Department Accreditation
The Commission on Accreditation for Corrections has awarded accreditation to the Bristol County House of Correction according to an announcement sent to Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson by Robert Garvey, Chairperson of the commission. This announcement confirms the satisfactory completion of a rigorous self-evaluation by the staff of the Bristol County House of Correction, followed by an outside review by a team of independent auditors. The facility received an overall score of 100% on mandatory standards and 98% on non-mandatory standards.

The Dartmouth House of Correction was originally accredited in 2004. In May 2007, the facility underwent a 3-day operational re-accreditation conducted by auditors from the American Correctional Association. The three auditors were correctional professionals from Tennessee, Illinois and Florida.

The audit included a physical plant inspection of the facility to determine the conditions of confinement and quality of life for the inmate population. It also involved the assessment of 384 mandatory and non-mandatory standards that cover all aspects of facility operations, such as security issues, health and food services, fire safety, environmental conditions, social and academic programs, staff training, and inmate discipline and inmate rights.

Hodgson expressed pride in his staff for achieving this high honor during a period of tight fiscal restraints forced on the facility when the state slashed the budget request by more than five million dollars.

"It would be hard for the ordinary citizen to even imagine the dedication and professionalism that was necessary for us to capture this award with the staff shortages budget cuts necessitated," Hodgson said. "It is a testimony to their selfless approach to what, even in the best of economic times is a difficult and demanding job."

The Sheriff said that the award remains an example of teamwork and the involvement of all facets of the Sheriff's Office - security, administration, maintenance, kitchen staff and health services.

The American Correctional Association is a private, non-profit organization that administers the only national accreditation program for our nation's correctional systems. It was established in 1870 and has been accrediting jails, houses of correction and detention centers since 1978.

The purpose of the accreditation process is to promote improvements in the management of correctional facilities. It provides an opportunity for prison administrators to compare their operations to nationally accepted practices; helps identify facility strengths and weaknesses; and reviews department policies and procedures. The re-accreditation process reviews whether the facility has consistently functioned in accordance with ACA standards during a 3-year-period.


Health Care Accreditation

The National Commission on Correctional Health Care – NCCHC is dedicated to improving the quality of correctional health services and helping correctional facilities provide effective and efficient care. NCCHC grew out of a program begun at the American Medical Association in the 1970’s. The standards are NCCHC’s recommended requirements for the proper management of a correctional health service delivery system. These standards have helped correctional facilities improve the health of their inmates and the communities to which they return, increasing the efficiency of their health service delivery, strengthening their organizational effectiveness, and reducing their risk of adverse patient outcomes and legal judgments.

The BCSO has been continuously accredited by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care - NCCHC since April 1987 for providing medical care and health services which meet the strict standards developed by the American Medical Association and revised by the NCCHC. The BCSO is one of a select group of correctional institutions accredited by the NCCHC for its’ superior level of health care services.

The BCSO was surveyed under the NCCHC Standards for Health Services in Jails on April 10-11, 2008. On March 13, 2009 the NCCHC Accreditation Committee of the NCCHC voted to continue to accredit the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office and House of Correction for its’ compliance with NCCHC’s Standards for Health Services in Jails. The NCCHC congratulated the BCSO on yet another achievement and wished the BCSO well in its future. The next scheduled on-site survey by the NCCHC will occur sometime prior to October 2011.

The BCSO is proud of its accomplishment for achieving success by receiving the national accreditation, and strives daily to uphold its prestigious medical operation for which has recognized.



More Information about the Bristol County Sheriff's Office

For website related questions or comments, email the Webmaster:
Bristol County Sheriff's Office Address: 400 Faunce Corner Road, Dartmouth, MA 02747 Phone: 508.995.6400 Web: