With a population that would rival any small city, the DeSoto County Adult Detention Center has worked diligently during the past year to achieve one of the top accreditations of its kind in the nation.
DeSoto County Adult Detention Center Administrator Chad Wicker said the facility and administration is now accredited with the American Correctional Association.
"We are now among 28 other jails in the United States to achieve this accreditation," Wicker said. "We became the 29th to become core accredited. There are 5,000 jails in the country and only 29 who have these high standards."
Wicker said an accreditation team was assembled among the Adult Detention Center staff to achieve the accreditation with the ACA.
"Sheriff Bill Rasco, when he hired me, wanted to make our facility among the best jails in the country," Wicker said. "We are the cream of the crop. The staff has worked for more than a year to build up to this accreditation. They sat down with our files and they went throughout the facility from top to bottom to see the protocol and proper procedures that we needed to have in place."
Wicker said the DeSoto County Adult Detention Center installed all digital mail for inmates and created a jail library with reading material and other printed content.
Inmates also have access to an online law library.
Wicker said prisons across America have more than 800 standards to uphold, while adult detention facilities need to achieve a total of 153 in order to receive the accreditation.
Wicker said qualitative points with regard to ensuring personal hygiene standards and other standards for inmate care are among criteria addressed in the process.
"We want to thank our staff for all of their hard work," Wicker said. "It's something that DeSoto County can be proud to have achieved."
Robert Lee Long is Community Editor for the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at email@example.com or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.