Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

Remarks by Commissioner Brian Fischer
Eastern Correctional Facility 30th Anniversary Accreditation Ceremony
June 8, 2012

Let me first thank the staff of Eastern for putting together this well deserved celebration and by reminding us all of the importance of accreditation.

Beginning in 1982, with Eastern Correctional Facility, this agency committed itself to be fully accredited.

That process has led us to see 73 initial successful accreditation audits including our Central Office, the Training Academy, the Board of Parole and the division of Community Supervision.

It also means that we have been through no less than 428 successful reaccreditation audits over the years. As we all know, accreditation is a process, not an event, and the process that led this agency to be fully accredited did not occur overnight. It took time and solid leadership by many people.

While Eastern was the first, only five more facilities were accredited between 1982 and 1986. After that we seemed have gotten the message and the process down. Ten facilities were accredited in 1990, another twenty-four between 1992 and 1998 and then nineteen additional facilities between 1998 and 1999.

Just think about all the people who worked on each facility's accreditation. Over the years, we're talking about thousands of staff members who got involved and had the opportunity to show off their institutions or divisions. The accreditation process shows us at our best - who we are, what we do and that we do it very well.

Accreditation is a people process. While we compile all sorts of documents to verify our efforts, it is the efforts of staff every day that we're really verifying. Accreditation is a statement of staff achievement.

I think we can all be proud of our accomplishments.

Having said that, I think our honored guest, former Commissioner Philip Coombe, Jr. should be the proudest. He was not only the first to get a prison accredited, but he was the catalyst and often times the driving force that propelled this agency ahead in the field of accreditation.