Committee on Standards

The ACA Committee on Standards is responsible for the creation, revision, and deletion of ACA standards.  The committee consists of 20 experienced members of the corrections community with varying backgrounds throughout the field, including adult corrections and detention, juvenile corrections, community corrections, and others.  Similarly, the committee represents Federal, state, and local agencies responsible for the implementation of the ACA standards for tens of thousands of inmates and staff nationwide.

The committee meets on a bi-annual basis; once at the ACA Winter Conference (January) and again at the ACA Congress of Corrections (August).  Minutes from each meeting are posted in the Standards Committee Meeting Minutes section of this site.  Changes to the ACA standards are submitted from the field via the Revision Proposals and Comments section.


Annette Chambers-Smith


What Does the Standards Committee Do? 

The Standards Committee is responsible for maintaining the currency of the ACA standards through additions, revisions, and deletions in the current standards as well as the creation and testing of new standards manuals for the benefit of the corrections field.  The majority of submissions come from the field (auditors, accreditation managers, and other interested parties).  All submissions are reviewed and screened by ACA staff before submission to the Committee for consideration.   With the dynamic nature of corrections, additions, changes to the standards are needed to adapt to evolving requirements and techniques in the field.  

The standards committee considers each of the following:

  • Additions of new standards to accommodate the integration of new skills, techniques, practices, and tactics in the field of corrections.
  • Revisions change existing standards to clarify intent or specific requirements of the standard in order to avoid confusion for facilities, auditors, and staff.
  • Deletions remove existing standards that are unnecessary, duplicative, or confusing. 
As part of its work, the Standards Committee also makes extensive use of the resources and knowledge provided by other standing ACA committees, including committees on adult corrections, adult detention, juvenile corrections, community corrections, healthcare, mental health, and substance abuse.  Similarly, the committee establishes subcommittees when necessary to study particularly important or complicated issues related to the ACA standards.  Such subcommittees are related to physical plant standards, translation issues, the development and implementation of electronic kiosks, and other issues.  

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