HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - It has taken attention to detail by every staff member at the Hancock County Jail for a year and a half to qualify for accreditation. Friday, the staff found out their hard work paid off and the jail received accreditation.
American Correctional Association Consultant Mary Earley said, "In order to be in compliance with the best practice standards, it's a lot of extra work. It makes the facility a much safer and cleaner place."
Not only did the jail become accredited, but the staff received a perfect score. That's something Earley said is extremely rare, especially on the first audit.
"They have a lot to be proud of," Earley said. "I left them with a challenge of improving their score in a little different way, by bringing the best practice to the American Correctional Association and setting new benchmarks here we can follow across the country."
Warden Evan Hubbard said, "It was rigorous. A lot of work was involved having people do things they think doesn't matter and now they see those things pay off and it does matter."
Being accredited is not just about boosting the moral of the staff. It's also beneficial for the inmates and residents of Hancock County.
"It lends you creditability," Sheriff Ricky Adam explained. "If lawsuits were to come about, you have standards you follow. Also now we can maybe obtain federal prisoners to help repay the debt. So we are real excited about the future of the jail."
Every three years, the jail must be re-accredited. However, the ACA expects the jail staff to comply with the high standards every day.