Swanson Center for Youth is Recommended for ACA Accreditation
Swanson Center for Youth will be recommended for accreditation by the American Correctional Association (ACA) after an exhaustive audit this week.
A team of ACA auditors found the facility to be in 100 percent compliance on 38 mandatory standards and 97.45 percent compliant on 329 non-mandatory standards. Staff must still appear before the ACA Commission on Accreditation for Corrections who will make the final award of reaccreditation at the annual conference in August. Accreditation is valid for three years. Swanson was last re-accredited in 2000, when it achieved 96.9 percent compliance.
The 38 mandatory and 329 non-mandatory standards cover all aspects of the facility, including treatment, safety, medical and mental health care, as well as environmental factors.
In announcing their findings to the staff, ACA auditors said they found the campus to be well kept and maintained, and youth said they are satisfied with the services. One of the auditors participated in the last ACA audit in 2000, and said the transition from a correctional model to a therapeutic environment is very apparent.
"I am very pleased with the auditors’ findings," Dr. Livers said. "The Swanson team has worked hard to make this singular achievement a reality. I am not surprised because I know that Director Carolyn Atkins and her team adhere to high standards and work every day to meet the mission. I am very proud of the staff and youth at Swanson and I want to congratulate you all on reaching this milestone."
DAS-Facilities Sean Hamilton said, "This accomplishment is nothing short of extraordinary. It is truly remarkable how far Swanson has come, through the efforts of the entire staff and the youth. Everyone got on board, and this is a validation that we are on the right track at Swanson. The bottom line is that we are doing what is right for the kids."
OJJ’s Community-Based Services (Probation and Parole) unit was recommended for re-accreditation by ACA last month, attaining 100 percent on all applicable standards. Central office was accredited in 2009. All three secure care facilities are also pursuing ACA accreditation.
Many thanks to OJJ’s ACA Accreditation Manager Angela Arabie, and Karen Hoyle, Swanson ACA Accreditation Manager, for their efforts in working with the Swanson team to achieve the successful audit.
ACA is the oldest and largest correctional association in the world, serving all disciplines within the profession and dedicated to excellence. ACA’s greatest strength is development of national standards and implementation of the accreditation process. Through accreditation, agencies are able to maintain a balance between protecting the public and providing an environment that safeguards the life, health and safety of staff and offenders. ACA standards reflect practical, up-to-date policies and procedures, and function as a management tool for over 1,500 correctional agencies throughout the nation.