POPLARVILLE, MS (WLOX) - Pearl River County Jail in Poplarville made Mississippi history this week, becoming the first jail in the state to be accredited by the American Correctional Association.
The Pearl River County Sheriff's Office achieved a recommended score of 100 percent on the mandatory standards and a recommended score of 98 percent on the non-mandatory standards.
"I am so proud of our staff because complying with ACA standards represents the highest level of correctional practices," Pearl River County Sheriff David Allison said. "Citizens of Pearl River County can be assured that the jail is operating in a manner consistent with best practice methods in law enforcement and corrections."
"The efforts made by the sheriff and jail staff to bring the facility to ACA standards on a daily basis are certainly recognized as a first in Mississippi," said Mississippi Department of Corrections, Christopher Epps, and President-Elect of the American Correctional Association. "Such an achievement does not occur without hard work, training and dedication."
The accreditation program offered through the ACA Jail Accreditation Program is based on compliance of 355 applicable standards as a means to assist jails to become safer, more secure and to pro-actively protect themselves against liability.
The standards cover such areas as the jail's administrative operations, staff and management training, safety and security, inmate management, classification, discipline, records, food service, sanitation, physical facilities, health care and other inmate programs and services. To be accredited in the program, a jail must be in compliance with 100 percent of the mandatory standards and 95 percent of the non-mandatory standards.
The ACA auditors completed the three-day on-site inspection August 17th. The audit consisted of interviews with staff, observations of procedure and a thorough walk-thru inspection of the jail facility by the auditors. The purpose of the inspection is to verify the jail is actually doing what it says it is doing.
Accreditation is an ongoing process. Officials said the jail staff will continue to work to improve some areas identified during the inspection and accreditation process to maintain continual compliance to the standards and improve overall operations.