Board of Directors Reaffirms Two Position Statements
NCCHC develops position statements to express its expert opinion on matters of concern and to assist correctional facilities in designing policies and procedures. The policy and standards committee reviews these statements at least every five years. At its April meeting the board of directors reaffirmed the following two statements.
Competency for Execution
NCCHC’s standards require that the determination of whether an inmate is competent for execution should be made by an independent expert and not by any health care professional who works in the correctional institution holding the inmate. Correctional health personnel remain responsible to treat any mental illness of death row inmates. First adopted in 1988, this statement was reaffirmed without revision in 2017.
Correctional Health Professionals’ Response to Inmate Abuse
Should correctional health staff witness or become aware of an inmate being subjected to harm (as defined in the statement), it is their duty to report this to the appropriate authorities to protect patients and other inmates. The statement outlines nine principles to guide correctional health professionals in averting and reporting the mistreatment of inmates. First adopted in 2007, this statement was revised to update the references.
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, 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 liaison to the NCCHC board of directors.