Peter Kehoe of the New York State Sheriff’s Association presented Sheriff Ron Spike and Sheriff’s Office staff with a plaque for reaccreditation of the county jail at the Nov. 13 Yates County Legislature meeting.

Spike said the accreditation effort centered on administration, budget, agency operations, discipline, training, legal issues, jail transport, and medical care, including psychiatric and substance abuse issues. A team of administrators from Broome, Monroe, and Wayne Counties spent two days at the jail, reviewing documentation and conducting interviews with staff.

Spike said the process is important to assess the agency readiness, reduce potential risks and security breaches, reinforce public confidence in jail operations, reduce risks, ensure policies and procedures are solidly documented.

Kehoe said only 32 of New York's county sheriff departments achieve accreditation, and Yates is one of a few that have achieved it in all divisions. 

"It was just five years ago we achieved our first jail accreditation and that journey took several years, and it is not an easy journey," said Spike. 

The Yates County Jail was built between 1975 and 1977 and has 65 beds. Because of the different classifications of inmates, the jail is sometimes at capacity with a population numbering in the 50s, according to Spike. 

He says accreditation of jail operations helps reduce the risks of a security breach, provides an avenue for employee pride and morale, reduces the risk for officer and employee injuries, and assures that the jail is operating to contemporary policy standards.