Religious Services

Religious services for inmates are provided through volunteers and volunteer faith-based organizations.  Christian Jail Ministry (CJM) has provided spiritual and pastoral services for inmates and their families since July 1979 as volunteers to the Detention Center. CJM programs at the Detention Center include various worship services, religious education and correspondence courses, pastoral counseling, individual discipleship training, and personal help.  In addition CJM volunteers provide a gift giving program for the children of those incarcerated.  Financial and volunteer support for CJM comes from local churches, individuals, and businesses. CJM employs one full-time chaplain and utilizes the services of several local pastors, who serve as associate chaplains on a volunteer basis to oversee the ministry and minister at the Detention Center. 

Muslim faith education and Juma Services are offered at the Detention Center through the volunteer services of the Dar Al-Taqwa congregation in Howard County. A consistent number of inmates have participated in the services as well as weekly education classes. The congregation also provides religious material and Qu’rans for the inmates. 

Catholic services are offered weekly for the inmate population as well through Saint Matthews Catholic Church.  Additionally, an outreach group from this church pervaded monthly services for BICE inmates.  Volunteer Deacon services provide weekly communion coordinated through St. Lawrence Parish in Jessup.

In addition The Department of Corrections  is responsible for ensuring the religious needs of all inmates, regardless of their faiths, are appropriately address  The Deputy Director has administrative responsibility for religious services.  The Deputy Director can be contacted at 410-313-5204.

Resource Center (Library)

The Howard County Library, through a partnership with the Department of Corrections, provides a Resource Center, one professional librarian and one circulation clerk providing four full days of services. Inmates are encouraged to avail themselves of the wide variety of materials offered; such as legal and other reference materials, books, newspapers, magazines and other periodicals.

Project LEEP (Lifeskills Education Employment Program)

The objective of Project LEEP (Lifeskills Education Employment Program) is to provide participating inmates the necessary tools to seek and gain employment upon their placement on work release or release from the Detention Center. During each six week course inmates learn to identify what skills and qualifications they already possess, organize personal information and references, complete a job application, use a computer to complete a resume and cover letter, and practice interviewing techniques. During each session, students participate in activities to identify what skills, (life and work-related), and qualifications they already possess. Employability assessment testing is completed by each student. All students who complete a LEEP six-week course receive certificates of completion, congratulations from the Director and staff, and a packet of referral materials to aid them with their job search and/or continuing education.

The LEEP Program, which began in September 1998, under the Byrne Grant has been so successful that when the grant concluded in October 2001 the program received continued funding from Howard County Government. The LEEP Program continues to enjoy a successful partnership between the Howard County Department of Corrections and Howard Community College.

Maryland Community Criminal Justice Treatment Program

The mission of MCCJTP is to reduce the recidivism of mentally ill inmates to detention and mental health institutions through improving linkages to community resources, supports and health services. The Howard County Mental Health Authority monitors the MCCJTP program in collaboration with the Howard County Department of Corrections.

The MCCJTP program provides a licensed clinician who does both clinical assessment and treatment along with case management for those identified with a serious mental health illness in the Detention Center. The clinician also works with the legal system to provide clinical recommendations and treatment programming options rather than incarceration to the court. The unique component of this program is the establishment of a therapeutic working relationship by developing a community aftercare plan, and partnering the client and community providers to ensure a support system of resources and services for the client’s successful re-entry into the community.

Other services the MCCJTP program provides are crisis intervention and aftercare arrangements to inmates in the Detention Center while working with medical staff, correctional officers and the Administration to ensure proper care of clients who are vulnerable and who engage in high risk behaviors. Additionally, annual training is offered to the correctional officers on suicide prevention, and identifying and understanding the mentally ill population.

GED- Adult Education Services

Howard Community College, in collaboration with the Department of Corrections, provides educational instruction in the areas of adult basic education, pre-GED and GED for inmates who are interested in improving their basic skills in reading, writing, and math and/or want to prepare for the high school equivalency exam (GED).

The Adult Basic Education Class provides instruction for students who demonstrate a wide range of skill levels. Each student at the time of registration takes the Maryland State Department of Education approved placement and assessment tests which enables the instructor to plan individualized lessons corresponding to the skill levels of each student in the areas of reading, writing, and math. Student progress is monitored through periodic administration of pre- and post-tests. In addition to traditional classroom instruction, a computer technical specialist brings portable laptop computers to the classroom three times a week and assists students with educational software designed to help students reinforce their academic skills. Students also learn basic computer literacy through use of these laptop computers.

Weekend Detention

The Sentence

You have been sentenced to a period of weekend incarceration at the Howard County Detention Center. Inmates are sentenced to the Detention Center by Judges of both the District Court of Maryland #10, and the Circuit Court for Howard County.

Your sentence is unique to your case. While sentencing you to the Detention Center, the sentencing Judge ordered you to report and be discharged at a specific date and time of day. The Detention Center will follow the commitment as issued by the sentencing Judge. To avoid confusion, you should keep your copy of the commitment order and bring it with you when you report. If for any reason you are unable to report as ordered, you must contact the Court. The Howard County Detention Center cannot excuse you from reporting. In cases where you fail to report, the Detention Center will notify the sentencing Judge immediately.

Background The Howard County Detention Center is a 361 bed maximum security detention facility located on Rt. 175 in Jessup, Maryland. The facility detains those persons sentenced and otherwise legally confined in Howard County. Its staff is dedicated to assuring that all persons are treated fairly and that a safe and humane environment is maintained within the facility. You should review the following information prior to reporting.

What to Expect

Upon arrival, be prepared to produce a government issued identification verifying your identity. At admission, you will receive orientation. After orientation and initial processing, you will be thoroughly searched. All applicable fees will be collected. The Detention Center Weekender Fee is $25.00 per day. The fees may be paid by cash, certified check or money order, made payable to: Director of Finance for Howard County. No personal checks will be accepted.

You may be required to work on an outside labor detail, you are to bring shoes appropriate for such labor. Failure to be ready or to agree to participate may be grounds for disciplinary action.

Random alcohol and drug screening tools are utilized, as needed. You will be housed within the facility and subject to the same inmate rules and regulations as other inmates detained at the facility. You are not to bring in anything other than the clothes you are wearing, and allowable funds and items listed below.

Allowable Items:

  • (1) Ring and (1) watch (maximun value-$50.00)
  • (1) shoes and socks appropriate for outside work
  • Maximum $55.00 cash (excluding fees to be paid)



Inmates assigned to weekend sentences are asked to avoid bringing personal autos to the facility, if possible. If you do bring a vehicle, you must park it in the satellite parking area on the road in front of the main parking area. Secure your vehicle and understand that all vehicles are subject to canine screening and search. You will be held responsible for dangerous or illegal items found within your vehicle.

Weekender Medication Administration

The Detention Center will provide medication to weekend detainees who take medication for prevailing medical conditions. All requests for medication will be verified through the weekender’s health care provider, and approved on a case-by-case basis, as needed. Weekend detainees must fax the completed form (medication, dosage, frequency, health care provider, and contact information) to the Medical Section at HCDC (410-313-5266) before 10:00 AM on the Thursday preceding your report date.

Weekender Regulations

  1.  Do not consume alcohol or use drugs prior to reporting for weekends.
  2. No tobacco products will be allowed in the Detention Center.
  3. Nothing, not listed on the Allowable property list will be allowed.
  4. Weekender’s personal clothing will be removed and stored, and the weekender will be given an inmate uniform to wear.
  5. Weekenders must report on time. A report will be forwarded to the sentencing Judge documenting any lateness or failure to report as ordered.
  6. Weekenders are responsible for maintaining personal hygiene and acceptable sanitation practices while confined at this facility.
  7. Weekenders must follow all rules listed above as well as those listed in the Inmate Handbook. Any violation of the rules will result in disciplinary action, notification of the sentencing Judge, or both. 8.Weekenders should be prepared to be assigned to a Weekend Labor Detail while in the custody of the Detention Center.

Weekender Fees

As a weekend detainee, you are required to pay a fee for food and lodging as established by Article 27, Section 645CC of the Annotated Code of Maryland. The Howard County Council, through Order # 121 has established a rate of $25.00 per day as a reasonable charge for inmates sentenced to serve weekends at the Detention Center. Any portion or combination of either Fridays/Saturdays/Sundays or Saturday/Sunday will be calculated as 2 days. You must pay this fee by cash, certified check, or a money order made out to: Director of Finance for Howard County. No personal checks will be accepted.

Payment is to be made by you on a weekly basis. You are to bring full payment with you each weekend, for that weekend. No payment will be accepted in advance. You will receive a receipt for all fees paid. Keep your receipts as proof of payment.

You will be required by the Howard County Detention Center to serve your weekends regardless of payment or non-payment. However, the County will take whatever steps it deems necessary and appropriate to enforce its legal right to payment, including debt collections.


Good Conduct Time

If you are sentenced to weekends at the Howard County Detention Center, you will be credited with five (5) days good time for each thirty (30) day period. Credit will be given on a prorated basis for periods less than (30) thirty days. Weekender release dates are posted in the Intake office every Friday. Release date inquiries should be forwarded to the Intake desk when reporting for your weekend.