About Health Care

American Correctional Association is committed to its mission of improving practices in correctional systems by helping agencies provide correctional populations with safe and effective health service delivery. ACA is the leader in setting international and national standards for the quality of life and safety of correctional systems. 

The Office of Correctional Health Care serves ACA members, jurisdictions and its affiliates by supporting health services programs for the effective delivery of health to offender populations. We offer comprehensive services, support, and resources to help correctional facilities provide security and quality care for the offender population.

ACA Then & Now

ACA Then: 

  • ACA was founded in 1870 as the National Prison Association.
  • ACA as the oldest correctional association founded specifically for practitioners in the correctional profession
  • In 1989, ACA published Certification Standards for Health Care Programs. Designed as a stepping stone to full accreditation; it gave agencies the means to improve health care delivery and the opportunity to be recognized for their achievements.

ACA Now:

In 2001, ACA published its second performance-based manual Performance-Based Standards for Correctional Health Care in Adult Correctional Institutions. This manual established the first expected practice, outcome measures program offering an independent health care accreditation. 

Correctional health care has continued to advance and ACA recognizes the need to continue to update and improve the health care of correctional population. 
The goal of ACA health care standards is to ensure higher quality health care programs and provide agencies with a self–monitoring system that would give clinical and correctional managers usable information for continuous success. 

ACA’s Declaration of Principles is the major foundation in the Association mission to addressing correctional health care issues. These principles are humanity, protection, opportunity, knowledge and accountability in its health programs.

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