Congratulations to Pennsylvania Correctional Industries and Wernersville Community Corrections Center for being fully accredited by the American Correctional Association (ACA) following their panel hearings on Sept. 9. Each scored 100 percent on their mandatory and non-mandatory standards during the compliance audits which occurred in February 2020.
Facility representatives participated in their ACA panel hearings via Microsoft teams and responded to questions posed by a four panel member of commissioners. Commissioners are select, high-ranking DOC officials from across the country who ultimately determine whether a facility is awarded accreditation, for the first time, or reaccreditation.
Commissioners were overly complimentary about information contained in both Visiting Committee Reports (VCRs). They especially liked the photographs of murals at Wernersville and believe the facility's social services and reentry services are "top notch." The commissioners also spoke highly of PCI's report and noted the cleanliness of the sites toured by the auditors - SCI Huntingdon, SCI Mahanoy and SCI Frackville, and the "fantastic way to partner with the community" through laundry services provided to Veterans Administration facilities, jails and local hospitals.
Most remarkable is PCI's efforts and how they were instrumental in the state's efforts to mitigate COVID-19 as it made 750,000 face masks and 29,000 gowns for the DOC, county jails and other state agencies.
Also, as reported by Chief of Standards Audits and Accreditation Carole Mattis, PCI and Wernersville's were the first facilities to date to have compliance audits conducted in PowerDMS, an electronic file system. With only weeks between roll-out of the system and actual implementation, compliance managers successfully managed their pre-loaded Assessments by uploading secondary documentation, labeling it accordingly, and ensuring that auditors were able to conduct audits without incident in the system during their onsite visits.