The Warren County Prison has achieved 100 percent compliance with a Pennsylvania Department of Corrections inspection, which means the facility is exempt from the normal one-year inspection cycle until 2014.
"Congratulations are in order as Warren County Prison has earned the 2012 Certificate of Compliance. Warden Gerald Britton and the Warren County Prison staff deserve credit for their efforts in operating this facility in accordance with statewide correctional standards. There are no deficiencies or citations to report," Shirley Moore Smeal, Department of Corrections executive deputy secretary said in a letter to Britton.
"Receiving this Certificate of Compliance is a distinction that is earned, not given, and staff has met or exceeded our expectations...As the Executive Deputy Secretary, I extend my congratulations and gratitude to all involved for their outstanding inspection results and a job well done," Smeal said.
DOC Director Kay Kishbaugh and Inspector Douglas Croley completed the inspection on June 13 for compliance with Title 37, Chapter 95 County Correctional Institutions, Administrative Standards, Regulations, and Facilities.
The inspection included a review of the policies and procedures of the staff, admission and release practices, demographics, bed capacity, and male and female population, Britton said.
A walk-through of the prison's kitchen and cell blocks was done as well as a review of the maintenance and medical records.
"I wish to publicly state on behalf of the Warren County Prison Board our appreciation to administrative staff, the other staff involved and the other correctional officers involved for the fine work over at the jail. We've come a long way and certainly made some significant improvements," said John Bortz, Warren County commissioner and chairman of the Warren County Prison Board. "While you don't always work for acknowledgement, when that acknowledgment is given with this award, this is certainly nice to see and lets you know your certainly on the right path."
"The staff here is incredible, they really do a fine job for us," Britton said. "The credit goes to them. If they're not committed to their job, the purpose behind that job is chaotic."
Britton said Bortz was "certainly instrumental in pulling the medical program together" which has reduced costs at the prison through a "cooperative effort between mental health providers."
He also noted the prison received a 100 percent rating on the essential regulations such as medical care and records and non-essential regulations not required by law.
"It takes cooperation; it's a pretty complex operation," Britton said. "They do a tremendous job."
Britton attributed part of the success at the prison programs from opportunities within the community such as the ministry program and exercise programs, and life experience programs that allow "somebody that can relate a story that might inspire them in some way."