Justice and Public Safety Cabinet
Kentucky Division of Probation and Parole Receives Accreditation Recommendation
Frankfort, KY – For the first time in the history of Kentucky Corrections, the Division of Probation and Parole will be an accredited part of the organization, just as the prisons in this state have been since the early 1980s.
The Division completed the nearly 18-month-long process today and auditors scored the agency 100 percent on the mandatory standard requirements and 96.8 percent on the non-mandatory requirements of the American Correctional Association (ACA).
The certificate of accreditation will be presented at the ACA Winter Conference in January 2007.
The auditors visited 12 probation and parole offices across the Commonwealth, some in each region of the state. The auditors talked to probation and parole officers regarding supervision procedures and how they are actually carried out in the field, gauging the knowledge of operating procedures division-wide. One aspect of the audit was to ensure officers are focused on rehabilitation of offenders as well as community safety.
“This is a monumental occasion for this Department,” said Corrections Commissioner John D. Rees. “There were some naysayers that didn’t think we could accomplish this, especially within the goal time frame, but I never had any doubt that it could be done with the caliber of staff that we have throughout the Division. It took a total team effort: clerical support, officer, supervisor, and director and the hard work paid off.”
ACA auditors said Kentucky’s Division of Probation and Parole had received “an ‘A’ by anyone’s grading scale” in their first attempt at accreditation.
“This is a very good agency, a very good one,” said ACA auditor Michael D. Wynne. “Kentucky is a difficult state for officers to cover, too. We went into offices that covered three zip codes and one office that had seven counties to cover. You go from one office where everybody has a cell phone to do their work to another where you might as well leave it at home because they don’t work anywhere. You have done excellent work in applying consistency throughout this agency.”
The probation and parole accreditation audit is a multi-faceted examination of every aspect within the Division. It consists of over 220 national standards that cover security, procedures, training, and record-keeping regarding offenders. The audit process requires constant monitoring and quality control checks. The Division will be audited by ACA every three years and will undergo an inter-departmental audit (Program Security Review) every year.
Kentucky has been a member of ACA since the early 1980s when the state prisons first started the accreditation process.
Rees also said, “Kentucky’s commitment to the accreditation process and ACA is unyielding. We believe it is the way to operate and view it as a management tool,” said Rees. “It is a way of doing business in Kentucky – we get ready, we then stay ready and that keeps us on our toes and makes us better at what we do in the field of Corrections.”