With 30 California prisons now accredited, CDCR on track to have all adult institutions accredited by 2017
The Commission on Accreditation for Corrections accredited seven more CDCR prisons, bringing the total number of accredited state prisons to 30. The most recent round of accreditations was announced Aug. 7 during the American Correctional Association’s (ACA) 146th Congress of Corrections in Boston.
“Our success with accreditation is proof of the progress CDCR is making in improving our prison system,” said CDCR Secretary Scott Kernan. “We started this ACA process six years ago at a time when there were still too many inmates in our prisons and too few resources to rehabilitate them. ACA accreditation demonstrates our efforts to reform and improve California’s correctional system are working well.”
Institutions seeking accreditation must undergo intensive evaluations by the ACA that culminate in the accreditation audit, a comprehensive assessment that encompasses every area of prison management including administrative and fiscal controls, staff training and development, the physical plant, safety and emergency procedures, conditions of confinement, rules and discipline, inmate programs, health care, food service, sanitation, and the provision of basic services affecting the life, safety and health of inmates and staff.
Institutions seeking accreditation have to comply with 525 ACA standards and score 100 percent for 62 mandatory requirements and at least 90 percent on 463 non-mandatory requirements. Half of the mandatory standards address health care.
California Correctional Center, California Institution for Men, California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in Corcoran, Calipatria State Prison, Pleasant Valley State Prison, Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility and Valley State Prison met all of the mandatory requirements and considerably surpassed the 90 percent mark for non-mandatory items.
In addition, Correctional Training Facility, High Desert State Prison, Mule Creek State Prison, North Kern State Prison and Pelican Bay State Prison – accredited in 2013 – were re-accredited for three more years.
For the non-mandatory requirements, California Correctional Center received a score of 98.3 percent, California Institution for Men received 98.0 percent, California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in Corcoran received 99.1 percent, Calipatria State Prison received 98.8 percent, Pleasant Valley State Prison received 99.3 percent, Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility received 97.7 percent and Valley State Prison received 99.3 percent.
California City Correctional Facility, California Correctional Institution, California Health Care Facility, California Rehabilitation Center and Deuel Vocational Institution have started the process of seeking accreditation in 2017. In addition, the eight institutions accredited in 2014 will seek reaccreditation.
Founded in 1870, the ACA is the leading internationally recognized authority on corrections and its role in the criminal justice system and in society. It develops standards based on valid, reliable research designed to improve correctional facilities on all levels. The ACA facilitates the accreditation process and its Commission on Accreditation for Corrections certifies prisons. ACA standards have been integrated in more than 1,300 facilities and agencies around the world.
CDCR began the process of seeking nationally recognized accreditation from the ACA in 2010. CDCR is slated to accomplish its goal of having all of its 34 state-owned institutions and one leased prison accredited by next year.
CDCR’s Special Review Unit in the Office of Audits and Court Compliance provides departmental oversight and works with its Division of Health Care Services in the accreditation process.
(Editor’s note: Some websites may not be accessible from a CDCR computer.)
For more about the American Correctional Association, visit https://www.aca.org/