Special to the Bulletin

The Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correctional Complex earned top marks after undergoing a mid-November audit to determine if it meets standards set by the American Correctional Associa-tion (ACA). Its standards represent the national benchmark for the effective operations of correctional systems in the United States, state officials said

The audit is a key step in earning accreditation from the ACA and the Commission on Accreditation for Corrections (CAC), state officials said.

“The results are simply amazing – as are all the staff involved in this tremendous achievement,” said TYC Executive Director Cherie Townsend. “Congratu-lations to all the staff, as well as UTMB (University of Texas Medical Branch which administers medical care for youth) employees, our volunteers and our youth.” 

Both units at the Ron Jackson Complex were reviewed. They were 100 percent in compliance with all mandatory standards and 99.7 percent in compliance with all non-mandatory standards. They only missed one out of 327 non-mandatory standards. The standards cover safety, security, justice and order, care, programs and services, and administration.

The next step in the process is that the Commission Visiting Committee that conducted the audit will complete its final report. TYC will have an opportunity to respond.

Then, the results will be considered by a CAC panel during an accreditation hearing in January 2010.

“Based on the closing comments of the Visiting Committee, I am hoping we will be recognizing the staff in January for achieving accreditation,” Townsend said.  

The Ron Jackson facility is home to TYC’s female offender treatment programming, as well as an accelerated re-entry program for male youth who have had their parole revoked.