Barnstable County jail wins national accredidation

Barnstable County Sheriff Jim Cummings, second from left, poses with audit team from American Correctional Association following closeout meeting on Friday.  The 100%-compliance audit means a new certificate like the ones on the wall here, continuing the Bourne correctional facility’s accreditation through 2019.  Auditors, starting from left, include Brian Bivens, Ernest Umunna, and Delbert Longley.

Barnstable County Sheriff Jim Cummings, second from left, poses with audit team from American Correctional Association following closeout meeting on Friday. The 100%-compliance audit means a new certificate like the ones on the wall here, continuing the Bourne correctional facility’s accreditation through 2019. Auditors, starting from left, include Brian Bivens, Ernest Umunna, and Delbert Longley.

BOURNE –Sheriff James M. Cummings has learned that the correctional facility he oversees will be receiving a 100% rating from the American Correctional Association (ACA). That means renewal of accreditation for the Barnstable County Correctional Facility (BCCF), a designation first bestowed in 2010 and now assured of running continuously through at least 2019.

The perfect score includes compliance on all 60 applicable mandatory standards as well as 304that were non-mandatory. Three hundred sixty-four in all. A passing score requires compliance with all mandatory standards and at least 90% of the non-mandatories.

“The [BCCF] staff is exceptionally knowledgeable”’ said Delbert Longley, the ACA’s lead auditor, who spoke last Friday at the conclusion of a three-day inspection spent combing through all aspects of how the 12-year-old building operates. “The facility is extremely clean and well managed. Your staff [security, treatment, and maintenance] live it every day.”

Longley, who is the chief jail inspector for the state of Iowa when he’s not conducting ACA audits, called the inmate substance abuse program “one you should be very proud of,” proclaimed house Chaplain Dave Robbins “very impressive,” and called the reams of required paperwork and documentation “thorough and easy to read.”

Informed that an incoming recruit correction class will be starting up in January, Longley’s takeaway was simple: “From what I observed, I’m certain they’ll be properly trained.”

Ernest Umunna, who joined Longley on the three-man audit team, called the facility’s sanitation “unbelievable” and related the kind of conversation he’d never heard on prior ACA audits. According to Umunna, an inmate-cleaner told him, “See that floor. That’s my baby.”

Umunna has been auditing adult and juvenile detention facilities for the ACA for 17 years, inspections that have included small, medium, and maximum security facilities across the country. He has a masters degree in business, 26 years of experience in community corrections, and a successful consulting business of his own.

Brian Bivens, the third auditor, extolled the Sheriff’s leadership and praised his willingness “to think outside the box” in addressing issues that arise. “Whatever you do is working. We tried and tried [to come up with an inspection deficiency], but we couldn’t find anything.”

Bivens is deputy chief of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office in Tennessee and besides audits for the ACA conducts similar inspections for the U.S. Department of Justice, auditing facilities for compliance with the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act.

Longley lauded Sheriff Cummings for hiring good people and then instilling with “a sense of professionalism, courtesy — and most of all loyalty to you. We don’t always see that.”

The Sheriff closed the meeting by thanking auditors “for keeping us on our toes. If there’s a secret to all this, it’s getting very good people and allowing them to do their job.”

The security, treatment, and maintenance employees at BCCF comprise the lion’s share of the Sheriff’s 340-member workforce. The current inmate count is hovering around 365, meanwhile, and includes females as well as males and both sentenced and pre-trial offenders.

Media release and photo furnished by Barnstable Sheriff’s Office



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