SHOUT OUT: The Bergen County Jail fully complies with a strict series of standards set forth by the New Jersey Department of Corrections, Sheriff Michael Saudino announced this afternoon. It’s no small feat.
Since his first day on the job, Saudino has done nothing but praise the members of his office for their professionalism and dedication.
Getting the seal of approval from the state DOC — after the BCJ has already won national recognition for excellence in operation — underscores what the sheriff has been saying.
A four-day inspection in September found the jail satisfying 622 requirements outlined in NJ Administrative Code 0A:31, the “Manual of Standards for New Jersey Adult County Correctional Facilities.”
“This is an excellent day for the men and women who tirelessly work at making the Bergen County Jail a safe and efficient facility,” Saudino said. “This achievement signifies that this administration is fulfilling its commitment to the taxpayers to run a first-rate facility consistent with the core functions of the Sheriff’s Office.”
The DOC standards include:
- planning and design, personnel, training and staff development; management of information systems and inmate records;
- emergency procedures, security and control, use and control of security equipment;
- food service, sanitation, inmate clothing and hygienic living conditions;
- medical, dental and health services;
- inmate rights, access to courts, disciplinary procedures;
- protective custody, mail, visits, admission, search;
- orientation, property control and release;
- classification, remission of time from sentence;
- inmate work programs, inmate services, volunteer programs;
- fiscal management.
When it comes to correctional facilities here and nationwide, such honors aren’t window dressing. Compliance reviews help identify a facility’s strengths and weaknesses, provide a better system of documentation and daily operations, and, in the process, help keep morale up.
It also helps keep liability down.
Saudino is particularly proud considering the budget cuts that he’s had to be make over the years amid ongoing discussions involving consolidating county law enforcement services in Bergen.
The 1,250-bed jail not only hold defendants awaiting trial. It also holds short-timers — those sentenced to 364 days or fewer — in either a minimum, medium or maximum security environment, as well as federal immigration detainees.
Although Saudino is honored by the positive attention, he said it “is also a call to keep working hard to maintain the Bergen County Jail’s high standards and reputation.”
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.