Byline: By James C. Dillard
Community corrections represents an effective tool in the effort to reduce recidivism in our country. That’s why CCA has sought to find opportunities to invest in and take part in the community corrections mission. And now, CCA has taken yet another step forward in community corrections with the acquisition of Correctional Management, Inc. (CMI)
With the recent acquisition of Avalon and now with CMI, CCA owns or operates 24 reentry facilities containing 4,970 beds. CMI operates seven community corrections facilities in the greater Denver, Colo. area.
In a recent emailed announcement to the company, Damon Hininger, CCA President and CEO, praised CMI for their more than 30 years of work in the community corrections field.
“They have established themselves as a reputable and professional provider of reentry services,” Hininger said. “Their philosophy of serving their clients and communities is something we value and understand. With this acquisition and with Avalon before it, CCA has shown that we are committed to establishing ourselves as a leading provider of recidivism-reducing services. As I have said before, I believe that expanding our community corrections solutions is extremely important — for our communities, the individuals in our care, and our government partners.”
John Robinson, CCA vice president of Correctional Programs Divisions, is working closely with CMI as they are integrated into the CCA family.
“I’ve been very pleased with what I’ve seen from the CMI team,” Robinson said. “It’s clear that they are a passionate, dedicated group of community corrections professionals. We’re very fortunate to have them on board. I know that our teams will work well together in ensuring that our community corrections mission is as strong as it can be.”
Robinson has stated previously that community corrections is important because it is a valuable opportunity for correctional systems at all government levels to address overcrowding and budget constraints.
Shannon Carst, who had previously served as the top executive for CMI prior to the acquisition, will continue serving as the senior leader at CMI as its managing director. She said that she believes CMI and CCA will work well together.
“We have the same philosophy of treating employees and residents with respect, integrity and professionalism. We all want to make a difference in our communities,” Carst said. “CMI has continually been a leader in utilizing best practices to enhance the success for staff and residents. Combined with CCA’s experience, it only increases the opportunities for everyone involved.”
With the shared experience and knowledge, both CMI and CCA employees will have opportunities to collaborate. Dawn McCarter, the executive director of the CMI Ulster Facility, said she is looking forward to the partnership. She has been in the criminal justice field for 18 years beginning in community corrections, and has been with CMI for six years.
“It’s been great to see how connected everyone is at CCA via the website, news articles, email and social media,” McCarter said. “I’m impressed that CCA has already begun looking into any issues concerning how they can improve things at CMI, including IT problems, which may prevent staff from completing job duties.”
Initially, McCarter said she had some reservations about the acquisition, but as time goes on, she said her concerns have been resolved.
“As time went on, I have learned that many things are staying the same,” she said. “If anything, we now have more support and more resources to improve upon our work. I’m excited to see the changes in the future and to work with a proven and established company such as CCA.”
According to Carst, it is a priority at CMI to ensure that the residents are given the tools they need to be successful for a lifetime.
“The focus can not only be about employment, housing and reentry skills, but also include a strong emphasis on addressing their criminogenic needs and providing appropriately assessed treatment,” Carst said. “This is completed by successfully incorporating evidence-based principles into case management, programming and day-to-day operations. This is when we are able to obtain the greatest results.”
McCarter explained why she has chosen a career in community corrections, “I love being able to help someone make the needed changes to improve their lifestyle and live a productive life in the community without going back to their old lifestyle. After working in probation and parole, I see that community corrections is the best opportunity for an individual to make the necessary changes to stay out of the system.”
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