Tuesday, July 19, 2016

SMCSO Correctional Officer Recognized at the Maryland Correctional Administrators Association (MCAA) Conference

On Sunday, June 5, Correctional Officer First Class Kristie Ardire, St. Mary’s County Detention Center, was recognized for her achievement as the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Correctional Officer of the Year at the 41st Annual Maryland Correctional Administrators Association Conference.

In July 2015, CFC Kristie Ardire was assigned to a support team that was tasked with investigating the feasibility of developing an alternative to incarceration.  Recognizing only half of the jails in Maryland facilitated a pretrial system of various sorts, CFC Ardire, and the team visited different sites to develop a working system for St. Mary’s County. Meanwhile, CFC Ardire maintained her current duties as the detention center re-entry program officer.

After thorough planning, research, development, and approval by the judiciary, State’s Attorney and the public defender; CFC Ardire was transitioned to supervise and coordinate the new pretrial program which has been responsible for conducting over 680 intakes and maintaining an average daily participation of 40 inmates being monitored outside the confines of the jail. CFC Ardire is also responsible for the direct intake of inmates into substance abuse inpatient/outpatient treatment. Because of her tenacity and exceptional work ethic, CFC Ardire exceeded projected annual results in only two months. The pretrial services program anticipates cost savings in the first year of a least $400,000.

A critical key component the pretrial services program offers are one of community public safety. CFC Ardire is vigilant in the monitoring of inmates released to the community through various technologies including GPS, as standard “cash” bail release provides for no monitoring of offenders returning to neighborhoods.

CFC Ardire’s constant contact with offenders ensures public safety through prevention of further criminal activity and reduction in court “failure to appear” thus reducing the need for additional police resources caused by the result of increased criminal investigations and warrant services.

The program currently reports an 80% success rate which is directly attributable from her many countless hours of overtime, commitment, professionalism and compassion.

Captain Michael R. Merican, Corrections Division Commander, states, “The system of “Cash” for pre-trial release has become ineffective as many folks in Maryland and across the country languish in jail on low bonds they simply cannot afford in today’s economic and social climate.  This comes at a significant cost to the taxpayer and burden on the judicial system infrastructure.  The monitoring of persons through a pretrial program allows for folks to continue a productive lifestyle, with public safety interests at the forefront, until their respective case is adjudicated in court typically several months after initial arrest.”

Correctional Officer First Class Kristie Ardire