NEWS | Aug. 1, 2016

Navy awards MUC to Charleston brig

By Gene H. Hughes Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs Office

The Naval Consolidated Brig (NAVCONBRIG) Charleston received the Meritorious Unit Citation for, as its motto states, "Bearing the standard for correctional excellence." The citation recognizes that the command embraces its mission and continuously drives towards full compliance with national correctional standards.

"The consistent effort of Brig Charleston's world-class staff is reflected in this award," said Commander Brett Pugsley, NAVCONBRIG Charleston commanding officer.  "This command has always fostered a "can do" attitude, bringing together service members of all branches and civilian employees to achieve the core missions of safety and security, closely followed by prisoner rehabilitation.  It is quite remarkable that this facility has maintained such a high level of excellence for such a long time, and we look forward to keeping that reputation going!"

Among the successes named in the citation, the facility's first triennial Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) compliance audit, conducted in March 2016, was completed with zero discrepancies. The achievement is a first for the Department of Defense and national corrections community. Additionally, NAVCONBRIG Charleston is the only correctional facility in the nation to achieve nine consecutive 100-percent compliance scores from the triannual audit conducted by the American Correctional Association.

"In March 2015, the Charleston Brig became the first Department of Defense (DoD) correctional facility to achieve PREA certification," said Steven Laird, corrections technical director for NAVCONBRIG Charleston.  "The brig not only passed the audit, it achieved 25 exceeded standards out of 41. No other correctional facility in America has achieved this score."

Besides being recognized as a model manager for PREA policy, the command has also been named as a model manager for the Navy's Armed Escort Training Program. Armed escorts are used to transport high risk prisoners and deserters worldwide.  Since the inception of the program, 166 service members have been trained to respond to critical situations arising during transport.

"Armed escorts are not only responsible for the safety and security of the personnel they transport, but also for armed response tactics and counterterrorism measures during in-flight emergencies onboard aircraft," Laird said. "Candidates are personally screened and selected to attend the training program. They receive training in Department of Homeland Security procedures and armed response tactics and counter terrorism measures during in-flight emergencies onboard aircraft."

The brig was also recognized for successfully meeting its mandate to restore prisoners to duty or return them to civilian life. Its rehabilitation programs include academic, vocational, military, physical and social skills training, offense related education and treatment programs, as well as individual and group counseling for emotional, substance abuse or religious issues.