The Morris County Correctional Facility was found to be 100 percent compliant with 270 mandated state standards during a recent five-day surprise inspection of the facility overseen by Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon.
Darcella Patterson Sessomes, Assistant Commissioner of the Division of Programs and Community Services within the New Jersey Department of Corrections, alerted Morris County Correctional Facility Warden Christopher Klein by letter that the facility fully passed an inspection that pertains to the year 2018, though it was conducted from October 7 through October 11, 2019.
“You and your staff are congratulated on this achievement and are to be commended for the efforts made in preparation for this inspection. The hard work and dedication by the staff of your facility was evident to the members of the inspection team and certainly deserves special recognition,” Assistant Commissioner Sessomes wrote.
The Correctional Facility is run by the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Bureau of Corrections, one of two Bureaus in the Agency. Corrections Officer Mike Chereches oversees the annual inspection by the New Jersey Department of Corrections and maintains a detailed power-point presentation that assists the inspectors in determining compliance.
The inspection – which facility Officers anticipated without knowing precisely when it would occur – included a tour of the 19-year-old facility, interviews with Officers, civilian staff and inmates, and examination of policies and procedures that detail the finest points – even light wattage and screw sizes used in plumbing fixtures.
The inspection, conducted to determine compliance with the requirements of New Jersey Administrative Code Title 10A:31, covered all aspects of maintaining a secure facility for adult inmates, including: planning and design, emergency procedures, security and control, personnel, access to courts, protective custody, visits, inmate clothing and hygienic living, medical and dental health services, and all other facility components.
“I am very proud of the vigilance of Officers and staff at the Correctional Facility who ensure, every single day, that the facility is secure and spotless and that inmates are guaranteed humane, lawful and safe treatment,” Sheriff Gannon said.
The Correctional Facility, which opened on May 25, 2000, is a six-story building of 157,478-square-feet of space. The structure includes eight housing pods totaling 277 cells with a maximum capacity of 524 inmates. There is a full-service kitchen, laundry, administrative offices, K9 kennels, intake/processing area, staff training room, religious, educational and exercise facilities and a medical and nursing unit.
The average daily population for inspection year 2018 was 191 men and 30 females. In 2019, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office reached a shared services agreement with the Sussex County Sheriff’s Office under which Sussex County inmates are housed in Morris County at a cost to Sussex County of $105 per day per inmate.
Currently, there are 225 inmates in the Morris County Correctional Facility; 153 are housed on Morris County charges and 72 are housed on Sussex County charges.
The Morris County Correctional Facility has gone beyond the mandated state inspection requirements by voluntarily undergoing accreditation processes by private, non-profit accrediting groups.
The facility in January 2019 was accredited for a sixth consecutive time by the American Correctional Association, mastering standards for jails on nutrition, security, cleanliness and quality of life.
The facility also is accredited by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care.