Correctional Facility Civil Division earns re-accreditation

NORWICH – The Chenango County Correctional Facility was granted special recognition this week for an honor achieved by only one in four correctional institutions across the state.

The Correctional Facility was lauded for its work during the monthly meeting of the Chenango County Board of Supervisors on Monday, when County Sheriff Ernest Cutting accepted re-accreditation for the office’s civil division. Re-accreditation is determined by the New York State Sheriff’s Association (NYSSA).

According to NYSSA, only 25 percent of the correctional facilities in New York State meet or exceed standards required for civil divisions accreditation. Chenango County first received the honor in 2008.

“In Chenango County, I think one of the most important things we do is work as a team,” Cutting said upon receiving the award. “We are constantly striving to improve in everything that we do.”

The Sheriff’s Office Civil Divisions serve and execute civil court processes, including summons, evictions, family court orders, executions, orders of attachment, orders of seizure, and other process items. It’s also responsible for money collection received by the sheriff in enforcing civil judgements.

A stringent set of 121 standards was established by NYSSA in 1995 to help local sheriff’s offices operate their civil divisions efficiently. Standards entail proper procedures for handling and accounting of money collected for judgments as well as money collected by the Sheriff’s Office on behalf of the county.

NYSSA Executive Director Peter Kehoe was on hand at Monday’s meeting to present the Chenango County Sheriff’s Office with the honor.

“You have an excellent sheriff and an excellent sheriff’s office,” Kehoe told board members, citing benefits of accreditation that tend to increase performance of the Sheriff’s Office, increase morality, decrease lawsuits and insurance claims against the county, and increase confidence in the Sheriff’s Office among county residents.

“Our civil officers are unsung heros,” Kehoe added. “Accreditation does not just happen. It takes a lot of hard work from a lot of people ... Congratulations are in order for Sheriff Cutting and all of the Civil Service Division.”

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