Victor Cullen Receives National Accreditation

The accreditation is good for three years.


Sabillasville, Md (KM). There’s been a lot of bad news lately about the Victor Cullen Center in Sabillasville, but here’s some good news. The American Correctional Association and the Commission on Accreditation for Corrections have  given the facility for youth national accreditation.

“I think for Victor Cullen this is just us showing that we’re meeting national standards and that we’re providing the most safe, secure, but also treatment-oriented environment for our youth,” says John Plummer, the Superintendent at Victor Cullen. “It allows us to say that we’re being held to these standards and that we are very capable of meeting them and making sure we are providing the best services for youth.”

He says the auditors  from those organizations looked a number of factors at Victor Cullen, including management and staff training and development, and procedures to secure life, safety and health of the staff and the youth   In addition, the auditors from the ACA looked at how the medical, kitchen and maintenance departments are run. They also examine how clinical and treatment programs run and activities for the youth.

“We passed very well with a 100% on the mandatories, and 99.35% on the non-mandatories,” says Plummer.

This news follows last year’s riot at the Victor Cullen Center where 11 staff member were injured. Eight youths at the facilities were charged in connection with the disturbance.

Plummer says steps have been taken to prevent this incident from happening again. He says the youth participate in a lot of activities, including arts and music programs,  and a book club. And a veterinarian comes each week to show the boys different animals. In the past, that’s included  chickens, goats, stage horses and miniature horses. Plummer says it’s designed to encourage the youths there to explore as many experiences as possible. “We just plan on a daily basis for their activities and planning of the day to make sure they don’t have that down time for those idle behaviors to be able to be happening,” he says.

“We’re  definitely pushing a lot of trauma-influenced care, understanding where our youth come from and their experiences that they’re bringing into the facility so we can better manage them,” says Plummer. “And the boys receive a lot of treatment and a lot of attention from clinical staff there, social workers,  that anytime they’re in crisis, there’s always people ready to respond professionally and appropriately and safely with the boys.”

He acknowledges they could come a time when a youth has to be removed from the Victor Cullen Center. “We try  everything we can not to remove a youth from our facility. We want to do everything we can as the facility in Maryland that takes in those types of behaviors. So we work very well to manage ourselves with the youth, and we communicate with our agency if we have to have a youth removed,” says Plummer.

The Victor Cullen Center serves boys between the ages of 14 and 18 who have been ordered by the courts to receive treatment services in a secure environment. The program usually lasts four to six months, but the treatment can be extended. Plummer says currently, there are 20 youth at the Center.


By Kevin McManus