Addictions Program and Co-occurring Mental Health Treatment and Referral

For many years Howard County has provided substance use disorder treatment through the Howard County Health Department whose counselors work in the detention center providing an outpatient level program, as well as assessments and referrals for placement in community inpatient treatment.  The Health Department also provides overdose response training and the provision of naloxone for staff and inmates. Through the Maryland Community Criminal Justice Treatment Program, a clinician from the Howard County Mental Health Authority (now a Department of Corrections employee) has provided transitions counseling for those with mental health concerns, who are being released to the community.  Often these staff collaborate on individuals with co-occurring disorders.    

Medication Assisted Treatment Changes

In 2017 Howard County changed its policy regarding the use of methadone and buprenorphine.  The Department now allows inmates who have short stays/sentences who are on a prescribed methadone or suboxone treatment protocol, to continue with the treatment while at the Detention Center.  The Department has partnered with community providers such as I Can’t We Can and Silverman’s Clinic to receive the medications if the offender’s provider is unwilling to provide the medication to the offender.  We also will now allow inmates assigned to work release who are assessed as needing methadone or buprenorphine, to begin receiving these medications while on work release status.  Health Department funds are available to pay for these medications when necessary. 


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.

Mediation Assisted Treatment Grant from GOCCP

This grant provides funding for Vivitrol use and for wrap around services and treatment at release.  We expanded the grant to pay for methadone and buprenorphine, where the candidate was not medically eligible for Vivitrol.  This has been an effective way for some inmates to stop using drugs and/or drinking.  The one problem with the use of vivitrol is that nearly 50% of those referred to our medical department for evaluation are not medically cleared to do so.  Therefore, the alternative medications are offered.  

Strengthening Families Program

The Detention Center offers at least two sessions of the Strengthening Families Program per year.  This is an evidence-based parenting program that focuses on at risk children.  Incarceration of a parent is a high-risk factor; the program provides hands-on tools for parenting and at the same time developing and strengthening family bonds while incarcerated.  This is funded in part by GOCCP.  

Reentry Mediation

The Detention Center partners with the Mediation and Conflict Resolution Center, Inc., to provide mediation services to those returning to the community.  Mediation is highly recommended for individuals for whom family relationships may be a risk factor, and this supports the Addictions and reentry programs.

Reentry Case Management Services

In the past six years Howard County has developed a reentry program that includes staff working in and out of the jail assisting inmates to successfully return and stay in the community.  The Department’s reentry staff have expanded their network for substance abuse treatment resources.  Staff have found sober living programs in Howard and surrounding counties and are able to place released offenders in such programs/facilities faster.  Corrections has received funding for a second year from the county for housing of homeless inmates returning to the community and these funds may be used for initial funding of individuals in sober living.  The reentry staff was increased to 3.5 positions with an anticipated additional .5 position supported through grant funds.  In the past year and a half, Howard County has been successful in obtaining housing funds through federal/state ESG (Emergency Solutions Grant) funds to address the housing challenge for returning homeless offenders.

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.

SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment)

In July 2017 the Department was awarded an $85,000.00 grant from the Department of Health to initiate the Screening, Brief, Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) program at the Detention Center. SBIRT will train staff on how to conduct screening for substance use disorders, conduct brief interventions and refer appropriate offenders to treatment.  This training will include custody, medical, classification and work release staff.  Peer Recovery Counselors from the Health Department will intervene and follow up with individuals to encourage those at risk to get treatment.  This program will impact most offenders who enter the Detention Center as they will be screened at initial intake, medical screening (occurs within four hours of intake), at initial classification and again at case management staff encounters and team reviews.  Staff will receive training in motivational interviewing, and processes for referring an offender to treatment pre-and post-release.  SBIRT has been used in hospital settings with documented success.  Howard County Detention Center and the Baltimore City Detention Center are the first correctional facilities to implement the program. The grant allowed for the hiring of a coordinator and two peer counselors.  The coordinator has been hired and the peer coordinators should be hired by mid-November.

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.

Safe Food Handling Training Certification

The National Restaurant Association certification is recognized nationally and thus provides the inmates with a strong tool for job hunting in the food-related industry.  In partnership with Howard Community College “ServeSafe” food handling safety program was not offered in 2016, however, a session was planned for January 2017.

Thinking for a Change

Thinking for a Change (T4C) is an integrated, cognitive behavioral change program for offenders that includes cognitive restructuring, social skills development, and development of problem solving skills. Thinking for a Change has been determined to be an evidence based program.  The Department targets individuals who are at medium to high risk to re-offend and requires that these individuals complete the T4C program as part of their progress to minimum security.  For 2016 there were a total of 4 cycles of T4C with a total of 48 group sessions held.  There were 46 inmates enrolled in the program, and 37 inmates successfully completed T4C in 2016.

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