August 14, 2008

Audit finds jail in compliance with federal rules, regulations

Staff Reports August 14, 2008

FLORENCE - The Pinal County jail is in compliance with Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Custom Enforcement Division rules after an audit was completed Aug. 7, according to Vanessa White, a spokesperson for the Pinal County Sheriff's Office.
A team of five auditors from Creative Corrections in Beaumont, Texas, under contract with the Department of Homeland Security, arrived at the jail Aug. 5 to assess the detention facility's compliance with the federal guidelines contained in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Detention Operations Manual.

The manual contains 38 separate standards encompassing 646 performance measures. Each of the five auditors is an expert within their respective field, most being retired Federal Bureau of Prison, state department of corrections wardens or jail commanders with years of correctional experience.

The team spent 2.5 days examining the jail's operations, including administration, security, food service, medical, sanitation and transportation.

During the exit briefing, Michael Ciolli, a member of the team, praised the detention staff for its professionalism, appearance and dedication and for the jail cleanliness. Ciolli said it was apparent the staff takes pride in the jail and themselves.

"I am extremely proud of the job our detention staff does on a daily basis and expect they will continue to set an example of excellence for all detention facilities within the state of Arizona," Adult Detention Chief Deputy Terry Altman said.

Although the audit team does not provide a rating, its report is provided to DHS headquarters, where it is reviewed and a final rating assigned. Ciolli said that he found no areas in which the jail was noncompliant.

The audit is an annual requirement for agencies that house immigration detainees under contract with the Department of Homeland Security. This is the second such audit completed since the county began housing ICE detainees in December 2006.

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