About Us

OUR INDEPENDENCE MATTERS

The National Commission on Correctional Health Care has no membership or dues. NCCHC does not require any affiliation to be considered for accreditation, certification, or employment as a consultant or surveyor, or to serve on committees or the board of directors. NCCHC staff and spouses are not allowed to accept gifts or consulting fees from those we accredit or certify. NCCHC is impartial, unbiased, expert, and dedicated only to recognizing and fostering improvements to the field of correctional health care.

The mission of the National Commission on Correctional Health Care is to improve the quality of health care in jails, prisons, and juvenile confinement facilities. 

NCCHC is supported by the major national organizations representing the fields of health, mental health, law, and corrections. Each supporting organization has named a liaison to the NCCHC board of representatives to create a robust, multidisciplinary governing structure that reflects the complexities of correctional health care.

NCCHC's Origins

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 1983 became an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization: the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC).

NCCHC Today

Forty years later, NCCHC remains the only national organization dedicated solely to improving correctional health care quality. We do that by establishing rigorous standards for health services in correctional facilities, operating a voluntary accreditation program for institutions that meet those standards, offering certification for correctional health professionals, conducting educational conferences and webinars, and producing industry-specific publications and other resources.

Standards

For 40 years, NCCHC’s highly respected standards have provided uniquely valuable guidance to help correctional health professionals and administrators improve the health of their incarcerated populations (and the communities to which they return), increase efficiency of health services delivery, strengthen organizational effectiveness, and reduce the risk of adverse legal judgments. Established by health, mental health, legal, and corrections professions, NCCHC’s standards cover the areas of patient care and treatment, governance and administration, personnel and training, safety and disease prevention, special needs and services, and medical-legal issues. These essential resources are written in separate volumes for prisons, jails, and juvenile confinement facilities, plus a manual for mental health services and another for opioid treatment programs. 

Accreditation

NCCHC’s accreditation program uses external peer review by a team of correctional health care experts to determine whether the jail, prison, juvenile facility, or OTP being surveyed meets the relevant standards. The survey process is rigorous but collaborative, with a goal of quality improvement. To that end, NCCHC is impartial, unbiased, and dedicated only to recognizing and fostering quality in correctional health care. NCCHC is the only accrediting body authorized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration that focuses on corrections.

Educational Programs

NCCHC’s educational programs are renowned for their exceptional content delivered by experts. Three conferences a year also offer abundant networking and the best commercial exhibitions in this field: the five-day National Conference on Correctional Health Care held each fall, the four-day Spring Conference on Correctional Health Care, and a two-day Correctional Mental Health Care Conference held every summer. Monthly webinars on critical issues round out the educational offerings

Certification

The Certified Correctional Health Professional program recognizes the professionalism of individuals involved in all aspects of correctional health care. Participants earn the highly regarded CCHP designation by demonstrating mastery of NCCHC’s national standards and the special knowledge and skills required in this complex field. Specialty certifications for correctional nurses, physicians, and mental health professionals, as well as an advanced certification, also are available.

Publications and Resources

Our publications include the NCCHC Standards manuals, CorrectCare magazine, the Journal of Correctional Health Care, CorrectCare Extra e-newsletter, Position Statements, and other resources.

NCCHC Resources: Consulting and Technical Assistance

Expert consulting services and technical assistance are offered through NCCHC Resources, Inc., NCCHC’s consulting subsidiary, whose experts work with correctional facilities and systems to solve complex health-care related challenges.

NCCHC Foundation

The mission of the NCCHC Foundation is to champion the correctional health care field and serve the public by supporting research, professional education, scholarships, and patient reentry into the community.