NCCHC Historical Time Line

Reflections on a Career in Correctional Health Care: A Q&A With Edward Harrison

1970 — American Medical Association Vice President Bernard P. Harrison participates in the American Bar Association's Commission on Correctional Facilities and Services. Inadequate health services in jails is identified as a major problem.

1973 — The AMA publishes results of its survey of health care in jails, and confirms a lack of services and standards. The AMA’s board of trustees allocates $50,000 to plan a remedial program.

1975 — With funding from the Department of Justice’s Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, the AMA's Jail Program is launched. Six state medical societies (Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Washington and Wisconsin) are selected as subgrantees and they in turn select jails in their states to serve as pilot sites. A total of 30 jails are chosen.

1976 — The first standards for health services in jails are developed as part of the AMA Jail Program and tested in the pilot sites. The AMA tests the nation’s first accreditation program in corrections.

1977 — Sixteen of the pilot jails are accredited as meeting the AMA’s health care standards. The AMA holds the first National Conference on Improved Medical Care and Health Services in Jails.

1979 — The AMA publishes the first sets of health standards for prisons and juvenile confinement institutions. The program is now in 23 states.

1982 — The program moves outside the AMA with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In addition to the AMA, 21 other organizations name individuals to participate as an advisory body. The first prison receives accreditation. A technical assistance program is developed (initially on the topics of receiving screening and suicide prevention).

1983 — The program evolves into the National Commission on Correctional Health Care, and is incorporated in Illinois and federally designated a not-for-profit, tax-exempt 501 (c)(3) organization. Bernard Harrison is named its president and B. Jaye Anno its secretary-treasurer.

1984 — The first juvenile confinement facilities are accredited.

1986 — The first Award of Merit recipient is named: Alan R. Nelson, AMA representative and founding member of the NCCHC board.

1987 — NCCHC publishes the premiere issue of CorrectCare, the country’s first national periodical dedicated to the growing field of correctional health care.

1989 — NCCHC assumes sponsorship of the Journal of Prison and Jail Health; this later is replaced by NCCHC’s peer-reviewed Journal of Correctional Health Care.

1990 — The Certified Correctional Health Professional (CCHP) board of trustees is established and administers its first examination.

1991 — Bernard Harrison retires and Robert Burmeister is hired as the new president.

1993 — The first CCHP-Advanced examination is given. Annual awards are established for Facility of the Year and Program of the Year. Edward Harrison is hired as president.

1998 — NCCHC establishes the Award of Excellence in Correctional Health Care Communications (later to be renamed the B. Jaye Anno Award of Excellence in Communication).

1999 — NCCHC publishes Correctional Mental Health Care: Standards and Guidelines for Delivering Services with assistance from the American Psychological Association.

2000 — A second annual conference, held in the spring, is launched.

2001 — NCCHC publishes its first set of clinical guidelines for correctional health care.

2002 — The National Institute of Justice releases NCCHC's report The Health Status of Soon-to-Be- Released Inmates, a seminal national research project that provided Congress with policy recommendations focused on correctional health, public health and inmate reentry.

2003 — NCCHC cofounders Bernard Harrison and B. Jaye Anno receive the Institute of Medicine's Gustav O. Lienhard award for their visionary work at NCCHC that improved the public health.

2004 — Annual summer conferences on mental health care are inaugurated. Standards for opioid treatment programs are developed, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration designates NCCHC as one of only a handful of approved bodies to accredit opioid treatment programs in the United Sates.

2008 — Standards for Mental Health Services in Correctional Facilities is published, based on the mental health guidelines first published in 1999.

2009 — NCCHC holds the first Medical Directors Boot Camp in cooperation with the Society of Correctional Physicians (the program later becomes the Correctional Health Care Leadership Institutes). The CCHP program launches specialty certification for registered nurses.

2013 — The CCHP program begins specialty certification for mental health professionals. The board establishes the R. Scott Chavez Memorial Library to honor NCCHC’s long-time vice-president and former board member.

2014 — After 27 years at NCCHC (21 as president), Edward Harrison retires. NCCHC creates NCCHC Resources, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides consulting and other assistance to correctional facilities.

2015 — The CCHP program introduces specialty certification for physicians. CHORDS-QI, a collaborative quality improvement initiative, is launched.

2016 — NCCHC holds the first two trainings for medical directors at state departments of corrections, emphasizing the NCCHC standards. The first training leads to the formation of the State Medical Directors' Executive Network (SMDEN). The National Conference celebrates 40 years and the CCHP program celebrates its 25th anniversary.

2017 — The CCHP program launches computer-based testing with test sites nationwide.

2018 — An online community, NCCHC Connect, is launched. The Young Professionals Committee is established, along with a Young Professional Award.

2019 — The CCHP-A program celebrates its 25th anniversary. A new annual award, Surveyor of the Year, is introduced. Deborah Ross is named CEO.

2020 — The COVID-19 pandemic leads to several innovations: virtual and blended accreditation surveys; virtual conferences; online certification testing and on-demand CCHP review courses. CCHP-RN celebrates its 10th anniversary. NCCHC launches the NCCHC Foundation, which receives its first grant in November.

2021 — A new award is introduced: The Edward A Harrison Award of Excellence in Correctional Health Care Leadership.