Accreditation by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care is a process of external peer review in which NCCHC, a private, nongovernmental association, grants public recognition to detention and correctional institutions that meet nationally established and accepted standards for the provision of mental health services. The accreditation program renders a professional judgment on the quality of mental health services provided and assists correctional facilities in their continued improvement.
Accreditation is based on the NCCHC Standards for Mental Health Services in Correctional Facilities. Since 1983, the NCCHC accreditation standards have been widely accepted by the health, legal and corrections professions. The standards cover nine general areas:
- Governance and administration
- Personnel and training
- Health care services and support
- Inmate care and treatment
- Health promotion
- Special mental health needs and services
- Clinical records
- Medical–legal issues
Benefits of Accreditation
NCCHC accreditation confers many benefits. It promotes and documents an efficient and well-managed mental health care delivery system. It adds to the prestige of the facility, increases staff morale, aids recruiting efforts, helps to obtain community support and provides additional justification for budgetary requests. Accreditation also can help protect a facility’s assets by minimizing the occurrence of adverse events. In many instances, accreditation can help reduce liability premiums and protect facilities from lawsuits related to health care.
Accreditation benefits the well-being of the public, staff and inmates by assuring that those incarcerated and released receive adequate and appropriate mental health care according to nationally accepted standards.