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Page Title: Standards and Accreditation

Standards for Health Services

The American Correctional Association's leadership in setting standards for correctional facilities and health services is widely recognized. Its health standards are unique not only for correctional health care, but for the health care industry as well, including the first large-scale comprehensive effort to include outcome measurements. The importance of a health services review predicated on outcome measurements cannot be underestimated.

Prior to efforts by ACA, accrediting agencies conducted evaluations for the presence or absence of an operation, condition or situation. While that is an important function, it really gives no input to the effectiveness of the service. Outcome measurements evaluate the consequences of programs and activities rather than their presence or absence.

ACA's Health Care standards are addressed in separate manuals for prisons, jails and juvenile confinement facilities. ACA standards provide health services guidance in establishing and maintaining constitutionally acceptable health services systems and cover the general areas of care and treatment, health records, administration, personnel and medical-legal issues. ACA standards help correctional and detention facilities improve the health of inmates, staff and the communities to which inmates return; increase the efficiency of their health services delivery; strengthen their organizational effectiveness using outcome measures; and reduce their risk of adverse legal judgments. 

Standards Manuals Published by ACA include:

  • 2004 Standards Supplement
  • Standards for the Administration of Correctional Agencies
  • Performance-Based Standards for Adult Community Residential Services
  • Standards for Adult Correctional Boot Camp Programs
  • Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions
  • Performance-Based Standards for Adult Local Detention Facilities
  • Standards for Adult Parole Authorities
  • Standards for Adult Probation and Parole Field Services
  • Performance-Based Standards for Correctional Health Care in Adult Correctional Institutions
  • Performance-Based Standards for Correctional Industries
  • Standards for Correctional Training Academies
  • Standards for Electronic Monitoring Programs
  • Standards for Juvenile Community Residential Facilities
  • Standards for Juvenile Correctional Boot Camp Programs
  • Standards for Juvenile Day Treatment Programs
  • Standards for Juvenile Correctional Facilities
  • Standards for Juvenile Detention Facilities
  • Standards for Juvenile Probation and Aftercare Services
  • Standards for Small Juvenile Detention Facilities
  • Standards for Small Jail Facilities
  • Certification Standards for Food Service Programs

These publications may be ordered from our online store or through address below:

American Correctional Association
206 N. Washington Street, Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314

Printable Version


American Correctional Association   206 N. Washington Street - Alexandria, VA 22314   Phone: (703) 224-0000 - Fax: (703) 224-0179

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