Alexandria Detention Center Earns Corrections Re-accreditation

The Alexandria Sheriff’s Office has earned re-accreditation from the American Correctional Association (ACA) for its outstanding management of the City’s jail facility.  The American Correctional Association is an international organization that promotes correctional professionalism through development of performance standards for jails, prisons and other correctional facilities.

The Alexandria Detention Center, under direction of Sheriff Dana Lawhorne, faced a rigorous three-day audit inspection Oct. 25-29, 2010, by a three-member Visiting Committee that examined every aspect of the facility, located at 2001 Mill Road, Alexandria.  The ACA’s audit team’s visit to the Detention Center (ADC) was to critically assess facility operations to determine whether the ADC met performance-based standards for integrity, professionalism and inmate quality of life.  The audit process included an examination of inmate supervision and management, rehabilitative programs, fire and life safety practices and the overall quality of life.  The Detention Center received what was described by the auditors as “incredible results”– a 100 percent compliance with all mandatory standards and a 96.43 percent compliance with non-mandatory standards.

Accreditation Manager Marleen Venter managed the Sheriff’s Office’s audit preparations under the direction of Mondre’ Kornegay, Technical Services Commander, and Wendy Webb, Captain of Administrative Services.

Auditors for the ACA were Georgette S. Thornton, chairperson, and correctional consultant from Spokane, Wash., Gary Wilson, Division Chief, Denver (Colorado) Sheriff’s Office, and Allen Westmoreland, a correctional consultant from Palestine, Texas.

Presentation of ACA’s Certificate of Accreditation was made to Sheriff Lawhorne by ACA representatives Kathy B. Dennis, Director of Standard s and Accreditation and Terry Carter, Accreditation Specialist at the administrative offices of the Sheriff’s Office on February 15, 2011.

Visiting committee members extolled the success of the Detention Center in meeting its mandate to provide safe, humane and progressive correctional services.  Calling the Detention Center a model for other jail facilities, the members further praised the administration and each individual staff member for their professionalism, attention to detail and management of the inmate population.

Participation and preparation in the accreditation process is an on-going daily effort in every facet of correctional work, said Commander Kornegay.  The Alexandria Detention Center has successfully participated in the ACA’s accreditation program for 23 years.

Sheriff Lawhorne said, “This audit puts another stamp of approval on the work we perform and demonstrates to all that our operations are in keeping with the best practices of our profession.”

The Alexandria Sheriff’s Office is a highly professional organization with 219 Deputy Sheriffs and civilian personnel. The Office is also accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) and the National Commission on Correctional Health Care. The Office has been honored by the National Sheriff’s Association with the prestigious “Triple Crown Award” for achieving these national accreditations. The Office is also Virginia State certified by the Department of Criminal Justice Services.

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