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First Army fellow comes to ACA.

In June 2012, the U.S. Army Military Police (MP) Corps began a fellowship program with the American Correctional Association in partnership with the Army's Training With Industry (TWI) program. Through the program, an Army MP captain or major is assigned to ACA headquarters in Alexandria, Va., where the officer is exposed to disciplines within the corrections profession. Capt. Chris Vincent is the first Army fellow to be assigned to ACA.

While serving as an Army fellow, the officer is expected to participate in professional development opportunities which may include attending conferences; conducting research; touring civilian correctional facilities; conducting training workshops; observing audits of correctional programs; and/or assisting with ACA's Commission on Accreditation for Corrections hearings. The officers are also expected to obtain ACA certification as a certified corrections manager.

Upon arrival, Vincent was assigned to the Standards and Accreditation Department. The department is responsible for preparing accreditation contracts; submitting proposed changes to ACA standards; selecting audit teams and scheduling audits; conducting auditor training; reviewing audit reports; and conducting accreditation panel hearings. To prepare for his assignment, Vincent observed the audit of a federal facility in Cumberland, Md.; the Federal Bureau of Prisons central office in Washington, D.C.; and a jail in Arlington, Va. The observation of audits helped him learn how to update auditing checklists and gave him perspective on audits of Army Corrections Command facilities.

Vincent was then assigned to ACA's Professional Development Department. This department offers educational and training programs to justice professionals, both nationally and internationally. One of the expectations of the officers is that they receive certification based on the agency they are working for. ACA's certification program is voluntary for correctional staff. Several military personnel are certified by ACA. This certification program allows the officer the opportunity to become certified as a correctional manager. The program is an example of how the officer can be aligned with the Military Police Force 2020 Strategic Plan, which states, "Certification and credentialing will further enhance the professionalism of MPs and enable us to effectively partner with criminal justice professionals from interagency and intergovernmental organizations." (1) Vincent tested for and received his certification.

Another aspect of the Professional Development Department that is beneficial to correctional staff is the online training program. ACA's online Training Academy provides interactive courses detailing adult corrections functions. The department also provides custom training workshops for various correctional facilities, including the Correctional Leadership Program. These programs assist Army personnel who have worked in military corrections make the transition to public sector corrections.

The Army's TWI program was developed in the 1970s as a response to the Army's critical need for officers with state-of-the-art skills in private industrial practices and procedures not available through military or civil education programs. The Army's main objective in sponsoring the TWI program is to develop a group of soldiers experienced in higher-level managerial techniques and who have an understanding of the relationship of his or her industry as it relates to specific functions of the Army. Once the TWI student is integrated back into an Army organization, he or she can use learned skills to improve the Army's ability to interact and conduct business with various industries. Participants may also be exposed to innovative industrial management practices, techniques and procedures, which have applicability to, and benefits for, the Army.

The TWI program has been supported by MP for many years, however, this is the first time it has partnered with a civilian corrections partner. This new partnership is in direct line with the Military Police Force 2020 Strategic Plan, which states, "... We will encourage individuals to participate in academic, private-sector and international forums related to their competencies and positions." (2) The TWI program is designed to benefit the Army through the professional development of the soldier. ACA has benefitted greatly from its partnership with the U.S. Army and is honored to be a part of the TWI program.


(1.) U.S. Army Office of the Provost Marshal General. 2012. Military police force 2020 strategic plan. Retrieved from

(2.) Ibid.

Kathy Black-Dennis is ACA's director of Standards and Accreditation.
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Title Annotation:Accreditation Byline; Capt. Chris Vincent's fellowship with American Correctional Association
Author:Black-Dennis, Kathy
Publication:Corrections Today
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2013
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