the ongoing contract with Swank Motion Pictures to provide both informational and entertainment DVDs to be broadcast to inmates as part of the recreation requirement.

Bounds said in order to broadcast the movies, the facility needs a license and a deal with a distributor in place.

Finally, the county renewed a deal where the jail would hold suspects for 12 or fewer hours if they are apprehended after hours, though services like medical care would remain the responsibility of the arresting agency.


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