CCNO recommended for reaccreditation

The Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio near Stryker received the highest recommendations for accreditation by auditors of the American Correction Association (ACA) on Wednesday following a recent three-day intense audit.

CCNO Executive Director Jim Dennis said the three auditors reviewed numerous files and talked to various staff and inmates during the process. He said the ACA audit is a challenge that requires various files and the facility to reflect the highest standards.

He added that it makes CCNO better, and allows staff to move forward despite dealing with tough times the past two years. He said this included Toledo pulling out of the regional jail.

Lead Auditor Bill Davis, a retired prison warden who has worked in a state corrections department and private prisons, said CCNO is a clean facility, and that staff should be proud of where they work. He noted that staff was extremely cooperative during the special audit.

Auditor Julie Salmi, who recently retired from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, said she has been in a lot of detention facilities, and described CCNO as one of the most impressive with its cleanliness and dedicated staff.

Auditor Phillip Brown, a retired Army veteran and retired from a state department of corrections, praised the medical department at CCNO for doing an exemplary meeting mandatory standards. He said it was obvious to him that team work began at the executive director’s office and flowed downward, adding “It’s a terrific facility, and very clean.”

Williams County Sheriff Steve Towns said corrections is mostly an under-appreciated part of law enforcement, and had high praise for the CCNO staff for earning 100 percent accreditation for a third time. This will be CCNO’s fifth ACA accreditation.

The facility was the first regional jail and the fourth jail overall in the State of Ohio to gain ACA accreditation in April 2005. It was reaccredited in 2008, and received 100 percent on non-mandatory standards in 2011, 2014, and again during the most recent audit. An audit is conducted every three years to maintain accreditation.

During the 2017 audit, CCNO complied with 100 percent of 60 mandatory standards. Of the 323 non-mandatory standards also reviewed, 24 did not apply to CCNO. The facility met the remaining 299 non-mandatory standards, again achieving 100 percent compliance.

Final reaccredidation rests with the ACA Commission that will meet later in August to confirm the findings of the audit team.

ACA accredits more than 1,500 prisons, jails, community residential centers (halfway houses) and various other corrections facilities in the U.S. according to their independently published standards manuals.