With support from the major national organizations representing the fields of health, law and corrections, the National Commission on Correctional Health Care is committed to improving the quality of health care in jails, prisons and juvenile confinement facilities. In this we are guided by an exceptionally dedicated Board of Directors comprised of liaisons from our supporting organizations.
NCCHC's origins date to the early 1970s, when an American Medical Association study of jails found inadequate, disorganized health services and a lack of national standards. In collaboration with other organizations, the AMA established a program that in the early 1980s became the National Commission on Correctional Health Care, an independent, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose early mission was to evaluate and develop policy and programs for a field clearly in need of assistance.
Today, NCCHC's leadership in setting standards for health services in correctional facilities is widely recognized. Established by the health, legal and corrections professions, NCCHC's Standards are recommendations for the management of a correctional health services system. Written in separate volumes for prisons, jails and juvenile confinement facilities, plus a manual for mental health services and another for opioid treatment programs, the Standards cover the areas of care and treatment, health records, administration, personnel and medical-legal issues. These essential resources have helped correctional and detention facilities improve the health of their inmates and the communities to which they return, increase the efficiency of health services delivery, strengthen organizational effectiveness and reduce the risk of adverse legal judgments.
Building on that foundation, NCCHC offers a broad array of services and resources to help correctional health care systems provide efficient, high-quality care.
NCCHC has offered a voluntary health services accreditation program since the 1970s. Based on its Standards, the process uses external peer review to determine whether correctional institutions meet these standards in provision of health services. NCCHC renders a professional judgment and assists in the improvement of services provided. NCCHC also offers accreditation for opioid treatment programs in correctional facilities, and is the only accrediting body authorized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration that focuses on corrections.
NCCHC conferences are renowned for their exceptional educational programs, abundant networking and the best commercial exhibitions in this field. Since it began in 1977, the National Conference on Correctional Health Care has been the must-attend event of the year. Similar in format but smaller in scale, NCCHC's Spring Conference is popular for its content-rich program and cutting-edge topics. Each summer, the Correctional Mental Health Care Conference convenes practitioners and administrators seeking to improve mental health and substance abuse services, while the intensive Leadership Institute provides core training for specific groups such as medical directors and health services administrators.
The Certified Correctional Health Professional program recognizes the professionalism of individuals involved in all aspects of correctional health care. Participants have earned the highly regarded CCHP designation by demonstrating mastery of national standards and the special knowledge and skills expected of leaders in this complex and ever-changing field.
Publications and Resources
Our publications catalog features the NCCHC Standards, as well as Correctional Health Care: Guidelines for the Management of an Adequate Delivery System and many useful works from other publishers. CorrectCare and the Journal of Correctional Health Care are the leading periodicals in this field. Our website offers free access to Guidelines for Disease Management, Position Statements and other resources.
NCCHC offers customized consultation and technical assistance to help correctional facilities with issues such as preparing for accreditation, developing policies and procedures, and assessing alternative solutions to problems.