Detention Center

The Frederick County Adult Detention Center.

With only about 26 percent of its population fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the Frederick County Adult Detention Center hopes a $20 snack incentive will convince inmates to get inoculated. 

Starting Thursday, the adult detention center (ADC) began offering $10 worth of canteen snacks for each COVID-19 shot an inmate receives, according to a release from the Frederick County Sheriff's Office. The same snacks are available to all inmates through the Inmate Canteen Account.

Inmates will get one $10 snack package after the first shot and will get another after their second vaccination, the release reads. Those who are already fully vaccinated will also get $20 worth of snacks. The detention center is offering no additional incentives for the COVID-19 booster at this time.

“While we cannot force inmates to get the vaccination, if we encourage them to get vaccinated with this incentive and utilize zero tax dollars to do it, then it is a good program for everyone involved,” Maj. Michael Cronise, ADC assistant chief, said in the release. “We hope those inmates who have not been vaccinated will jump on this incentive and take advantage of it, while they can.”

Frederick County's overall vaccination rate stood at 64.4 percent, or 167,248 people, as of Friday morning, according to the county's COVID-19 dashboard. In September, Frederick County government announced a $1,000 incentive for full-time employees of the county to get vaccinated.

FCSO spokesman Todd Wivell said as of Thursday there were 228 inmates, of which 196 are men and 32 are women, in the detention center population.

"131 inmates have been fully vaccinated at the ADC throughout the course of this pandemic and currently 63 of those inmates are still at the ADC," Wivell wrote in an email. "143 inmates have received their first round of the vaccination, and most of those are ones who are fully vaccinated."

Vaccination clinics have been held about twice a month at the detention center and will continue to be held routinely, according to Wivell. The Frederick County Health Department provides the vaccines, and the detention center nursing staff administer the shots, Wivell said.

The ADC vaccine incentive is funded by proceeds derived through the Inmate Canteen Account, according to the release. "Proceeds from the Inmate Phone system and the Inmate Canteen Account profits fund the overarching Inmate Canteen Account. These funds can only benefit the inmate population and the FCSO cannot use them for anything else," the release reads.

Follow Mary Grace Keller on Twitter: @MaryGraceKeller 

(7) comments


How about Baton Rouge, Louisiana's 10/9/21 idea:

Get your criminal record expunged if you get the shot!


i would say don't pay them the $20.just how much money does the county have to pay these people to get the shots.


Don’t give them an option. If they wanted the freedom maybe that should have obeyed the laws and now found themselves in jail.


$20 is fine. That is qualitatively different from $500 or $1000.


Although it shouldn't be necessary to bribe someone to do what is good for them, their family, their friends, and the population in general, it is a very reasonable amount of reward.


Completely ridiculous.


Agreed, but not nearly as ridiculous as Gardner's $1000 bribe for county employees.

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