RICHMOND — The Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) has received two of the highest honors available to correctional agencies. The American Correctional Association (ACA) has presented the Department with the Golden Eagle Award and the Lucy Webb Hayes Award in recognition of VADOC’s commitment to excellence, public safety, and the well-being of inmates.
The Department received the awards at the 151st Congress of Corrections on August 13 in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Golden Eagle Award is presented to correctional agencies in recognition of achieving accreditation of all aspects of their operations. VADOC has achieved accreditation for all of its facilities, as well as Headquarters Administration, Probation and Parole Field Services, Virginia Correctional Enterprises Administration, and the VADOC Academy for Staff Development. Only 24 of the more than 1,500 correctional agencies in the nation have been previously recognized with the Golden Eagle.
The Lucy Webb Hayes Award, named after the wife of President Rutherford B. Hayes, recognizes agencies or programs that have achieved both full ACA accreditation and full compliance with the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) for every component of their operations. This accreditation process certifies the Department is ensuring the health and safety of its staff and inmates and demonstrates VADOC’s strong commitment to eliminating sexual assault in all of its facilities. This level of excellence has only been achieved by 11 previous correctional agencies.
“Winning these awards highlights how fortunate Virginia is to have one of the finest systems in the nation,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian J. Moran. “I am proud of the continued efforts of the leadership and staff at the VADOC to help keep those in our facilities safe.”
The accreditation process for every facility includes extensive audits of the policies, procedures, and practices of the agency’s operations, programs, and services. Auditors also conduct thorough reviews of each facility’s quality of life and sanitation conditions, ensuring the highest standards for staff and inmates.
“These awards show that Virginia’s Department of Corrections is one of the finest, most professional, and hardest working corrections agencies anywhere in the country,” said VADOC Director Harold Clarke. “This would not have been possible without the dedication, skill, and tremendous effort from our staff members. We are honored to receive these awards and it is a privilege to work with such an amazing team.”
VADOC is Virginia’s largest state agency, with over 11,000 employees. The Department is responsible for more than 24,000 inmates and over 66,000 people on community supervision.