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SHERIDAN — The Sheridan County Adult Drug Court has been accredited for three years by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities International.
The CARF inspection was conducted to comply with new state requirements that the program be accredited by an outside agency to continue to receiving state funding.
Justice Center Administrator Neal Madson said the evaluation cost $7,200, and entailed a review of program documents as well as a two-day visit from two CARF inspectors who assessed client services and the facility.
“They did a pretty intensive look at our treatment program to determine we were doing what we say we do and that it matches up with the protocol we expect,” Madson said.”It’s the whole process of how treatment is delivered.”
The team also met with program participants to get their opinion on the program.
CARF Spokesperson Al Whitehurst said there were three possible outcomes after the CARF team paid a visit to Sheridan: non-accreditation, a one-year accreditation and a three-year accreditation.
Sheridan’s earning the highest approval of CARF is not only indicative of the quality of the program, but it will save money in the long run.
If only a one-year accreditation were granted, the Justice Office would have to come up with funds for re-inspection next year.
Whitehurst said CARF policy dictates a program can only get two consecutive one-year accreditations. If a program does not increase standards to a three-year accreditation level afterward, it becomes ineligible for CARF endorsement.
“A three-year accreditation indicates the organization has a higher level of performance to CARF standards,” Whitehurst said.
“An organization receiving a three-year accreditation has put itself through a rigorous peer review process and has demonstrated to a team of surveyors during an on-site visit that it’s programs and services are of the highest quality, measurable and accountable,” Madson said in a press release.
Court Supervised Treatment Program Manager for the Wyoming Department of Health Jessica Binning said the legislature’s new requirement for a third-party endorsement for the drug court program was driven by an increased need for accountability with state funds. Previously, the program was inspected and certified only by a contingency from the state, which was free.
“State certification is still required separately from national accreditation, though by virtue of receiving a national accreditation award, a provider meets state certification requirements,” Binning said.
Madson was pleased with the outcome of the process, especially since it was their first time out of the gate.
“My expectation was we were going to get a one-year certification because this was the first time we were doing this,” he said. “I knew we were doing a good job, but I guess this backs up that overall impression. This is something we can show the community and state that we are in compliance with rules and regulations.”
A similar program for juveniles was also evaluated by CARF, but results from that inspection have not yet been released.