WARREN, Maine — Last week both the Maine State Prison and the Bolduc Correctional Facility received a score of 100 percent compliance with all mandatory and non-mandatory standards set forth by the American Correctional Association. In order for a facility to pass the accreditation process, it must pass all mandatory standards.
The Maine State Prison houses medium- and maximum-security male prisoners and has a population of approximately 850 prisoners; the Bolduc Correctional Facility houses minimum security males and holds approximately 200 prisoners. The Bolduc Correctional facility needed to adhere to 236 standards, 33 of which are mandatory and 203 non-mandatory. The Maine State Prison needed to adhere to 506 standards, 59 of which are mandatory and 447 non-mandatory, in order to achieve a score of 100 percent.
In 1996 the ACA Standards committee established guidelines for performance-based professional standards that reflect correctional practices throughout the United States. According to the ACA Performance-based Standards for Adult Community and Residential Services (2001), accreditation involves about 80 percent of all state departments of corrections and youth services as active participants. Benefits include improved management, the demonstration of a “good faith” effort to improve conditions of confinement, increased accountability, safer environments for staff and prisoners and the establishment of measurable criteria.
In Maine, four out of six adult facilities are accredited and both juvenile facilities are accredited. It is the Maine Department of Corrections goal to demonstrate excellence thorough the use of performance-based standards.