NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The American Correctional Association’s 143rd Congress of Correction (ACA summer) was held Aug. 9-14 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor.
The event, only minutes away from the nation’s capitol, drew in a large crowd of correctional officials, builders, manufacturers, suppliers and designers, among others.
The summer event began on Aug. 9 with meetings and a special health care welcome reception. The exhibit hall opened for the masses on Sunday, Aug. 11, where vendors were able to meet their “neighbors” and explore the tradeshow floor for new products and services being offered in the industry.
There were a number of ACA workshops throughout the event as well as facility tours for registered attendees and exhibitors.
New business was sprouted as well as a focus on nurturing ongoing relationships. The ACA summer event was another reminder of how close the industry is and how by working together it is only continuing to improve and expand.
A hot topic on the floor was how facilities must now change certain standards in order to comply with the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA), which requires all confinement facilities to achieve total PREA compliance to prevent, detect and respond to sexual abuse.
In order for a facility to comply with PREA it must do so through the following areas:
• Technical Implementation and Reporting
• Policy and Procedure Certification
• Facility Infrastructure Certification
• Staff and Volunteer Certification
Securus Technologies Inc., developed a new solution for correctional facilities to comply to the technical implementation and reporting component of the PREA standards. The brand new technology was showcased at the ACA summer show and enables facilities to meet these guidelines through an updated software system. The system makes it fast and efficient to enter data in the system without having staff members manually fill out paperwork.
The new technology is the first-of-its-kind and is already being used by facilities across the country.
Other trends seen at the show were new window glazing standards that take away the typical wire windows and replace with clear glazing for detention-grade windows.
Next ACA Event
As the 2013 summer ACA show dwindles to an end, it is already time to plan for the 2014 winter ACA show, taking place in Tampa, Fla., Feb. 1-5. For more information visit ACA at www.aca.org.