The Army Corrections Command: Bringing It All Together

By Miller, Katherine N. | Corrections Today, December 2008 | Go to article overview

The Army Corrections Command: Bringing It All Together


Miller, Katherine N., Corrections Today


On Oct. 1, 2007, the Army Corrections Command (ACC) was activated in Washington, D.C., at the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes. For the first time in the more than 200-year history of U.S. Army confinement and corrections, the Army has a single headquarters that exercises command and control, operational oversight and policy support for the correctional system. ACC was activated as a field operating agency under the Army's Office of the Provost Marshal General, and is headquartered in Arlington, Va.

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ACC exercises leadership and oversight for 1,700 civilian and military personnel, and manages 2,300 military prisoners in military and Federal Bureau of Prisons facilities or on mandatory supervised release or parole. The facilities that comprise ACC are the:

* U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.;

* Regional correctional facilities at Fort Lewis, Wash.; Fort Sill, Okla.; and Fort Knox, Ky.; and

* Army correctional facilities at Coleman Barracks, Mannheim, Germany; and Camp Humphreys, Korea.

During the activation ceremony, the U.S. Army provost marshal general, Brig. Gen. Rodney Johnson, stated, "Today's establishment of the Army Corrections Command might be the most significant change to the Army corrections system since June 1874 when Maj. Thomas Barr convinced Congress to authorize $125,900 to remodel buildings and establish the U.S. Military Prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas." (1) The activation of ACC ensures a unified and consistent application of policy and best practices as Army fulfills its mission to provide U.S. military prisoners with treatment, educational and vocational programs in a safe and secure correctional environment. The ultimate goal of ACC activities is to prepare military inmates either for their successful return to duty or to be productive, law-abiding members of society after their release.

Because Army prisoners are usually in confinement for the first time, have high school degrees, benefit from direct supervision by superb noncommissioned officer leaders, and are afforded access to excellent treatment, educational and vocational programs, they have a good chance of successfully reintegrating into society or, in select cases, returning to military duty. ACC treatment, educational and vocational programs are adapted from the best correctional practices and are tailored to meet the particular needs of Army's prisoner population. Some of the programs offered within the Army Corrections System are crime specific treatment for alcohol and drug abuse that consist of 16 sessions, addressing the medical aspects of chemical dependency, twelve step recovery, cognitive-behavioral approaches to recovery, group therapy and relapse prevention, and goal setting. The Victim Impact class is a 16-hour educational program providing information on victims of virtually all types of crimes to include property crime, identity theft, robbery, sexual assault, child sexual abuse, child physical abuse and neglect, impaired driving, alcohol and drug abuse/addiction, and domestic violence. And of particular benefit to prisoners who experienced combat operations is the Post Deployment Stress program which offers all prisoners the opportunity to share specific scenarios and discuss the characteristics of post-deployment stress related to war and the stages of stress.

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Mission and Objectives

In order to achieve this goal of preparing military prisoners either for their successful return to duty or to be productive, law-abiding member of society after their release, ACC has developed a mission statement and strategic objectives. The mission states: "The Army Corrections Command exercises command and control and operational oversight for policy, programming, resourcing, and support of Army Corrections System facilities worldwide. On order, the ACC will coordinate the execution of condemned military prisoners. …

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