7 California Prisons Receive ACA Accreditation

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) announced on Aug. 8 that seven of the state’s prisons had earned accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Corrections, bringing the total number of accredited state prisons in California to 30. The most recent round of accreditations was announced during the American Correctional Association’s (ACA) 146th Congress of Corrections in Boston from August 5-10.

“Our success with accreditation is proof of the progress CDCR is making in improving our prison system,” said CDCR Secretary Scott Kernan in a statement. “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.”

Correctional institutions seeking accreditation are required to undergo intensive evaluations by the ACA, including an accreditation audit and a comprehensive assessment that encompasses all aspects of prison management. The assessment examines administrative and fiscal controls, staff training and development, the facility’s 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, according to a statement issued by the CDCR.

Institutions seeking accreditation must 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 in Susanville, California Institution for Men in Chino, California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in Corcoran, Calipatria State Prison in Calipatria, Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga, Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego and Valley State Prison in Chowchilla each met all of the mandatory requirements. For the non-mandatory requirements, all facilities scored at least 97.7 percent or higher.

The CDCR added in a statement that the four facilities yet to receive accreditation — California City Correctional Facility in California City, California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi, California Health Care Facility in Stockton, California Rehabilitation Center in Norco and Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy — have all begun the process of seeking accreditation.

The CDCR began the process of seeking nationally recognized accreditation from the ACA in 2010 and is slated to accomplish its goal of having all 34 state-owned institutions and one leased prison accredited by 2017.