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Standards Q & A: Standards Regarding Inmate Workers

Q: We are starting to use inmate workers at our jail. What do we need to do to ensure we are following NCCHC standards?

A: Great question! To ensure compliance with the standards, incorporate the following as you build your inmate worker program:

Standard B-02 Infectious Disease Prevention and Control describes the training each inmate worker needs if handling and disposing of biohazardous materials and spills.

Standard B-04 Medical Surveillance of Inmate Workers describes what is needed to ensure that inmate workers’ health and safety are protected. The standard lays out medical screening expectations and necessary components of a medical surveillance program.

Standard C-06 Inmate Workers clearly states that health services must be provided by health staff and not by inmate workers and describes the limited roles inmate workers can play in health-related programs and services.   

Amy Panagopoulos, MBA, BSN, is NCCHC’s vice president of accreditation. Send your standards-related questions to accreditation@ncchc.org.