Not many jails have their inmates brag on the services provided or the staff at the jail during their conviction, but the Carroll Montgomery Regional Correctional Facility does.
Warden Brandon Smith and staff run the jail like a well-oiled machine, according to the American Correctional Accreditation agrees so much so, that they’ve been recommended for accreditation by members of the American Correctional Accreditation.
Katherine Brown, Michael Radon, and Barbara Hladki with ACA held a meeting last Wednesday for the members of the Carroll County Board of Supervisors, Sheriff Clint Walker, Smith, and staff to give them the results of the jail’s audit.
Brown said it’s rare that they brag on a facility and said Carroll Montgomery was one of the nicest facilities they’ve audited.
“Everyone here is very pleasant,” she said. “But they get the job done and have made the audit enjoyable.”
She said there were a list of 62 mandatory items on the audit – with eight not applying—that Carroll Montgomery had to meet, and they were 100 percent in compliance. Brown also said there were 463 non-compliance items on the audit – with 63 not applying – and Carroll-Montgomery met all of those standards, too.
She said they spoke with staff and offenders about the services provided at the jail.
“They really bragged on the medical and food service,” she said. “The offenders said if they get sick and they put in a sick call at 4 a.m. they’re usually seen by 8 a.m. or the next day. It’s the same with the food service.”
She said when she spoke with Smith, he had all of his documents in order and ready to be handed over when asked. Brown said most people use computers, but Smith still does things by hands, telling her that his system works for him.
Brown said she spoke with one offender in the commissary who said they mostly sell ramen noodles, which Brown said was common, but the offender told her it isn’t needed.
“He patted his belly and said ‘I didn’t weigh this much when I came in here,’ and that speaks volumes,” she said. Brown said that leadership was also praised and many spoke highly of Lt. Henry Purnell and nurse LaMonica Murphy.
Brown said she’s impressed with how well the facility has been maintained.
“It’s been a true pleasure touring this facility,” Brown said. “It’s one of the nicer ones that we’ve been to.”
“I don’t see how [Murphy] does it,” Hladki Said. “She doesn’t treat them like your inmates, she treats them like her patients.”
She said she asked offenders questions of how long it takes for treatment and was fascinated with the time.
“They said they’re seen within the first 30 minutes after making the sick call or maybe the next day,” she said. “And that’s amazing.”
Hladki also complimented the teacher who comes to the facility and Carroll Montgomery’s library as well, stating that they had things to read.
Radon said when he speaks with offenders they ask questions like “How are you doing? What do you want?” He said many offenders take the opportunity to speak to them.
“We don’t just look to see how the staff does,” Radon said. “We listen to the sounds, watch the eye contact being made, we’re smelling for paint, the offenders talk to us. They tell us if their needs have not been met.”
He complimented the staff on how dorms were kept up, saying the staff knows what’s going on. He said he asked about gangs and was told there were some in Carroll Montgomery, but was told by offenders they feel safe in the facility.
“They understood clearly why they were there,” Radon said of the offenders. He also said staff moved offenders from holding to mass population in the allotted time frame.
“You earned this, we didn’t give you anything,” Brown told those in attendance. She said now officials have to go to Boston to receive confirmation of the accreditation.
She said Carroll Montgomery has a small population and not much of a budget but have worked well with that they have been given.
“We can’t award you all the accreditation, we can only recommend you for it,” Brown said.
Walker gave credit for the facility’s 100 percent compliance to God first, adding that a local preacher comes and holds Bible study at the facility.
“I can see the change in them (offenders) from when they first came in,” Walker said.
He said it’s been a long three-and-a-half years and to get to where they are now, and it is all because of the Good Lord. He said the hard work that Smith and his staff put in everyday is showing on paper.
Supervisors Rickie Corley, Terry Brown and Claude Fluker also applauded Smith and his staff on a job well done, adding that they’ve heard nothing but good things about the facility.
“You all are doing a good job and we appreciate it,” Fluker said.