Chesterton Tribune



Westville Correctional earns reaccreditation

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The Westville Correctional Facility (WCC) has been re-accredited for three years after review by the American Correctional Association (ACA) during their winter conference in Tampa, Fla., the Indiana Department of Correction (DOC) said on Monday.

The facility was initially accredited in 2005 and has been re-accredited every three-year cycle since then.

“Prior to this final approval, a team of three independent auditors spent three days at the facility last October,” DOC said. “They toured the grounds, reviewed policies, procedures and practices, observed staff, and interviewed offenders. Every operation and program was evaluated to determine whether compliance with applicable standards was evident based on documentation and observed practices. WCC was 100 percent compliant with 59 applicable mandatory standards and 98.6 percent compliant with 446 applicable non-mandatory standards.”

“It is evident that Westville performs outstanding business practices every day,” Audit Team Chair Michael Rucker said. “This is particularly significant in light of the size and complexity of the facility.”

WCC covers 180 acres of land, houses 3,300 inmates in five different sections ranging from minimum to maximum security, and employs 850.

“This is not something you can prepare for in a matter of just weeks or months,” WCC Superintendent Mark Levenhagen said. “It takes a concentrated effort to maintain a professional approach to our operations on a daily basis.”

“We are extremely pleased with the review by the American Correctional Association,” DOC Commissioner Bruce Lemmon said. “Indiana can be proud that it is one of the few states where every Department of Correction Facility is meeting these stringent standards every day.”

The American Correctional Association was founded in 1870 to assist correctional professionals in providing effective and sound practices in corrections.

Westville Correctional Facility was converted from a state mental health hospital to a prison in 1977. It contains minimum, medium and maximum security units. Nearly 3,300 offenders are housed at WCF, and over 2,400 are returned to the community annually from WCC.


Posted 2/11/2014