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Md. Jail Offers Inmates Financial Incentives to Get COVID Vaccination: Report

The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office Adult Detention Center has started a new incentive program to facilitate its inmates to receive the coronavirus vaccine.

Inmates who get vaccinated will get $10 in snacks from the Maryland facility’s canteen for each dose of either of the two-shot Moderna or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine or for the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, WUSA-TV (Channel 9) reported.

Inmates who already have been vaccinated will receive two snack packages.

The program is paid for by proceeds from the Inmate Canteen Account, which makes money through the center canteen and phone systems used by inmates, WUSA reported.

Maj. Michael Cronise, the center’s assistant chief, said incentivizing the shots is a cheap and hopefully effective way to raise the vaccination rate at the facility, where currently only 26% of the detention center’s population is fully vaccinated.

“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,” Cronise said, WUSA reported. “We hope those inmates who have not been vaccinated will jump on this incentive and take advantage of it, while they can.”

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