New Edition of Juvenile Standards Now Available

Posted Oct 13, 2015

NCCHC’s juvenile standards task force has finished updating the Standards for Health Services in Juvenile Detention and Confinement Facilities and the manual is being introduced at the National Conference on Correctional Health Care, where it will be featured in a preconference seminar on Oct. 17.

The task force was led by longtime NCCHC board member Robert Morris, MD, CCHP-P, who serves as liaison of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. “The juvenile standards were reviewed and updated by a team of subject matter experts covering all aspects of health care in juvenile facilities,” said Dr. Morris. “We are grateful for their dedication and collaboration in updating the standards.”

Along with manuals for jails, prisons, mental health services and opioid treatment programs, the NCCHC juvenile standards are a vital resource because they provide the framework to ensure that systems, policies and procedures are in place to produce the best outcomes in the most cost-efficient and effective manner. Compliance with these nationally recognized standards helps ensure that facilities provide constitutionally acceptable care and provides a pathway for continuous improvement. Failing to provide adequate health care to an incarcerated person can be detrimental to public health and safety and may result in financial or legal penalties for institutions.

“This revision closely mirrors the 2014 Standards for Health Services for jails and prisons in language and definitions while retaining essential elements relating to youth in the correctional environment,” Dr. Morris said. “Ease of use was foremost in our minds during the revision process, and we hope the revised standards will help all juvenile facilities prepare for accreditation or, at minimum, support their efforts in providing excellent health care to patients.”

This edition features updated recommendations for medical autonomy, continuous quality improvement, clinical performance enhancement, patient safety, health assessment, chronic disease services, contraception, care of the pregnant juvenile, forensic information and more. The standards provide clear compliance indicators that define expected outcomes and aid in self-assessment as well as best practices recommendations. The standards were last revised in 2011.

The implementation date for the 2015 Juvenile Standards is May 1, 2016. NCCHC accreditation surveys after this date will assess compliance with the new standards. Likewise, as of May 1 the Certified Correctional Health Professional (CCHP) exam will reference the 2015 standards.

For more information about the standards, visit

About the National Commission on Correctional Health Care

NCCHC is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization working to improve the quality of care in our nation’s jails, prisons, and juvenile detention and confinement facilities. NCCHC establishes standards for health services in correctional facilities; operates a voluntary accreditation program for institutions that meet these standards; produces and disseminates resource publications; provides technical assistance; offers a quality review program; conducts educational trainings and conferences; and offers a certification program for correctional health professionals. NCCHC is supported by the major national organizations representing the fields of health, law and corrections. Each of these organizations has named a representative to the NCCHC Board of Directors.

NCCHC Supporting Organizations: Academy of Correctional Health Professionals, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Physician Assistants, American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, American Association of Public Health Physicians, American Bar Association, American College of Correctional Physicians, American College of Emergency Physicians, American College of Healthcare Executives, American College of Neuropsychiatrists, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Physicians, American College of Preventive Medicine, American Correctional Health Services Association, American Counseling Association, American Dental Association, American Health Information Management Association, American Jail Association, American Medical Association, American Nurses Association, American Osteopathic Association, American Pharmacists Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American Public Health Association, American Society of Addiction Medicine, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, International Association for Correctional and Forensic Psychology, National Association of Counties, National Association of County and City Health Officials, National Association of Social Workers, National Medical Association, National Partnership for Juvenile Services, National Sheriffs’ Association, Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine