American Correctional Association auditors have recommended accreditation be awarded to the Rutherford Correctional Center, another step toward full accreditation of the North Carolina prison system. Rutherford Correctional Center is the 21st NC Department of Adult Correction location recommended for accreditation.
“This accreditation is the gold standard in corrections, and shows the prison is operated at a high level with nationally-recognized standards,” said NCDAC Audit Administrator Paula Page, whose team of professionals assist and guide the facilities in preparing for ACA accreditation. “I am pleased the ACA auditors have recognized our commitment to excellence and the dedication of the staff.”
The ACA standards are the national benchmark for the effective operation of correctional facilities throughout the United States.
ACA auditors said the prison, located in Spindale, scored 100 percent on the audit for mandatory standards and a remarkable 99.5 percent on non-mandatory standards during their intensive inspections, Oct. 23-25.
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.
“Our staff is extremely dedicated to achieving excellence,” said Warden Larry Godwin. “I am thankful for our employees who met the audit team’s high standards and to many other NCDAC staff who helped us prepare.”
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.
The Department of Adult Correction is pursuing accreditation for all prison facilities and Correction Enterprises operations, as envisioned in the NCDAC Strategic Plan.