Caring for the Incarcerated at #MACoCon

Local correctional facilities tackle the unique challenge of providing for the physical and emotional health needs of inmates looking to start over.

For incarcerated individuals there are often a number of factors at play that have brought them to those unfortunate circumstances. Whether they are environmental, emotional, behavioral, or some combination, there is undoubtedly a need for services to help get them back on their feet. Additionally, more than half of these inmate populations are shown to have some form of a substance use disorder which requires not just mental health resources but can require medical attention such as medications.

The local jail systems have an incredible responsibility when it comes to making sure these vulnerable populations have access to the services they need. Legislative reforms such as medication assisted treatment in jails have created a unique opportunity to see how local governments are adjusting to new requirements and what the process can reveal about the existing framework in place to manage inmate health and rehabilitation. The corrections panel at the MACo Winter Conference will dive into all these issues and help newly elected officials understand where the priorities are in making sure inmates are leaving correctional facilities with the tools they need to succeed.

  • Title: Caring for the Incarcerated: Navigating Rehabilitation and Mental Health Reform
  • Description: County jails have long felt the strain on resources, from intake to reentry. Acute staff shortages and the looming implementation of 2019’s HB 116 only compound the issue. While the legislation could offset some mental and behavioral health costs between hospitals and community correction alternatives, counties still must bolster their existing medical infrastructure in county jails to fulfill the assessment, treatment, observation, and tracking requirements. Attend this session to learn best practices for counties to secure adequate space, resources, funding, and staff to comply with the new standards.
  •  Speakers:
    • Mary Ann Thompson, Warden, St. Mary’s County
    • LaMonte Cook, Director, Department of Corrections, Queen Anne’s County
    • Blaire Bryant, Legislative Director – Health, National Association of Counties
  • Moderator: The Honorable James Randy Guy, President, Commissioners of St. Mary’s County
  • Date/Time: Thursday, January 5, 2023; 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

MACo’s Winter Conference, “Hit the Ground Running,” will be held at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, MD from January 4-6, 2023 (with a pre-conference orientation for new county officials on January 3).

Learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference: