Allegheny County Jail Receives National Accreditation

PITTSBURGH – Warden Orlando Harper today announced that the Allegheny County Jail has received national accreditation from the American Correctional Association (ACA).

The organization’s audit of the jail was conducted in November. In its review, it found that the facility met 100% of the 62 mandatory standards and 98.6% of the 323 non-mandatory standards.

“I’m extremely proud of our staff and the work that was put into preparing for this accreditation,” said Harper. “The Allegheny County Jail is only one of two county jails in Pennsylvania that has received this national accreditation. We received a 99.3% score overall, and are very proud of those efforts.”

The American Correctional Association has published operational standards designed to enhance correctional practices for the benefit of inmates, staff, administrators, and the public. The standards have been integrated into routine operations in more than 1,300 facilities and agencies. The standards interface with all aspects of operations, and the audit focused on specific areas, including safety, security, inmate discipline, food service, medical and mental health care, inmate programs, inmate rights, and administration and management. The ACA team noted during their tour that they were impressed with the cleanliness of the facility and how well-maintained it was.

“Accreditation is an important part of our improvements at the county jail over the past few years,” said William D. McKain CPA, County Manager. “The receipt of this accreditation from the ACA reflects that the jail meets national standards of quality and underscores that we are going in the right direction and following proper, and industry-standard, procedures and practices in the facility. I congratulate everyone at the jail who was involved with this audit and process for their hard work and diligence.”

During the three-day audit tour, the team went throughout the entire facility to ensure that jail practices were consistent with procedures. The team spoke with 50 inmates, who were randomly chosen, and reported that those individuals felt safe within their institutional environment and services were available upon request. The team also interviewed 65 staff members, sworn and civilian, who were noted as knowledgeable about their jobs and eager to discuss their responsibilities and job assignments.