Smyrna's Vaughn Correctional Center receives recommendation for accreditation

Delaware State News
Posted 11/23/21

SMYRNA — This month James T. Vaughn Correctional Center completed its first audit through the American Correctional Association.

The ACA is a private, nonprofit, trade association and …

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Smyrna's Vaughn Correctional Center receives recommendation for accreditation

Posted

SMYRNA — This month James T. Vaughn Correctional Center completed its first audit through the American Correctional Association.

The ACA is a private, nonprofit, trade association and accrediting body for the corrections industry. Over three days, a team of auditors from ACA conducted a comprehensive inspection of Delaware’s largest correctional facility, reviewed files and interviewed staff and inmates about facility conditions and operations.

To achieve ACA accreditation adult correctional facilities are required to be found compliant with 100% of 64 mandatory standards and 90% of more of 509 non-mandatory standards established by the ACA. These standards represent fundamental correctional practices that:

• ensure staff and inmate safety and security

• enhance staff morale

• improve record maintenance and data management capabilities

• assist in protecting the agency against litigation, and

• improve the function of the facility at all levels

JTVCC was found to be compliant with 100% of applicable mandatory standards and 99.5% of applicable non-mandatory standards. This is the highest score achieved by any Level 5 prison facility in Delaware to-date.

“Achieving ACA accreditation demonstrates that our DOC facilities and programs are employing the very best nationally recognized correctional practices,” Department of Correction Commissioner Monroe B. Hudson Jr. said.

“Preparing for an ACA audit takes a whole team effort from bureau leadership to the warden and to every officer, administrative professional, and healthcare worker and a willingness to place ourselves under intense scrutiny by outside corrections experts. ...”

During the Audit Committee close-out briefing Audit Committee Chairman Bruce Denny from Holt, Michigan complimented the facility for earning its high score.

“I can’t begin to tell you just how impressed I am with the staff and what you have accomplished here,” Mr. Holt said.

Audit Committee Member Steve Klein from Raiford, Florida said he was “blown away” by the cleanliness of the medical areas and the detailed inventories maintained in the medical areas and Delaware Correctional industry shops. Audit Committee Member Donnis Chatman-Harris from Tutwiler, Mississippi was complimentary of the orderly operations in the kitchen, maintenance areas, and housing units.

As a result of its audit of JTVCC the ACA Audit Committee is recommending its accreditation by the ACA Commission on Accreditation for Corrections. The Commission on Accreditation for Corrections is solely responsible for rendering accreditation decisions. Representatives from the Delaware Department of Correction will appear before the commission at the ACA Summer Conference in August 2022 for the final vote on JTVCC accreditation.

With the completion of this audit every Delaware Department of Correction facility has received ACA accreditation.

Opened in 1971, JTVCC, is the state’s largest prison facility, with a capacity of 2,600 beds. It houses its all-male population in minimum, medium, and maximum security units. JTVCC offers several programs designed to support rehabilitation including educational opportunities, vocational training, work assignments, spiritual/religious programs and a variety of other classes and programming.