PCSO Jail Passes National Re-Accreditation Review
Florence, AZ – On February 6, 2016, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office became the first jail in the nation to undergo and successfully meet reaccreditation requirements through the National Institute for Jail Operations.
Pinal County Detention Center was among the first in the United States to achieve NIJO Accreditation. Continuing that same operational level of accreditation for the entire three year cycle is challenging and demands focus and attention. PCSO support and commitment to operating the facility within compliance requirements of the legal based guidelines has enhanced the facilities operation, increased professionalism and proactively served to protect against liability and other risk management issues.
While conducting the re-accreditation, NIJO inspectors found that the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office accreditation team initiated steps to bring their processes in the review at a higher level. Those steps included attaching proofs over and about the requirements in the pre-inspection process such as attaching training outlines and not just rosters. The training material was reviewed and found to be in compliance to the guidelines and clearly documented what the training covered.
Historical statistics show counties that actively participate with the NIJO Legal-Based Jail Guidelines accompanied with the inspection or accreditation program account for 28% – 33% of jail liability losses, compared to the national average of 71%, a significant decrease and savings for those participating counties.
“To stay ahead of the curve, we need to know and comply with current laws governing our jails, proactively finding and resolving potential problems instead of reacting to incidents and litigation as they are filed” stated Tate McCotter, NIJO Executive Director. “Accreditation benefits the jail staff, the inmates and the entire public. For most counties, the jail is the largest liability in county government and the process itself becomes a significant risk management and liability defense.”
The National Institute for Jail Operations (NIJO) was formed as the primary resource dedicated to serve those that operate jails, detention and correctional facilities. Recognizing the enormous liability an increasing litigation facing administrators, NIJO provides a compilation of legal-based resources and information for agencies to make facilities safer and more secure, proactively defend against frivolous litigation and protect against adverse publicity and liability.