The History of the American Correctional Association
For more than 149 years, the American Correctional Association has championed the cause of corrections and correctional effectiveness. Founded in 1870 as the National Prison Association, ACA is the oldest association developed specifically for practitioners in the correctional profession. During the first organizational meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio, the assembly elected then-Ohio Governor and future President Rutherford B. Hayes as the first President of the Association.
The Declaration of Principles developed at the first meeting in 1870 became the guidelines for corrections in the United States and Europe. At the ACA centennial meeting in 1970, a revised set of Principles, reflecting advances in theory and practice, was adopted by the Association. The principles were updated in 1982 and lastly in 2002.
At the 1954 Congress of Correction in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the name of the American Prison Association was changed to the American Correctional Association, reflecting the expanding philosophy of corrections and its increasingly important role within the community and society as a whole.
Today, the ACA has thousands of members from all over the world.