Keeping Correctional Facilities Sanitary, Safe and Secure

Providing a clean, healthy and safe environment presents challenges where large groups of people are living in confined spaces, especially in jails and prisons. Not only is there a greater potential for spreading infection, but also for other types of contamination as well. That’s why facility managers need to be vigilant when it comes to implementing proper food handling procedures, doing laundry, keeping communal areas clean, and controlling odors. At the same time, they need to be attentive to the type and way cleaning agents are used in order to protect inmates from themselves and others.

Challenges unique to correctional facilities:
The Eighth Amendment to the Constitution protects prisoners against cruel and unusual punishment. In some circumstances, cleanliness can be one of the measures by which human rights violations come into play. That’s why it is important for facility managers to address these key questions:

  1. Can the cleaning products being used become or serve as weapons?
  2. Can the cleaning products be used for making toxic or fermented products?
  3. Do the chemicals safely address not only the cleaning needs, but also the environmental aspects of wastewater in and around the facility?
  4. Do the products meet regulatory statutes imposed by state and local governments/agencies?
  5. Are there any problematic safe-handling issues for inmates or employees who will be using the products?

What to use:
The Correct Clean™ product line from Spartan Chemical provides everything that jails, prisons and other detention facilities need to keep their operations clean, healthy and safe. Widely used at the federal, state and local levels, Correct Clean addresses odor control, laundry and kitchen sanitation, floor care, infection and other potential health hazards common to these environments. Correct Clean products are hospital grade, environmentally-friendly, and biodegradable.

How to use it:
Correct Clean incorporates a proven-effective training component that minimizes risk, which is especially important since cleaning responsibilities are often performed by residents/inmates of the facilities. Even so, some specific products require supervision while many do not. Customizable training and monitoring tools ensure that facilities remain compliant with ACA (American Correctional Association), Joint Commission and state/local standards. The CleanCheck™ training system and CompuClean® custodial management software completes the Correct Clean package. CompuClean enables users to create custom maintenance routines for correctional facilities and allows for performance tracking. With typically high turnover rates among the prison/jail populations’ cleaning crews, the CleanCheck program trains correctional facility staff members who in turn instruct new inmate crews and review procedures with the returning workers.

How to safeguard the chemicals:
Because jails and prisons are unique environments, keeping track of chemicals is imperative. For this reason Spartan Chemical Company features a line of lockable dispensers that automatically release the correct amount of product into a bucket or bottle and recommends (and sells) safety cages that can be used to keep inventory under lock and key.


John Schauff, Director of Government Services & Training for Spartan Chemical Company, Inc. He is a member of the ACA subcommittee, Sustainability-Oriented and Environmentally Responsible Practices Committee.

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