Howard County Executive Calvin Ball today announced the County’s Department of Corrections is only the second local jurisdiction in the State to earn prestigious national accreditation from the American Correctional Association (ACA). After an extensive application and audit process, the County was awarded earlier this month the highest industry accreditation for the next three years based on practices, procedures and policies that uphold a host of mandatory and compliance standards for corrections facilities.
Our Corrections team is diligent and committed to the safety and well-being of our inmates and our staff. This peer review proves we are among the best, at not just supplying the basic levels of health care and meals and safety, but offering hope and opportunity for the future. Our detainees are treated with respect and provided programs to improve so they can be productive members of our community when released.
The rigorous accreditation process takes more than a year. A comprehensive application first documents adherence to strict standards for the operation of the facility and ensures that those every day practices are supported by the policies and procedures in place. A team of corrections professionals further audits the facility in-person to verify documentation, interview both staff and inmates, and observe day-to-day operations. The County will continue to submit annual reports to maintain its status and will undergo a review for renewal in 2026.
“We passed with flying colors on our first attempt. The auditors were impressed by the dedication and professionalism of our staff and the level of programming available to offenders,” said Corrections Director Margaret Chippendale. “My ultimate goal is to ensure offenders leave the Detention Center better than when they arrived and now we have credible validation that we are serving our inmate population well. My staff should be so proud of their efforts and their impact on the lives we touch.”
The American Correctional Association was originally founded in 1870 as the industry organization for corrections professionals. The ACA represents more than 1,300 correctional agencies internationally. It’s Commission on Accreditation for Corrections has worked to establish and ensure national standards through its accreditation process since 1974.