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Press Release

Publish Date: 11/28/2018

Montgomery County Jail Employees Recognized for Work Ethic and Dedication

County Legislature Issues Proclamation during November's Meeting

FONDA - The Montgomery County Jail is a city within itself, Jail Administrator Robert J. Barbuti said. The facility, which holds on average 110 to 179 inmates, is operational 365 days a year. There are approximately 77 employees who keep the jail functioning and they consist of correction supervisors, correction officers, medical and kitchen staff as well as a corrections training coordinator. Within the jail, inmates are offered schooling through HFM BOCES, provided medical care, meals, counseling opportunities, trips to court dates or other appointments and visitations which are all monitored and coordinated by these employees.

"Working in the jail is a team effort, 100 percent," Barbuti said.

Montgomery County Jail employees were recognized Tuesday by the County Legislature for their work ethic. Nine employees in particular were commended for their teamwork, years of service and commitment to the Montgomery County Jail and they were: Barbuti, Correction Supervisor Sgt. Devin Sweet, Correction Supervisor Cpl. Michael Payne, Correction Officer Terry Carter, Correction Officer Theresa Saltsman, Correction Officer Peter Vertucci, Corrections Training Coordinator Marina Wemple, Gina Yesse of the medical staff and Stephanie Crewell of the jail's kitchen staff "I'm very proud that these individuals are being recognized for their hard work and pride in their roles in the jail," Montgomery County Sheriff Michael Amato said. "At this time, I would also like to thank the rest of the corrections staff, for they are part of the team that makes the corrections facility a well-run division of the sheriff's office," he continued. "They must make quick decisions every day to keep the public, other staff and inmates safe. Congratulations to all of you."

Barbuti said individuals working in the jail must be able to deal with confrontation and the inmates they oversee could be facing charges varying in severity.

"Staff have to pay attention to detail, they can't be complacent," Barbuti said. "They have to learn to communicate and de-escalate."

Barbuti said correction supervisors are responsible for running daily jail activities, such as transporting inmates to the hospital or court. Their jobs vary from day-to-day and include multi-tasking and managing problems between inmates. Inmates who qualify for schooling might take classes to receive their GED diploma. These individuals are monitored closely.

"We try to educate [inmates] so they can lead a life that is not criminal and can make better decisions out there," Barbuti said.

Correction officers manage people on a daily basis. They are considered the direct contact or frontline with the inmates. Barbuti said 44 correction officers are responsible for supervising activities and doing routine checks on inmate pods. Duties may include searching for contraband items or deescalating confrontations between inmates.

"Every day these employees have to be on their 'A' game because every day something could happen," Barbuti said.

Medical staff is responsible for providing inmates with medical screenings, appointments or psych consults. Nursing staff is available when inmates come down with an illness, need medication or other care. Kitchen staff is responsible for feeding over 100 inmates three times per day. Inmates who have been cleared to do so, assist kitchen staff with meal prep and service. Barbuti said it takes "the right type of person" to be fit for roles within the jail.

The correction training coordinator is responsible for ensuring all jail employees are up to date on their trainings and classes. Barbuti said employees have mandatory training on a number of different topics, such as body cameras, weapons or bloodborne pathogens. New officers are also required to complete basic training within one year of being hired.

Barbuti said jobs within the jail can be stressful and staff must learn to cope with all types of situations.

"They have to have a positive attitude when they come into work," Barbuti said. "Sometimes you can make a difference."