News: Edinburgh Correctional Facility to Stay at Camp Atterbury
Story by Sgt. William Hill
CAMP ATTERBURY JOINT MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER, Ind. – The Edinburgh Correctional Facility located within Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center, Ind., has passed an audit Aug. 5 with 100 percent compliance on the mandatory standards and 98.9 percent on the non-mandatory standards set by the American Correctional Association.
The independent audit team recommended the Edinburgh Correctional Facility for re-accreditation after they spent two-and-half days reviewing policies and procedures, touring the facility, observing work crews in action and interviewing staff and offenders on day-to-day operations.
Pam Eckler, a standards and accreditation specialist for ACA said, ACA audited approximately 1,600 facilities nation-wide.
Barbara Skeen, an auditor for ACA said there are 61 mandatory standards that must be met including, fire safety, control of infectious diseases, control of chemicals, access to health care and a number of other vital issues. There are an additional 470 non-mandatory standards which have to do with physical facility issues, inmate rights, employment practices and management of the facility.
“As an auditor, I zero in on the mandatory standards” said Skeen. “Are tools accounted for correctly? Is there good emergency care provided for inmates? Are there no fire hazards? Are fire drills being done according to standards? I also look for quality of life issues. Is the facility clean? Is good food being served? Are the inmates clean and dressed appropriately for the weather and are the inmates being given an opportunity for meaningful employment?
“We thought the facility was very clean and run very well,” she said.
Donnie Emerson, public information officer for Edinburgh Correctional Facility said he and his staff were very proud of the results.
“Every person is a valuable asset and every person does a great job here,” said Emerson. “We didn’t really do anything differently, other than doing what we normally do, taking care of business. It is part of our correctional best practices in which we do every day.”
Edinburgh Correctional Facility is a minimum-security work-release center, home to 320 adult males, he said. It is also one of eight facilities located on a military installation in the country which gives offenders opportunity to learn unique job skills.
“We have a great partnership with the Indiana National Guard and we are proud to be part of it,” said Emerson. “We could not do it without the support of Col. Townsend and the base.
“The soldiers are good mentors and they teach [offenders] job skills that are important tools for these guys as they get ready to re-enter society,” he said.
Michele Kiefer, the Edinburgh Correctional Facility unit manager and classification supervisor said, by-and-large, the population looks forward to going and working on these crews. “They want the opportunity to learn skills, have interactions with soldiers who are demonstrating a different kind of role model than perhaps they never had before.
“Typically we have guys here who have a history of substance abuse, lost their jobs and lost the ability to have gainful employment at home,” said Kiefer. “The skills they are learning here help them literally build a resume that they can take and contribute to their communities when they are released.”
Commissioner Edwin G. Buss for Indiana Department of Correction said in a press release, “I can not begin to express how proud I am of the staff at the Edingburgh Correctional Facility for this great achievement. Every day, facility staff performs a great service to the citizens of Indiana with the utmost professionalism and dedication. This was evident by this display of achievement.”
The Edinburgh Correctional Facility is scheduled for the re-accreditation process in January 2011.