Prison receives perfect score

By Erika Pedroza | Published Wednesday, October 12, 2011

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Bridgeport Correctional Center satisfied all 547 standards outlined by the American Correctional Association, earning a perfect score and accreditation last month.

Of all the standards – which range from chemical management, tool control, security issues, mandated programs and recreation – 67 are mandatory.

“If you fail those, then it’s over,” Warden David McComis said. “But we received 100 percent on mandatory and non-mandatory standards.

“If you pass ACA (standards), then you’ve done a really good job. But if you pass with a perfect score, that’s just excellent,” he said.

For several months, staff collected documentation adhering to accreditation requirements.

After submitting the files, an ACA chairman and two auditors visited the facility for four days (Sept. 24-28) for 15 to 16 hours a day.

“They came on all shifts – day and night and sifted through everything,” McComis said. “It’s a really extensive process.”

At the end of the audit Wednesday, staff was notified of their accomplishment.

“For all the work that went into it, it’s a lot to be proud of,” McComis said. “I’m proud of what we do. This solidifies it. It proves our credibility in black and white.”

The facility will be required to submit annual certification statements to the ACA to confirm compliance, and reaccreditation takes place every three years.

Facility representatives will attend an ACA convention in Phoenix at the beginning of next year to receive their plaque.

Opened in August 1989, the correctional center accepts minimum and medium security offenders from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice within two years of parole eligibility.

As an educational and rehabilitative institution, the facility concentrates on basic education and pre-employment training. Life skills, vocational training and counseling programs are also available.

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