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Morris County Correctional Facility Achieves Sixth Consecutive Accreditation

The Morris County Correctional Facility in Morris Township has been accredited for a sixth consecutive time, mastering standards set by the American Correctional Association for jails on nutrition, security, cleanliness and quality of life.

A three-member team of auditors for the American Correctional Association, a private, non-profit corrections accrediting group, toured, examined records, and talked to staff and inmates at the 18-year-old county jail over a three-day period in May.

The tour culminated last weekend with reaccreditation of the jail during an ACA conference in New Orleans. Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon, jail Warden Christopher Klein and other top correctional officers answered final questions posed by an ACA panel before learning the jail was re-accredited for a three-year period.

Morris County Jail Warden Christopher Klein and Morris County Sheriff James Gannon, holding accreditation certificate, surrounded by jail superior officers and officials of the American Correctional Association in Louisiana.
Morris County Correctional Facility Warden Christopher Klein and Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon, holding the accreditation certificate, surrounded by superior Correction officers and officials of the American Correctional Association in Louisiana.

They were told the jail had the rare distinction of being one of the few county jails in the nation that achieved 100 percent compliance scores on 383 standards evaluated by the auditors. Nationwide, fewer than 150 county jails out of more than 3,000 are accredited.

“I am truly proud of this accomplishment by the correctional facility’s sworn and civilian staff, the professionalism they show every day, and the humane environment they maintain for inmates,” said Gannon.

Warden Christopher Klein said the reaccreditation is a testament to the commitment of the facility’s staff that includes 165 sworn officers and 19 medical personnel.

“It’s always good to have outsiders come in and reaffirm the good work our staff does. The standards by the American Correctional Association are above and beyond state standards,” he said.

Morris County jail Lt. Michael Morsch, Capt. Steve Piatti, Capt. James Janzen, Warden Christopher Klein, and in back, Officer Mike Chereches sitting in a corrections pod.
From left to right: Morris County Corrections Lt. Michael Morsch, Capt. Steve Piatti, Capt. James Janzen, Warden Christopher Klein, and in back, Officer Mike Chereches.

The jail was built for a population of 524 inmates and housed an average of 233 individuals at the time of the audit. Inmates ranged from age 18 to 75.

The audit’s findings established:

  • The jail has a well-integrated and well-designed security system that includes staff control of all entrances, exits and doors.
  • The facility provides a comfortable, clean environment to live and work, with adequate shower units.
  • Sanitation is given “a very high priority,” according to the audit. Inmates, under staff supervision, clean the facility and cleaning supplies are carefully distributed and inventoried after use.
  • The health services unit provides 24-hour medical services and is staffed with people “who appeared to care a great deal about the welfare of the inmates and the work they do,” the report stated.
  • Social service specialists complete biopsychosocial intakes on all incoming inmates and provide assistance in adjustment to confinement and work with inmates on discharge planning.
  • Inmates can participate in observing the religion of their choice. The jail has a full-time chaplain, who coordinates access to other clergy and volunteers to visit inmates upon request.

The report noted extensive protocols in place to prevent inmate suicides and stated no suicides occurred in more than 12 years. An average of 44 percent of the inmates are on psychotropic medications, and all inmates who enter the facility on psychiatric medication or with a significant mental health history are referred to a psychiatrist.

The audit team spoke in May with 68 inmates, who made positive remarks about the food, medical, educational and other services in May, the audit states. The team also met with 39 staff members, both sworn and civilian.

“The staff was universally professional and obviously proud of their role in the facility operations. They were knowledgeable about their jobs and eager to discuss them,” the audit states.

The correctional facility, situated off John Street in Morris Township, opened in May 2000 to replace a deteriorating and overcrowded jail in Morristown that was built in the 1930s.

The new jail includes eight housing pods and operates on a direct supervision model.

“The MCCF effectively houses minimum, medium and maximum-security levels in one building, providing a safe, orderly and secure environment with minimal tension,” the audit concluded.

Newark’s Mayor Baraka and Public Safety Director Ambrose Announce Rollout of Hope One Mobile Unit

Offering Addiction Recovery Services, Mental Health Services and Housing Assistance


Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka and Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose announced the rollout by the Newark Police Division of the Hope One Newark Mobile Unit today.

Hope One Newark’s Mobile Unit, which follows the pattern of the successful Hope One program developed by Morris County Sheriff James Gannon, will operate in partnership with the Center for Addiction Recovery, Education and Success (C.A.R.E.S.), Integrity House, Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris Counties and the Newark Department of Health and Community Wellness.

Services to be provided through Hope One Newark include training on the use of Narcan and distribution of Narcan kits, along with referrals to detoxification and rehabilitation facilities, referrals to mental health services and transportation to drug treatment facilities. The unit will also provide identification cards to the homeless so that they can obtain services, including housing assistance.

Mayor Baraka, Public Safety Director Ambrose, Chief of Police Henry, and Morris County Sheriff James Gannon

“Putting addiction recovery services, mental health services and housing services on the streets, where the people who most need them can access them, is what this program is all about,” Mayor Baraka said. “Hope One Newark offers a lifeline to individuals trapped by their addictions or afflicted by homelessness because it brings the services directly to them. We are taking this proactive approach because some individuals may find it difficult to walk into a traditional facility on their own for information or treatment.”

“This is a home run for the City of Newark,” Director Ambrose said. “When it comes to issues like addiction, homelessness and mental illness, we cannot arrest our way out of these problems. Hope One Newark will offer assistance by providing easy access to invaluable resources including Narcan kits, ID cards and referral information for rehab centers, shelters, mental health care programs and housing assistance for anyone who needs them. No questions asked.”

The mobile unit will be stationed at various locations throughout the city to offer services in various neighborhoods.

Contact:  Lieutenant Ronald Glover (973) 710-2531 or Public Information Officer Catherine Adams (973) 733-3995

Morris County Sheriff warns of Continuing Phone Scams

The Morris County Sheriff’s Office is advising the Morris County community to be aware of a continuing phone scam that has been making the rounds again targeting residents of Morris County as well as communities nationwide.

Sheriff James M. Gannon said, “In the most recent calls, the caller and/or message will use an agency number for their Caller ID and will identify themselves as an employee of the Morris County Sheriff’s Office.  The caller says the resident has an outstanding debt and demands a prepaid credit card or the resident will be arrested.  The caller states if the resident cannot pay, they must turn themselves in and may provide an address of a section of the Sheriff’s Office.  In the event these fraudulent calls are received, residents should never give their personal or financial information over the phone, nor should they arrange to meet someone to provide a prepaid credit card. The Morris County Sheriff’s Office will never solicit methods of payment and/or personal identifiers over the phone.”

In 2017, and in January and May of this year, similar scams surfaced posing as officers seeking personal information and Green Dot MoneyPak cards for false warrants, civil process fees, overdue IRS payments and non-appearance for jury duty.  Residents should notify their local authorities should they receive these calls.

ALL AGENCY INFORMATION AND CONTACTS CAN BE ACCESSED AND VERIFIED THROUGH THE MORRIS COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE WEBSITE AT WWW.SHERIFF.MORRISCOUNTYNJ.GOV

Any suspicious calls regarding the Morris County Sheriff’s Office can also be directed to 973-285-6600 during the day and 973-285-2900 after hours for verification of agency personnel.

Crime Prevention Tips to Help Avoid Falling Victim to this Scam:

  • Legitimate law enforcement agencies will not tell people to provide money card information to avoid arrest.
  • Be suspicious of callers who demand immediate payment for any reason.
  • Never give out personal or financial information to anyone who emails or calls you unsolicited.
  • Never wire money, provide debt or credit card numbers or Green Dot Money Pak card numbers to someone you do not know.
  • Remember that anyone who has the number on a Green Dot Money Pak card, has access to the funds on the card.
  • If you have received a phone scam call, try to gather names, the phone number and location given, and report it to your local police.

Report tips and remain anonymous by contacting the Morris County Sheriff’s CrimeStoppers at 973-COP-CALL or www.copcall.org from your mobile device. NO ONE WILL ASK YOUR NAME!