Auditors from the American Correctional Association recently gave high marks to several Louisiana state correctional facilities as they conducted a thorough review of personnel and procedures during the reaccreditation process, officials said Thursday.
According to officials, auditors praised the staff at these facilities for their professionalism and dedication.  ACA accreditation is a voluntary process, but one that is tremendously important to the overall safety of the public, correctional staff and offenders.
Louisiana is one of 24 fully accredited correctional systems in the country. The ACA requires reaccreditation every three years. Some of the things auditors look for include:
  • Written policy and procedures to establish a training and staff development program for all employees
  • Assessments that cover administration and management, the physical plant, institutional operations and services and inmate programs
  • Quality of life concerns such as adequacy of medical services, sanitation, use of segregation and detention, incidents of violence, crowding, offender activity levels and provisions of basic services that may impact the life, safety and health of offenders and staff
“Accreditation is a good indication of the high levels of public safety and professionalism in our institutions,” said Secretary James M. Le Blanc. “By meeting the high standards set by the ACA, the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections saves money on liability insurance costs and protects the state from certain lawsuits.”
The facilities listed below were recently audited. Each facility is graded on 525 standards, 62 of which are mandatory. Facilities must score 100 percent on mandatory standards and at least 90 percent on non-mandatory standards to earn reaccreditation.
Facility                                                       Mandatory Stds.       Non-Mandatory Stds.
Louisiana State Penitentiary                              100%                                    99.3%
David C. Knapps Training Academy (LSP)     100%                                  100%
Raymond Laborde Correctional Center          100%                                    99.3%
The reaccreditation process continues in January at the American Correctional Association’s winter conference in San Antonio, Texas. At that time, facility representatives will go before the Commission on Accreditation to defend the results of the audit. 
ACA audits are done every three years. Other Louisiana state prisons not audited during this cycle will be re-audited in future cycles.