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ACA, Accreditation, American Correctional Association, Commission on Accreditation for Corrections, Correctional Accreditation, Corrections, Jails, Prisons, Prison Reform


Correctional accreditation processes can be revamped to bring more transparency and accountability into the operation of correctional facilities and to help ensure that they comport with sound correctional practices, legal requirements, and basic human-rights precepts. Becoming accredited is now largely optional, and correctional accreditation processes are fee-based. Consequently, correctional accrediting entities are vulnerable to pressures to water down accreditation standards and make accreditation procedures more lax. The federal government should therefore adopt two requirements. First, prisons, jails, and other correctional facilities should have to be accredited by a certified accrediting entity in order to be eligible to receive federal funds. Second, in order to be certified as a correctional accrediting entity, it must meet criteria designed to bring correctional facilities into compliance with legal requirements and sound correctional practices, effectuate effective institutional oversight, and make correctional accreditation processes themselves more transparent and accountable