The Community Services Division is supervised the Director of Community Services (Civilian) and provides the following legislatively mandated programs that offer sentencing alternatives to the courts: Work Release, Home Detention, Alternative Sentencing and Pretrial Services. These programs are cost effective and well managed alternatives to incarceration that offer an extreme benefit to the Criminal Justice System, the offender and citizens of Frederick County.
Work Release Program
The Work Release Program began its operation in 1989. This program is supervised by the Commander of Work Release (Lieutenant). The program is a structured drug and alcohol free operation with a “zero tolerance” approach for substance abuse. The basic concept of the Work Release Program is to allow offenders, who are employed at the time of sentencing, to maintain their jobs in the community, pay program costs and continue to lend financial support to the family. The participants must provide their own transportation to and from employment and are held accountable for maintaining total compliance to program guidelines.
Pretrial Services Program
Three Correctional Classification Specialists supervise defendants that are court ordered to participate in the Pretrial Services Program. In 1993, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, through legislation, was authorized to establish and direct a Pretrial Release Program. The basic concept of the Pretrial Services Program is to release eligible defendants awaiting trial from the Frederick County Adult Detention Center while ensuring a high rate of court appearance. The program focuses on monitoring non-violent offenders in the community. This offsets the cost of their incarceration for Frederick County taxpayers, while minimizing the risk of safety to the community.
Drug and Alcohol Monitoring
The Work Release Program has a certified on-site drug testing system that allows for immediate test results in determining substance abuse. It is the policy of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office to maintain substance free programs. Participants on Work Release, Home Detention and Pretrial Services are tested on a random basis.
Community Labor Unit/Inmate Labor Program
The Community Labor Unit offers free labor to local and state government agencies, churches, fire companies and many other non‐profit organizations. The work crew is made up of work release authorized inmates and defendants that are court ordered and managed by the Alternative Sentencing Program. Examples of work performed include daily cleaning of the Visitation Area and District Court Commissioners Offices at the Detention Center, collection and removal of recyclable paper, grounds maintenance and special projects. This unit also completes special projects for agencies and non-profit organizations within Frederick County.
Alternative Sentencing Program
The program began operation in 1982 as part of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office. The Alternative Sentencing Program is supervised by the Assistant Director of Community Services (Civilian). The program provides the judiciary a sentencing option to order nonviolent offenders to perform court-ordered community service hours in lieu of a jail sentence or high court costs. Community service hours are performed at worksites that meet criteria established in the enabling legislation. The Alternative Sentencing Program utilizes over 90 different worksites to include local, county and state agencies, churches, fire companies and many other non-profit organizations. Alternative Sentencing is not legislatively mandated by the State of Maryland.
The PADDD Program
The PADDD (Positive Alternatives to Dangerous and Destructive Decisions) program was established in 2007. The 3-hour program is a collaboration of speakers from the medical field, recovered trauma patients, families and law enforcement/EMS personnel. The program is an educational tool offering defendants an opportunity to lessen the number of points placed on their license as a result of traffic related charges. This program also lessens fines and court costs for the defendants.
In 2008, the Alternative Sentencing Program began managing the community service component for the Frederick County Drug Court and the 3rd Millennium Classroom program was also established. The Alternative Sentencing Program manages court ordered referrals in the completion of an on-line educational class designed for misdemeanor drug and alcohol offenders. Defendants in all programs are required to pay an administrative fee to the agency to offset the cost of the program.