In the corrections industry, maintaining high standards of operation is imperative to meeting the needs of the individuals in our care. That's why CoreCivic adheres to a stringent set of guidelines set forth by our own standards, as well as those of our government partners and the American Correctional Association (ACA).
Founded in 1870, the ACA is considered the national benchmark for the effective operation of correctional systems throughout the United States. To become accredited, a facility must achieve compliance with ACA mandatory standards and a minimum of 90 percent non-mandatory standards. CoreCivic facilities adhere to ACA standards, and in 2020, CoreCivic earned an average ACA audit score of 99.6 percent across all facilities.
Key ACA audit areas include facility personnel, resident reentry programs, resident safety, health care, and more.Recently, the ACA held in Nashville, Tennessee, its 151st Congress of Corrections, an annual convention that brings together corrections professionals from across the country. In addition to various workshops and events at the convention, the ACA Commission on Accreditation also held panel hearings to award accreditation to correctional facilities that meet the ACA's rigorous requirements. Listed below are the seven CoreCivic facilities that earned reaccreditation this year, with mandatory/non-mandatory scores:
Bent County Correctional Facility - 100/99.0
Citrus County Detention Facility - 100/100
Eloy Detention Center - 100/100
Lake Erie Correctional Institution - 100/99.3
Saguaro Correctional Center - 100/99.8
Stewart Detention Center - 100/100
Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility - 100/100
"The accreditation process is very important," said Warden Fred Figueroa from Eloy Detention Center, one of the seven CoreCivic facilities that was awarded reaccreditation. "ACA holds our facilities and staff to a high standard. To be able to represent our facility and receive reaccreditation in person is an honor."
Adhering to ACA standards is only one part of CoreCivic's commitment to robust oversight. When government partners utilize CoreCivic's services, we are held not only to our own high standards and those of the ACA, but we are often held to the same or higher accountability of our public counterparts through stringent government contracts, unfettered access to our facilities for our partners, and hundreds of on-site quality assurance monitors.
We provide access to our government partners, with most of our facilities having government agency employees known as contract monitors who are physically on-site to ensure we are operating in line with partner guidelines.
To maintain our own high standards, annual on-site audits covering all operational areas are administered to ensure compliance with contractual and regulatory obligations and corporate-mandated requirements. Each CoreCivic Safety facility is audited by our internal quality assurance division, which is independent from our operations division. Facilities are expected to be audit-ready year-round, maintaining continuous compliance with numerous applicable standards.
CoreCivic employs 75 staff members dedicated to quality assurance, including several subject matter experts with extensive experience from all major disciplines within our institutional operations.
"A lot of hard work goes into preparing for these audits," Figueroa said. "Once they're complete, the staff can see their accomplishments and feel proud."
Having multiple levels of oversight helps CoreCivic maintain a safe environment for those in our care. By holding ourselves accountable to our own high standards, along with our government partners' and ACA's standards, CoreCivic continues to be a trusted partner working to better the public good.