The Dawson County Detention Center recently received a prestigious recognition that few law enforcement agencies can claim.
The detention center's medical component received accreditation as awarded by the Medical Association of Georgia.
The Medical Association of Georgia created the Correctional Medicine Committee in November, 1975. The committee was charged with studying and recommending ways to improve the delivery of health care in non-federal prisons in Georgia.
Clyde Maxwell, director of correctional medicine, said that successful accreditation requires that there can be no discrepancies in the essential standards and only 15 percent of the important standards.
Sheriff Billy Carlisle is proud of this latest accomplishment.
"Medical Accreditation signifies that our medical operations are being conducted to high standards," he said.
This comprehensive evaluation and accreditation of a facility is strong evidence to both the State and Federal judicial systems, according to Carlisle. The accreditation continues to be used as evidence on behalf of the state and counties in defense of numerous lawsuits.
"The detention division, under the command of Maj. Jeff Johnson, began to discuss and prepare for this monumental task several months ago. It has been a long, but rewarding process," he said.
Johnson attributes the success of this achievement to the men and women who serve in the detention center.
"This recognition is only made possible through the efforts of our medical and detention staff members. This was a collective and concerted endeavor between the entities and I am extremely proud of this partnership," he said.
Contracted Head Nurse Tammy Tyler was a primary actor in obtaining this status.
"As the Health Services Coordinator for the Dawson County Detention Center, it has been my pleasure to assist them in achieving MAG accreditation," she said. "A lot of hard work from the detention staff and medical department made it possible. Correct Health is a wonderful company to work for in its continuing process of providing high quality, cost-effective, comprehensive healthcare inside the walls of correctional facilities."
Johnson said he couldn't be more proud of the detention center and medical staff.
"This atypical accomplishment is one that our county can be very proud of. It indicates that proactive steps are being taken to improve the delivery and quality of medical services within the detention center," he said. "This achievement should serve to reduce our exposure to liability."