American Correctional Association auditors have recommended accreditation be awarded to the Columbus Correctional Institution, a high achievement, and another step toward full accreditation of the North Carolina prison system.
“This accreditation is the gold standard in the corrections profession,” said Prisons’ audit administrator Paula Page, whose team of professionals assist and guide the facilities in preparing for ACA accreditation. “I am very happy the ACA auditors have recognized the hard work by our staff and our commitment to excellence.”
The ACA standards are the national benchmark for the effective operation of correctional systems throughout the United States.
ACA auditors said the prison, located in Whiteville, scored 100 percent on the audit for mandatory standards and a remarkable 99.3 percent on non-mandatory standards during their intensive inspections, Dec. 14-16.
These performance-based standards evaluate fundamental correctional practices that ensure staff and offender safety and security; enhance staff morale; improve record maintenance and data management capabilities; and improve the function of the facility.
As part of the accreditation process, the ACA auditors conducted visual inspections, reviewed policies and procedures and probed the work being done to ensure best practices are met at the prison.
Prisons leadership is pursuing accreditation for all prison facilities and Correction Enterprises operations, as envisioned in the strategic plan found here: https://files.nc.gov/ncdps/documents/files/Division-of-Prisons-Strategi…
“We have many hard-working professionals with decades of experience,” said Warden Jennifer Walsh. “Our prison is operated with a commitment to excellence. I’m grateful the ACA auditors recognized the dedication of our staff with these outstanding scores and I’m very thankful for the work done by the team who worked on preparing for this intensive and extensive audit.”