ACSO announces new accreditation

(ACSO) Sheriff Russell Barker announced Wednesday, December 14 that the Anderson County Detention Facility (County Jail) has attained a new accreditation through the Tennessee Corrections Institute that will decrease inmate recidivism and increase state funding to the jail.

In April of 2022, TCI announced the new accreditation opportunity to all jails across the state. The accreditation titled “Tier 1” required jails to adopt new policies and procedures or in some cases update existing ones, to improve rehabilitation and reintegration efforts of the jail’s inmates. These new Tier 1 requirements included inmate programs such as Adult Education, Moral Recognation Therapy, and employment skills. A second accreditation titled “Tier 2” increased those requirements. The programs have proven across the country to reduce offenders from returning to jail. Facilities who obtained these accreditations would then be eligible for an increase in funding from the Tennessee Department of Corrections for state inmates housed in the county jail.

The Anderson County Jail immediately began efforts to obtain both accreditations. From June of 2022 until December of 2022 the jail’s staff spent tireless hours to ensure all policies were updated, all required inmate programs were implemented (many were already), and appropriate personnel were assigned to supervise each new assignment that was required.

“We wanted to obtain this new accreditation for the benefit of the community not only for the financial increase it brings,” said Sheriff Barker. “A substantial number of inmates who are incarcerated in our jail do not have a high school education or any job skills. This accreditation will give us more resources to help with that and we hope this will reduce our repeat offenders from returning.” he added. Sheriff Barker also thanked each person and department who worked with us on this major project:

All the staff at the Anderson County Detention Facility

Mayor Terry Frank and the entire Anderson County Commission

Director Will Wall and the Tennessee Corrections Institute

The Tennessee Department of Corrections

Ridgeview

The Anderson County Family Justice Center

East Tennessee Human Resources Agency’s Work Force Development

Jim Hart and the County Technical Assistance Services

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