PRC jail receives second accreditation
Published 7:00 am Saturday, February 21, 2015
On Feb. 7, Pearl River County Sheriff David Allison and Pearl River County Jail Administrator Maj. Julie Flowers traveled to California to accept the jail’s second accreditation from the American Corrections Association at the 2015 Winter Conference.
In 2012, the Pearl River County Jail became the first in the state to become accredited, Flowers said.
“ACA’s purpose is to encourage jail staff professionalism and training,” Flowers said. “Every three years our jail is reviewed by the auditors for accreditation.”
There are 60 mandatory standards, of which the jail passed all Flowers said. Missing one means failing accreditation.
There are 298 non-mandatory standards of which the PRC jail only missed one, which has been corrected, Flowers said. The jail’s overall score was 99.7 percent.
“The auditors comb through every aspect of the jail including security, environmental control, food, sanitation, fire, medical, recreation, religious and academic and social services,” Flowers said. “They ensure that we at our facility are holding to the proper standards for the inmates. It’s a great accomplishment and took a lot of hard work from our staff.”
Sheriff Allison said he is “tickled to death” about the second accreditation.
“I would like to thank my staff for all the hard work they put in throughout the year to maintain accreditation,” Allison said. “It’s a great score, about as close to 100 as you can get.”
Allison said the accreditation ensures that the jail is operating in a safe manner for staff, making sure inmates don’t escape and that the jail provides safe conditions for inmates.
Accreditation also provides cost savings, Allison said.
“The auditors point out wasteful spending,” Allison said, “and show us how to operate as safely and efficiently as we can to save money.”
After the first accreditation, Allison said a drug and alcohol program was implemented at the facility.
Seventy-five state inmates are housed at the jail who receive the treatment, Allison said. The state pays a daily fee for their housing.
After the costs of teachers and literature, Allison said the program nets about $500,000 for the county’s general fund.
Also, the number of lawsuits by inmates filed has decreased to zero since the first accreditation, Allison said, which saves the taxpayers money in the defense of lawsuits.