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Aca Public Correctional Policies Aug 2010

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Public Correctional Policies
(As reviewed, amended and adopted at the
141st Congress of Correction)

TITLE

NUMBER

PAGE

1984-1

4

2001-1

74

Public Correctional Policy on Capital Punishment

1990-1

40

Public Correctional Policy on Children, Youth and

1997-1

53

Public Correctional Policy on Classification

1984-2

5

Public Correctional Policy on Community Corrections

1985-1

15

Public Correctional Policy on Community Service and

2001-2

75

Public Correctional Policy on Conditions of Confinement

1987-1

33

Public Correctional Policy on Correctional Health Care

1987-2

35

Public Correctional Policy on Correctional Industry Programs

1999-1

55

Public Correctional Policy on Correctional Mental Health Care

2004-1

81

Public Correctional Policy on Crime Prevention

1996-1

49

Public Correctional Policy on Criminal Sentencing and

2010-1

91

1985-2

16

Public Correctional Policy on Design of Correctional Facilities

1985-3

17

Public Correctional Policy on Drug Free Work Force

1999-2

57

Public Correctional Policy on Employee Assistance Programs

1993-1

46

Public Correctional Policy on Employment of Offenders

1987-3

37

Public Correctional Policy on Employment of Women

1987-4

38

Public Correctional Policy on Adult and Juvenile
Female Offender Services
Public Correctional Policy on Adult/Juvenile Offender
Access to Telephones

Families

Restorative Justice

Early Release
Public Correctional Policy on Crowding and Workloads
in Corrections

in Corrections

I

TITLE

NUMBER

PAGE

2011-1

94

2000-1

73

Public Correctional Policy on Firearm Control

1999-3

59

Public Correctional Policy on Funding the Incarceration

1999-4

61

Public Correctional Policy on Higher Education

1990-2

41

Public Correctional Policy on Information Systems

1985-4

19

Public Correctional Policy on International Staff Exchange

1999-5

62

Public Correctional Policy on Juvenile Justice

1984-3

7

Public Correctional Policy on Justice System Partnerships

2003-1

79

Public Correctional Policy on Legal Issues and Litigation

1985-5

21

Public Correctional Policy on Nonsmoking Policies

1999-6

63

Public Correctional Policy on Offender Education and Training

1985-6

23

Public Correctional Policy on Offender on Offender

2005-1

83

Public Correctional Policy on Offenders with Special Needs

1984-4

9

Public Correctional Policy on Parole

1999-7

65

Public Correctional Policy on Private Sector Involvement

1985-7

25

Public Correctional Policy on Probation

1985-8

27

Public Correctional Policy on Minority Overrepresentation

2005-2

85

Public Correctional Policy on Reentry of Offenders

2001-3

77

Public Correctional Policy on Religious Faith and Practice

1990-3

43

Public Correctional Policy on Research and Evaluation

1987-5

39

Public Correctional Policy on Environmentally Responsible
and Sustainability-Oriented Practices
Public Correctional Policy on Fiscal Responsibility for
Correctional Legislation

of Undocumented Aliens

Sexual Abuse

in Corrections

in Justice Systems and Programs

II

TITLE

NUMBER

PAGE

2005-3

87

Public Correctional Policy on Role of Corrections

1983-1

1

Public Correctional Policy on Sentencing

1994-1

47

Public Correctional Policy on Staff Recruitment

1984-5

11

2005-4

89

Public Correctional Policy on Standards and Accreditation

1984-6

13

Public Correctional Policy on Substance Abuse

1992-1

45

Public Correctional Policy on Term “Correctional Officer”

1999-8

67

Public Correctional Policy on Use of Appropriate Sanctions

1984-7

14

Public Correctional Policy on Use of Force

1985-9

29

Public Correctional Policy on Victims of Crime

1985-10

31

Public Correctional Policy on Violence Reduction

1996-2

51

Public Correctional Policy on Youthful Offenders Transferred

1999-9

69

Public Correctional Policy on Restoration of Voting
Rights for Felony Offenders

and Development
Public Correctional Policy on Staff Sexual Misconduct
With Offenders / Detainees

and Controls

To Adult Criminal Jurisdiction

III

NUMBER

TITLE

PAGE

1983-1

Public Correctional Policy on the Role of Corrections

1

1984-1

Public Correctional Policy on Adult and Juvenile Female

3

Offender Services
1984-2

Public Correctional Policy on Classification

5

1984-3

Public Correctional Policy on Juvenile Justice

7

1984-4

Public Correctional Policy on Offenders with Special Needs

9

1984-5

Public Correctional Policy on Staff Recruitment and

11

Development
1984-6

Public Correctional Policy on Standards and Accreditation

13

1984-7

Public Correctional Policy on Use of Appropriate Sanctions

14

and Controls
1985-1

Public Correctional Policy on Community Corrections

15

1985-2

Public Correctional Policy on Crowding and Workloads in

16

Corrections
1985-3

Public Correctional Policy on Design of Correctional Facilities

17

1985-4

Public Correctional Policy on Information Systems

19

1985-5

Public Correctional Policy on Legal Issues and Litigation

21

1985-6

Public Correctional Policy on Offender Education

23

and Training
1985-7

Public Correctional Policy on Private Sector Involvement

25

in Corrections
1985-8

Public Correctional Policy on Probation

27

1985-9

Public Correctional Policy on Use of Force

29

1985-10

Public Correctional Policy on Victims of Crime

31

1987-1

Public Correctional Policy on Conditions of Confinement

33

1987-2

Public Correctional Policy on Correctional Health Care

35

1987-3

Public Correctional Policy on Employment of Offenders

37

Corrections
IV

NUMBER
1987-4

TITLE

PAGE

Public Correctional Policy on Employment of Women in

38

Corrections
1987-5

Public Correctional Policy on Research and Evaluation

39

1990-1

Public Correctional Policy on Capital Punishment

40

1990-2

Public Correctional Policy on Higher Education

41

1990-3

Public Correctional Policy on Religious Faith and Practice

43

1992-1

Public Correctional Policy on Substance Abuse

45

1993-1

Public Correctional Policy on Employee Assistance Programs

46

1994-1

Public Correctional Policy on Sentencing

47

1996-1

Public Correctional Policy on Crime Prevention

49

1996-2

Public Correctional Policy on Violence Reduction

51

1997-1

Public Correctional Policy on Children, Youth and Families

53

1999-1

Public Correctional Policy on Correctional Industry Programs

55

1999-2

Public Correctional Policy on Drug Free Work Force

57

1999-3

Public Correctional Policy on Firearm Control

59

1999-4

Public Correctional Policy on Funding the Incarceration

61

of Undocumented Aliens
1999-5

Public Correctional Policy on International Staff Exchange

62

1999-6

Public Correctional Policy on Nonsmoking Policies

63

1999-7

Public Correctional Policy on Parole

65

1999-8

Public Correctional Policy on Term “Correctional Officer”

67

1999-9

Public Correctional Policy on Youthful Offenders

69

Transferred to Adult Criminal Jurisdiction
2000-1

Public Correctional Policy on Fiscal Responsibility for

73

Correctional Legislation
2001-1

Public Correctional Policy on Adult/Juvenile Offender
Access to Telephones

V

74

NUMBER
2001-2

TITLE

PAGE

Public Correctional Policy on Community Service and

75

Restorative Justice
2001-3

Public Correctional Policy on Reentry of Offenders

77

2003-1

Public Correctional Policy on Justice System Partnerships

79

2004-1

Public Correctional Policy on Correctional Mental Health Care

81

2005-1

Public Correctional Policy on Offender on Offender

83

Sexual Abuse
2005-2

Public Correctional Policy on Minority Overrepresentation

85

in Justice Systems and Programs
2005-3

Public Correctional Policy on Restoration of Voting

87

Rights for Felony Offenders
2005-4

Public Correctional Policy on Staff Sexual Misconduct

89

With Offenders / Detainees
2010-1

Public Correctional on Criminal Sentencing and Early

91

Release From Confinement
2011-1

Public Correctional Policy on Environmentally Responsible
and Sustainability-Oriented Practices

VI

94

Public Correctional Policy on Role of Corrections
1983-1

Introduction:
In order to establish the goals and objectives of any correctional system, there must be a
mission established that all members of the correctional community can use in goalsetting and daily operations.
Policy Statement:
The overall role of corrections is to enhance public safety and social order. Adult and
juvenile correctional systems should:
A. Implement court-ordered sanctions and provide supervision of those accused of
unlawful behavior prior to and after adjudication in a safe and humane manner;
B. Offer the widest range of correctional programs that are based on exemplary
practices, supported by research and promote pro-social behavior;
C. Provide gender- and culturally-responsive programs and services for preadjudicated
and adjudicated offenders that will enhance successful reentry to the community and
that are administered within the least restrictive environment consistent with public,
staff and offender safety;
D. Address the needs of victims of crime;
E. Routinely review correctional programs and reentry services to ensure that they are
addressing the needs of offenders, victims and the community; and
F. Collaborate with other professions to improve and strengthen correctional services
and to support the reduction of crime and recidivism.
This Public Correctional Policy was unanimously ratified by the American Correctional Association
Delegate Assembly at the Congress of Correction in Chicago, Aug. 11, 1983. It was reviewed Jan. 17, 1990,
at the Winter Conference in Nashville, Tenn., with no change. It was reviewed Jan. 18, 1995, at the Winter
Conference in Dallas, with no change. It was reviewed and reaffirmed Jan. 12, 2000 at the Winter
Conference in Phoenix, with minor amendments. It was reviewed and amended at the Congress of
Correction in Baltimore, Aug. 10, 2005. It was reviewed and amended at the 140th Congress of Correction
in Chicago, Aug. 4, 2010.

1 
 

2 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Adult and Juvenile Female Offender Services
1984-1

Introduction:
In addition to recognizing the unique requirements of special needs populations
including adolescents, the elderly, the mentally ill and the medically impaired,
correctional systems must practice gender responsiveness in the development of
services and programs for adult and juvenile female offenders. Programs must be
designed and implemented to meet the needs of this population.
Policy Statement:
Correctional systems must be guided by the principle of gender responsiveness and
recognize the physical, behavioral, social, and cultural differences between female and
male offenders, and how those differences should be reflected in policies and practices.
Female offenders must receive a full range of services that recognize the realities of their
lives and address the specific needs of this population. Correctional agencies should:
A. Acknowledge that gender makes a difference in what is most effective for adult and
juvenile female offenders and review all policies, programs and practices including
classification systems to ensure they are gender responsive;
B. Provide both human and financial resources to create a system-wide approach to the
provision of adult/juvenile gender-centered services that create a safe,
nondiscriminatory, and supportive environment;
C. Ensure all staff, including contract employees and volunteers working with female
offenders, are carefully screened and provided specific training in order to effectively
provide services;
D. Provide a full range of integrated, age- and developmentally-appropriate, genderresponsive programs and services that address substance abuse treatment, trauma,
physical and mental health to include prenatal care, relationships, spirituality, economic
self-sufficiency, reentry and legal issues;
E. Facilitate the maintenance and strengthening of family ties;
F. Implement a full range of alternatives to incarceration, including pre- and post-trial
diversion, probation, restitution, community residential and parole/aftercare services,
designed to meet the needs of this population;

3 
 

G. Develop gender-responsive conditions of confinement and implement humane,
relevant security policies and practices to include proper nutrition, clothing, personal
property, hygiene supplies, exercise, and recreation/wellness programs; and
H. Provide access to a full range of work and other programs designed to expand
economic self-sufficiency.
This Public Correctional Policy was unanimously ratified by the American Correctional Association
Delegate Assembly at the Congress of Correction in San Antonio, Aug. 23, 1984. It was reviewed at the
Winter Conference in Nashville, Tenn., on Jan. 17, 1990, with no change. It was reviewed and amended
Aug. 9, 1995, at the Congress of Correction in Cincinnati. It was reviewed and amended Aug. 16, 2000, at
the Congress of Correction in San Antonio. It was reviewed and amended at the Winter Conference in
Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 1, 2006. It was reviewed and amended at the Winter Conference in San Antonio,
Feb. 1, 2011.

4 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Classification
1984-2

Introduction:
Proper classification of offenders promotes public, staff and offender safety. It is a
continuing process basic to identifying and matching offender needs to correctional
resources. Classification also serves as a tool for identifying gaps in correctional
services. This continuing process involves all phases of correctional management.
Policy Statement:
Classification should balance the public's need for protection, the needs of offenders,
and the efficient and effective operation of the correctional system. In developing and
administering its classification system, a correctional agency should:
A. Develop written classification policies that establish criteria specifying different
levels of security, supervision and program involvement; establish procedures for
documenting and reviewing all classification decisions and actions; describe the appeal
process to be used by individuals subject to classification; and specify the time frames
for monitoring and reclassifying cases;
B. Develop the appropriate range of resources and services to meet the identified risk
and program needs of the population served;
C. Base classification decisions on rational assessment of objective and valid
information, including background material (criminal history, nature of offense, age,
gender, social history, educational needs, medical/mental health needs, etc.), as well as
information regarding the individual's current situation, adjustment and program
achievement;
D. Train all personnel in the classification process and require specialized training for
those directly involved in classification functions;
E. Use the classification process to assign individuals to different levels of control on
the basis of valid criteria regarding risk (to self and others) and individual needs,
matching these characteristics with appropriate security, level of supervision, and
program services;
F. Involve the offender directly in the classification process;
G. Assign appropriately trained staff to monitor individual classification plans for
progress made and reclassification needs;

5 
 

H. Objectively validate the classification process and instruments, assess on a planned
basis the degree to which results meet written goals, and, as needed, refine the process
and instruments; and
I. Provide for regular dissemination of classification information to all levels of
correctional staff and ensure that all staff understand the nature and purpose of proper
classification of offenders.

This Public Correctional Policy was unanimously ratified by the American Correctional Association
Delegate Assembly at the Congress of Correction in San Antonio, Aug. 23, 1984. It was reviewed Jan. 17,
1990, at the Winter Conference in Nashville, Tenn., with no change. It was reviewed Jan. 18, 1995, at the
Winter Conference in Dallas, with no change. It was reviewed and reaffirmed Jan. 12, 2000, at the Winter
Conference in Phoenix, with minor amendments. It was reviewed, amended and reaffirmed Jan. 12, 2005,
at the Winter Conference in Phoenix. It was reviewed, amended and reaffirmed Jan. 27, 2010, at the
Winter Conference in Tampa, Fla.

6 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Juvenile Justice
1984-3

Introduction:
Children and youths have distinct personal and developmental needs and must be kept
separate from adult offenders. The juvenile justice continuum consists of prevention,
diversion, detention, probation, residential and aftercare programs. The best interests of
the individual youth must be balanced with the needs of the victim and the community.
Policy Statement:
The juvenile justice system must provide a continuum of services, programs and
facilities that ensure maximum opportunity for rehabilitation and are consistent with
public safety. These should place a high priority on providing individualized care and
rehabilitative services to juvenile offenders throughout the juvenile justice system. To
implement this policy, juvenile justice officials and agencies should:
A. Increase public awareness of why it is in their best interest to promote, support,
participate in and fund those programs that have proven effective in preventing
delinquency and producing healthy, positive, and socially-responsible children and
adolescents;
B. Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those who can have an
impact on the juvenile to achieve the fullest possible cooperation in making appropriate
decisions in individual cases and in providing and using services and resources;
C. Provide a range of non-residential and residential programs and services in the least
restrictive manner, consistent with the needs of individual offenders and the protection
of the public;
D. Engage the family whenever practical, appropriate and therapeutic to the youth, in
the development and implementation of the his or her treatment plan;
E. Use a juvenile classification system to identify the risk and needs of the juvenile
offender, and develop and implement an individualized treatment plan based on this
assessment;
F. Advocate for the separation of status offenders from adjudicated delinquent
offenders in the same facilities;
G. Provide a range of non-secure and secure short-term detention options pending
adjudication;

7 
 

H. Advocate for the separation of adjudicated from pre-adjudicated youths in the same
housing units;
I. With the involvement of the youth and prior to release from custody, develop a
transition plan that includes educational and/or vocational programs for
aftercare/reentry and ensure that these reentry services are available and provided
when the youth returns from residential placement;
J. Establish written policies and procedures that will protect the rights and safety of the
juvenile, the victim and the public in as balanced a manner as possible;
K. Establish procedures to safeguard the accuracy and use of juvenile records and
support limitations on their use according to approved national standards, recognizing
that the need to safeguard the privacy and rehabilitative goals of the juvenile should be
balanced with concern for the protection of the public, including victims;
L. Develop performance outcome measures from which program effectiveness and
system operations can be assessed and adjusted when needed; and
M. Implement research and evaluation initiatives that will measure the effectiveness of
juvenile justice programs and disseminate findings to the field.

8 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Offenders with Special Needs
1984-4
Introduction:
The provision of humane and gender-responsive programs and services for the accused
and adjudicated requires addressing the special needs of juvenile, youthful and adult
offenders. To meet this goal, correctional agencies should develop and adopt
procedures for the early identification of offenders with special needs. Agencies should
provide the services that respond to these needs and monitor and evaluate the delivery
of services in both confined and community settings.
Policy Statement:
Correctional systems must assure provision of specialized services, programs and
conditions of confinement to meet the special needs of offenders. To achieve this,
correctional systems should:
A. Identify the juvenile, youthful and adult offenders who require special care or
programs including:
•

Offenders with psychological needs, developmental disabilities, psychiatric
disorders, behavioral disorders, disabling conditions, neurological impairments,
and substance abuse disorders;

•

Offenders who have acute or chronic medical conditions, are physically disabled
or terminally ill;

•

Older offenders;

•

Offenders with social and/or educational deficiencies, learning disabilities, or
language barriers;

•

Offenders with special security or supervision needs;

•

Sex offenders; and

•

Female offenders.

B. Provide services and programs in a manner consistent with professional standards
and nationally-accepted exemplary practices. Such services and programs may be
provided within the correctional agency itself, by referral to another agency that has the
necessary specialized resources, or by contracting with private or volunteer agencies or
individuals that meet professional standards;

9 
 

C. Provide appropriately trained, licensed and/or certified, staff, contractors and
volunteers for the delivery of, care, programs, and services and provide incentives to
attend the continuing education and training necessary to maintain credentials and
state-of-the-art, knowledge and mastery-level skills;
D. Maintain professionally appropriate records of all delivered services and programs;
E. Conduct evaluations of service delivery adherence to program standards, while also
evaluating the effectiveness of the services, with regular feedback to administrators and
service providers for continuous quality improvement; and
F. Provide leadership and advocacy for legislative and public support to obtain the
resources needed to meet these special needs.

This Public Correctional Policy was ratified by the American Correctional Association Delegate Assembly
at the Congress of Correction in San Antonio, Aug. 23, 1984. It was reviewed and amended Jan. 16, 1991,
at the Winter Conference in Louisville, Ky. It was reviewed Aug. 21, 1996, at the Congress of Correction
in Nashville, Tenn., without change. It was reviewed and amended at the Congress of Correction in
Philadelphia, Aug. 15, 2001. It was reviewed and amended at the Congress of Correction in Charlotte,
N.C., Aug. 16, 2006. It was reviewed and amended at the Congress of Correction in Kissimmee, FL, Aug.
6, 2011.

10 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Staff Recruitment and Development
1984-5

Introduction:
Knowledgeable, highly skilled, motivated and professional personnel are essential to
effectively fulfill the role and mission of corrections. Professionalism is achieved
through structured programs addressing recruitment and enhancement of the
employee's skills, knowledge and understanding of the corrections process.
Policy Statement:
Correctional staff are the primary agents for promoting safety and security, as well as
the health, welfare and rehabilitation of offenders within correctional facilities and
community supervision programs. They directly interact with preadjudicated and
adjudicated offenders and are the principal catalysts of change in the correctional
process. The education, recruitment, orientation, supervision, compensation, training,
retention and advancement of correctional staff must receive full support from the
executive, judicial and legislative branches of government. To achieve this, correctional
agencies should:
A. Recruit personnel in an open, unbiased and accountable manner to ensure equal
employment opportunity for all qualified applicants regardless of gender, age, race,
disability, religion, ethnic background, veteran status or political affiliation, and actively
promote the employment of a diverse and multi-lingual workforce;
B. Screen applicants for job-related aspects of physical suitability, personal adjustment,
emotional stability, dependability, appropriate educational level, and experience. An
additional requisite is the ability to relate to preadjudicated or adjudicated offenders in
a manner that is fair and humane;
C. Select, promote and retain staff in accordance with valid job-related criteria that
emphasize merit and technical competence. Voluntary transfers and promotions within
and between correctional systems should be encouraged;
D. Comply with professional standards in staff development and offer a balance
between operational requirements and the development of personal, social and cultural
understanding. Staff development programs should involve the use of public and
private resources, including colleges, universities, labor unions and professional
associations;
E. Achieve parity between correctional staff and comparable criminal justice system
staff in salaries and benefits, training, continuing education, performance evaluations,

11 
 

disciplinary procedures, career development opportunities, transfers, promotions,
grievance procedures and retirement;
F. Encourage the participation of trained volunteers and students to enrich the
correctional program and to provide a potential source of recruitment;
G. Promote corrections as a career choice in high schools, vocational schools and
colleges and universities, and establish partnerships with career educational programs;
H. Encourage correctional employees to seek national certification.
I. Develop a strategy to enhance the image of correctional employment as a desirable
career and profession; and
J. Provide compensation and benefits for correctional personnel that will enhance
recruitment and retention.

This Public Correctional Policy was unanimously ratified by the American Correctional Association
Delegate Assembly at the Congress of Correction in San Antonio, Aug. 23, 1984. It was reviewed Jan. 17,
1990, at the Winter Conference in Nashville, Tenn., with no change. It was reviewed Jan. 18, 1995, at the
Winter Conference in Dallas, with no change. It was reviewed and reaffirmed Jan. 12, 2000 at the Winter
Conference in Phoenix, with minor amendments. It was reviewed and amended at the Congress of
Correction in Baltimore, Aug. 10, 2005. It was reviewed and amended at the 140th Congress of Correction
in Chicago, Aug. 4, 2010.

12 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Standards and Accreditation
1984-6

Introduction:
Adult and juvenile correctional agencies should provide community and institutional
programs and services that offer a full range of effective, just, humane and safe
dispositions and sanctions for accused and adjudicated offenders. To assure
accountability and professional responsibility, these programs and services should meet
accepted professional and performance-based standards and obtain accreditation. The
use of standards and the accreditation process provides a valuable mechanism for selfevaluation, stimulates improvement of correctional management and practice, and
provides recognition of acceptable programs and facilities. The American Correctional
Association and the Commission on Accreditation for Corrections have promulgated
national standards and a voluntary system of national accreditation for correctional
agencies. The beneficiaries of such a process are the staff of correctional agencies,
offenders and the public.
Policy Statement:
All adult and juvenile detention and correctional facilities, institutional services and
community programs should be operated in accordance with the standards established
by the American Correctional Association. These facilities and programs should be
accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Corrections. To fulfill this
objective, correctional agencies should:
A. Implement improvements to comply with appropriate correctional standards
including performance and outcome measurements; and
B. Seek and maintain accreditation through the process developed by the Commission
on Accreditation for Corrections in order that, through self-evaluation and peer review,
necessary improvements are made, programs and services come into compliance with
appropriate standards, and professional recognition is obtained.

This Public Correctional Policy was ratified by the American Correctional Association Delegate Assembly
at the Congress of Correction in San Antonio, Aug. 23, 1984. It was reviewed at the Winter Conference in
Nashville, Tenn., on Jan. 17, 1990, with no change. It was reviewed and amended Jan. 16, 1996, at the
Winter Conference in Philadelphia. It was reviewed and amended Jan. 14, 2002, at the Winter Conference
in San Antonio. It was reviewed and amended at the Congress of Correction in Kansas City, Mo., Aug. 15,
2007.

13 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Use of Appropriate Sanctions and Controls
1984-7

Introduction:
In developing, selecting and administering sanctions and punishments, decisionmakers must balance concern for individual dignity, public safety and maintenance of
social order. Correctional programs and facilities are a costly and limited resource; the
most restrictive are generally the most expensive. Therefore, it is good public policy to
use these resources wisely and economically.
Policy Statement:
The sanctions and controls imposed by courts and administered by corrections should
be the least restrictive, consistent with public and individual safety and the
maintenance of social order. Selection of the least restrictive sanctions and punishments
in specific cases inherently require balancing several important objectives — individual
dignity, fiscal responsibility, effective correctional operations, the interest of the victim
and severity of the crime. To meet these objectives, correctional agencies should:
A. Advocate to all branches of government and to the public at large, the development
and appropriate use of a wide range of sanctions, punishments, programs and facilities;
B. Recommend the use of the least restrictive appropriate dispositions in judicial
decisions;
C. Classify persons under correctional jurisdiction to the least restrictive appropriate
programs/facilities; and
D. Employ only the level of regulation and control necessary for the safe and efficient
operation of programs, services and facilities.

This Public Correctional Policy was unanimously ratified by the American Correctional Association
Delegate Assembly at the Winter Conference in Denver, Jan. 12, 1984. It was reviewed Aug. 15, 1990, at
the Congress of Correction in San Diego, with no change. It was reviewed Jan. 18, 1995, at the Winter
Conference in Dallas, with no change. It was reviewed and reaffirmed Jan. 12, 2000 at the Winter
Conference in Phoenix, with minor amendments. It was reviewed and amended Aug. 13, 2008, at the
Congress of Correction in New Orleans.

14 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Community Corrections
1985-1
Introduction:
Community corrections programs are an integral component of a graduated system of
sanctions and services. They enable offenders to work and pay taxes, make restitution,
meet court obligations, maintain family ties and develop and/or maintain critical
support systems with the community. To be successful, community corrections
programs must promote public safety and a continuum of care that responds to the
needs of victims, offenders and the community. These programs should include a
collaborative comprehensive planning process for the development of effective policies
and services.
Policy Statement:
Community corrections programs include residential and nonresidential programs.
Most community corrections programs require offenders to participate in certain
activities or special programs that are specifically directed toward reducing their risk to
the community. Those responsible for community corrections programs, services and
supervision should:
A. Seek statutory authority and adequate funding for community programs and
services as part of a comprehensive corrections strategy;
B. Develop and ensure access to a wide array of residential and nonresidential services
that address the identifiable needs of victims, offenders and the community;
C. Inform the public about the benefits of community programs and services, the
criteria used to select individuals for these programs, and the requirements for
successful completion;
D. Recognize that public acceptance of community corrections is enhanced by the
provision of victim services, community service and conciliation programs;
E. Mobilize the participation of a well-informed constituency, including citizen
advisory boards and broad-based coalitions, to address community corrections issues;
F. Participate in collaborative, comprehensive planning efforts that provide a
framework to assess community needs and develop a system wide plan for services;
and
G. Ensure the integrity and accountability of community programs by establishing a
reliable system for monitoring and measuring performance and outcomes in accordance
with accepted standards of professional practices and sound evaluation methodology.

15 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Crowding and Workloads in Corrections
1985-2
Introduction:
Crowding and loss of resources in correctional programs and facilities can negate the
effectiveness and quality of management, programs, security and physical plant
operations and can endanger the public, staff and offenders. Crowding within
correctional facilities may be associated with higher rates of assault and suicide,
increased health problems, more frequent disciplinary incidents, and decreased
effectiveness in programs and services. When the population of a correctional program
or facility exceeds capacity, maintaining safe and reasonable conditions of confinement
and supervision becomes increasingly difficult. Excessive workloads in institutional and
community corrections dilutes effectiveness of supervision and support services and
threatens public safety, as well as staff and offender safety.
Policy Statement:
The number of offenders assigned to correctional facilities, community corrections and
community-based programs and services should be limited to levels consistent with
recognized professional standards. Correctional agencies should:
A. Establish and maintain safe and humane population and workload limits for
facilities, community corrections and community-based programs and services;
B. Develop, advocate for and implement, in coordination with the executive, legislative,
and judicial branches of government, emergency and long-term processes by which
offender populations can be managed within reasonable limits;
C. Anticipate the need for expanded program and facility capacity by using
professional population projection methodologies that reflect both demographic and
policy-related factors influencing correctional population growth;
D. Advocate for the full development and appropriate use of pretrial and preadjudication release, probation, parole, community residential facilities and other
community services that are appropriate for offenders and consistent with public safety,
and that, as a consequence, reduce the number of offenders in crowded facilities; and
E. Develop, advocate for and implement plans for necessary additional facilities, staff,
programs and services.
This Public Correctional Policy was unanimously ratified by the American Correctional Association Delegate
Assembly at the Winter Conference in Orlando, Fla., Jan. 20, 1985. It was reviewed and amended Jan.16, 1991, at the
Winter Conference in Louisville, Ky. It was reviewed without change Jan. 16, 1996, at the Winter Conference in
Philadelphia, and at the Winter Conference in Nashville, Tenn., Jan. 24, 2001. It was reviewed and amended at the
Winter Conference in Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 1, 2006. It was reviewed and amended at the Winter Conference in San
Antonio, Feb. 1, 2011.

16 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Design of Correctional Facilities
1985-3

Introduction:
The effectiveness and efficiency of correctional staff in maintaining security and
delivering services can be either enhanced or limited by the physical plant in which
they operate. Quality design combines long-term cost efficiency with maximum
programming flexibility, thus assisting a correctional system in accomplishing its
mission.
Policy Statement:
Correctional architecture is unique, involving the design of facilities that are
functionally and environmentally supportive of the needs and activities of a confined
society. The design of such facilities is a multidisciplinary process. To improve the
design quality and operational adequacy of new and renovated correctional facilities,
correctional agencies should:
A. Define operations of correctional facilities prior to design, including written
specifications of the facility's mission and functional elements, basic operating
procedures and staffing patterns so the design can fully support intended correctional
operations;
B. Ensure that the design of correctional facilities addresses the unique genderresponsive and special needs of offenders and provides appropriate space for all
offender activities, including industrial operations, education and training, health care,
recreation and other program and treatment services;
C. Select architects and engineers on merit, as demonstrated by either successful
completion of prior correctional projects, or by successful completion of other projects
combined with access to recognized correctional expertise;
D. Design correctional facilities through a multidisciplinary process that directly
involves corrections professionals, criminal justice planners, architects and engineers,
and that also seeks the contribution of other groups and disciplines who have an
interest in the facility's design, including those involved in the facility's day-to-day
operations;
E. Ensure that facility designs conform to applicable laws, rules, regulations and codes
governing the jurisdiction. The design should conform to nationally recognized
professional standards and should encourage direct interaction in the supervision of
offenders, consistent with staff safety;
17 
 

F. Maintain project oversight to ensure budget or cost containment and design
objectives are met;
G. Recognize the need for early selection of key staff so they can participate in the
design and construction process, and/or so they can coordinate initial activation of the
facility. Initial activation activities include recruiting staff, transitional training,
preparing equipment and supply orders, and documenting operational procedures;
H. Engage in an ongoing process of research and evaluation to develop, improve and
recognize the most operationally effective and cost-efficient design features, equipment
technologies and procedures; and
I. Support appropriate and cost-effective strategies that are resource-efficient and
environmentally responsible.
This Public Correctional Policy was unanimously ratified by the American Correctional Association
Delegate Assembly at the Winter Conference in Orlando, Fla., Jan. 20, 1985. It was reviewed and
amended Jan. 16, 1991, at the Winter Conference in Louisville, Ky. It was reviewed without change Jan.
16, 1996, at the Winter Conference in Philadelphia, and at the Winter Conference in Nashville, Tenn., Jan.
24, 2001. It was reviewed and amended at the Winter Conference in Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 1, 2006. It was
reviewed and amended at the Winter Conference in San Antonio, Feb. 1, 2011.

18 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Information Systems
1985-4

Introduction:
Timely and accurate information is a basic requirement for effective management of
organizations. Such information forms a basis for sound decision-making and allows
for accountability in operations and program results.
Policy Statement:
For correctional staff to function effectively, they must have accurate and timely
information. The design of correctional information systems must reflect combined
efforts of both corrections professionals and information system specialists. To meet the
diverse needs of a correctional agency, information systems should be designed to
support the management processes of the agency as their primary function and service
delivery functions of the agency by providing data relevant to their efficiency and
outcome. They should provide sufficient flexibility to support relevant research and
evaluation.
To promote development of effective information systems, correctional agencies should:
A. Clearly define the desired scope of the system, consistent with a realistic assessment
of anticipated resources and technologies;
B. Involve and train correctional managers in all stages of system development and
operation to ensure such managers' needs are met;
C. Prepare detailed and carefully monitored development plans to ensure systems are
designed and implemented in a timely, secure and cost-effective manner;
D. Require that the system include evaluation procedures, including assessments of
information needs of the users at all levels, to ensure the quality of system input and
output;
E. Cooperate with correctional, law enforcement, educational, and other public
agencies to provide for the mutual sharing of information, consistent with legitimate
concerns for privacy, confidentiality, and system security;
F. Ensure appropriate information needs of the public are met, consistent with legal
requirements; and
G.
Advocate the provision of resources to implement and update advanced
information system technologies.

19 
 

This Public Correctional Policy was unanimously ratified by the American Correctional Association
Delegate Assembly at the Winter Conference in Orlando, Fla., Jan. 20, 1985. It was reviewed and
amended at the Congress of Correction in Minneapolis, Minn., Aug. 7, 1991. It was reviewed Jan. 18, 1995,
at the Winter Conference in Dallas, with no change. It was reviewed and reaffirmed Jan. 12, 2000, at the
Winter Conference in Phoenix, with no change. It was reviewed and reaffirmed Jan. 12, 2005, at the
Winter Conference in Phoenix, with no change. It was reaffirmed without changes Jan. 27, 2010, at the
Winter Conference in Tampa, Fla.

20 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Legal Issues and Litigation
1985-5
Policy Statement:
Adherence to law is fundamental to responsible correctional practice. Unnecessary
litigation can be avoided through sound management, effective use of the adversarial
process to resolve issues that are litigated, and professional compliance with judicial
and other applicable orders.
To achieve sound management of legal issues, correctional agencies should:
A. Use the standards and accreditation process of the American Correctional
Association and the Commission on Accreditation for Corrections as a method to
develop and maintain professional practice;
B. Seek the support of government officials and the public to provide the capital and
operational resources that will help minimize unnecessary litigation;
C. Remain informed about current developments in the law to anticipate and avoid
emerging legal problems;
D. Train staff about legal issues and responsibilities and provide them with legal
representation when appropriate;
E. Attempt to resolve potential legal problems through dispute resolution techniques
such as administrative grievance procedures and classification appeal;
F. Negotiate and settle litigation when agreements can be developed consistent with
professional correctional practice;
G. Litigate, when no professionally reasonable alternative is possible, with the best
legal and correctional expertise available and with full preparation and development of
the case; and
H.

Implement court and other applicable orders in a professional manner.

This Public Correctional Policy was unanimously ratified by the American Correctional Association
Delegate Assembly at the Winter Conference in Orlando, Fla., Jan. 20, 1985. It was reviewed Aug. 15,
1990, at the Congress of Correction in San Diego, without change. It was reviewed Jan. 18, 1995, at the
Winter Conference in Dallas, without change. It was reviewed and reaffirmed Jan. 12, 2000, at the Winter
Conference in Phoenix, with minor amendments. It was reviewed and reaffirmed Jan. 12, 2005, at the
Winter Conference in Phoenix, with a minor change. It was reviewed, amended and reaffirmed Jan. 27,
2010, at the Winter Conference in Tampa, Fla.

21 
 

22 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Offender Education and Training
1985-6

Introduction:
Many charged and adjudicated juvenile and adult offenders lack the basic educational,
career, technical and life skills necessary to enhance community integration and
economic self-sufficiency. These deficiencies may interact with socioeconomic and other
factors to affect the life choices made by offenders and may limit the legitimate financial
and social opportunities available to them.
Policy Statement:
Education and training are integral elements of the total correctional process. Public
and private agencies should develop, expand, adequately fund and improve delivery
systems for academic, occupational, social, transition and other educational programs
for charged and adjudicated juvenile and adult offenders in order to enhance their
community integration and economic self-sufficiency. Toward this end, correctional
agencies should:
A. Provide for the assessment of academic, career technical and social skills
deficiencies of those under their responsibility, including assessments to identify
disabling conditions under federal, state and local laws and regulations;
B. Make available opportunities to participate in relevant, comprehensive, educational,
career technical, work study, life skills, training programs and reentry and job
placement activities that are fully coordinated and integrated with other components of
the correctional process;
C. Consistent with the individual needs of the offender, initiate reentry planning upon
admission to the facility;
D. Ensure that communication and collaboration formally exist between educational
staff and other staff to enhance the continuum of program services for offenders;
E. Provide incentives to offenders for participation and achievement in work, education
and training programs;
F. Ensure that programs are provided in accordance with professional standards,
instructional methods and techniques are relevant to the needs of the population, and
instructors are certified in accordance with state and local regulations;

23 
 

G. Maximize the use of public and private sector resources in the development,
implementation, coordination and evaluation of education and training programs and
job placement activities;
H. Collaborate with work force development organizations to provide academic
education, career development training, and workplace training to offenders while they
are under supervision in the community or in a facility; and
I. Evaluate the efficiency, equity and effectiveness of program performance based on
measurable goals and objectives.

24 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Private Sector Involvement in Corrections
1985-7

Introduction:
Historically, correctional programs have been operated by public agencies, but there is
ongoing use of public-nonprofit and/or for for-profit partnerships (hereafter referred to
as the private sector). Private sector organizations may have resources for the delivery
of services that often differ from the public correctional agency.
Policy Statement:
Government has the ultimate authority and responsibility for corrections. For its most
effective operation, corrections should use all appropriate resources, both public and
private. Government should consider use of private sector correctional services only
when they are needed; meet professional standards; ensure the safety of the public, staff
and offenders; provide the best value to the taxpayer; provide comprehensive offender
programming; and are equivalent to or better than those offered by the public sector.
While government retains the ultimate responsibility, authority and accountability for
the offenders under its jurisdiction as well as for actions of private agencies and
individuals under contract, it is consistent with good correctional policy and practice to
consider outsourcing services that support the mission of correctional operations by:
A. Enhancing service delivery systems by contracting with the private sector when
justified in terms of cost, quality, availability, effectiveness and ability to meet program
objectives;
B. Using private sector organizations to develop, fund, build, operate and/or provide
services, programs and facilities when such an approach has a cost benefit; is effective
as well as efficient; is gender- and culturally-responsive; and is safe and consistent with
the public interest and sound correctional practice;
C. Using the private sector to gather information and provide independent evaluation
of process and performance measures of programs and services provided by or
contracted for by public agencies; and
D.
Using the private sector to enhance staff development, competency and
professionalism through training, certification and continuing education of correctional
practitioners.
Correctional agencies also should:
1. Continue to engage members of the private sector in an advisory role in the
development and implementation of correctional programs and policies;
25 
 

2. Ensure the appropriate level of service delivery and compliance with recognized
standards through professional contract preparation and vendor selection, as
well as monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of services, facilities and programs
by the responsible government agency;
3. Indicate clearly in any contract for services, facilities or programs the
responsibilities and obligations of both government and contractor, including but
not limited to liability of all parties, performance bonding, and causal factors and
procedures for contract termination; and
4. Share information about successful public-private sector partnerships with other
corrections practitioners.
This Public Correctional Policy was ratified by the American Correctional Association Delegate Assembly
at the Winter Conference in Orlando, Fla., Jan. 20, 1985. It was reviewed Aug. 15, 1990, at the Congress of
Correction in San Diego, with no change. It was reviewed Jan. 18, 1995, at the Winter Conference in
Dallas, with no change. It was reviewed and amended Jan. 12, 2000, at the Winter Conference in Phoenix.
It was reviewed and amended Aug. 16, 2000, at the Congress of Correction in San Antonio. It was
reviewed and amended at the Congress of Correction in Baltimore, Aug. 10, 2005. It was reviewed and
amended at the 140th Congress of Correction in Chicago, Aug. 4, 2010.

26 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Probation
1985-8
Introduction:
The vast majority of adjudicated adult and juvenile offenders remain in the community
on probation. The decision to place an individual on probation is a judicial decision that
assigns responsibility for supervision and control of these offenders, to community
corrections agencies.
Policy Statement:
Probation is a frequently used and cost-effective sanction of the court for enhancing
social order and public safety. Probation may be used as a sanction by itself or, be
combined with other sanctions such as fines, restitution, restorative community service,
electronic monitoring and residential care or confinement. Agencies responsible for
probation should:
A. Prepare disposition assessments to assist the court in arriving at appropriate
sanctions consistent with the severity of the crime, the offender’s criminal history,
victim impact and other relevant information. The least restrictive disposition consistent
with public safety, victim and community restoration and probationer rehabilitation
should be recommended;
B. Establish a case management system for allocating supervisory resources through a
standardized workload classification process that utilizes validated assessment tools
and assigns priority to high-risk offenders;
C. Develop an individualized case plan based on an offender’s risk and needs and that
fulfills the orders of the court;
D. Monitor and evaluate, on an ongoing basis, adherence to the plan of supervision and,
when necessary, modify the plan according to the changing needs of the probationer
and the best interests of the community;
E. Monitor and evaluate, on an ongoing basis, the probation staff’s adherence to and
success with the case plan for the purpose of quality improvement;
F. Provide access to a continuum of services to meet individual identifiable needs, all of
which are directed toward promoting law-abiding behavior;
G. Ensure any interventions in a probationer’s life will not exceed the minimal level
needed to ensure compliance with the orders of the court;
H. Initiate court proceedings when the probationer fails to comply with court orders,
the supervision plan or other requirements so that the court may consider alternatives
27 
 

for the protection, restoration and well-being of the community and the effective
rehabilitation of the probationer;
I. Collaborate with justice and service agencies to provide a seamless and consistent
correctional response;
J. Partner with the community in providing support and services;
K. Oppose use of the probation sanction for status offenders, neglected or abused
children, or any other individuals who are neither accused nor charged with delinquent
or criminal behavior;
L. Establish an educational a program for sharing information about probation with the
public and other agencies; and
M. Evaluate and report on program efficiency, outcomes, effectiveness and overall
system accountability consistent with recognized correctional standards.

This Public Correctional Policy was unanimously ratified by the American Correctional Association
Delegate Assembly at the Winter Conference in Orlando, Fla., Jan. 20, 1985. It was reviewed at the
Congress of Correction in San Diego, Aug. 15, 1990. It was reviewed Jan. 18, 1995, at the Winter
Conference in Dallas, with no change. It was reviewed and reaffirmed Jan. 12, 2000, at the Winter
Conference in Phoenix, with minor amendments. It was reviewed and amended at the Congress of
Correction in Charlotte, N.C., Aug. 16, 2006. It was reviewed and reaffirmed without changes at the
Congress of Correction, Aug. 6, 2011 in Kissimmee, FL.

28 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Use of Force
1985-9

Introduction:
Correctional agencies are responsible for ensuring the safety in correctional programs.
To achieve this goal, it may be necessary for correctional staff to use legally authorized
force to respond to resistance and other situations.
Policy Statement:
Correctional agencies are committed to exercising an appropriate use of force consistent
with statutory requirements and the needs of the situation. Use of force consists of
intervention with an offender to promote safety, control behavior and enforce order.
Use of force includes use of restraints (other than for routine transportation and
movement), chemical agents, electronic devices and weapons. Force is justified only in
instances of self-defense, protection of others, protection of property, prevention of
escapes, and maintaining or regaining control, and then only as a last resort and in
accordance with appropriate statutory authority.
To ensure that the use of force is appropriate and justifiable, correctional agencies
should establish and maintain policies and procedures that:
A. Prohibit the use of force as a retaliatory or disciplinary measure; establish strategies
to reduce and prevent the need to use force; authorize force only when no reasonable
alternative is possible; and advocate that force used be the minimum amount necessary;
B. Define the range of methods for and alternatives to physical response, and that
specify the conditions under which each is permitted. These policies must assign
responsibility for authorizing the use of physical force; outline the steps for appropriate
implementation of the use of physical force; provide for close monitoring of the person
while in restraints; and require proper documentation, administrative review,
investigation and remedial action;
C. Provide ongoing specialized staff training designed to teach staff to anticipate,
stabilize and diffuse situations that might give rise to conflict, confrontation and
violence and that ensures staff's competency in the use of all methods and equipment in
the use of force;
D. Establish and maintain procedures that limit the use of deadly force to those
instances where it is legally authorized and where there is an imminent threat to human
life or to public safety;

29 
 

E. Prohibit restraint techniques that cause or could cause partial or complete
impairment of respiratory exchange (positional asphyxia) such as the hogtie position or
certain restraints on the neck, or those that cause or could cause partial or complete
paralysis;
F. In consultation with health care staff, limit the use of physical restraints on pregnant
offenders in the last trimester of pregnancy and/or during labor and delivery to
occurrences when the offender is a risk for escape, harming herself or harming others,
or poses a significant and known safety and security risk for other reasons; and
G. Whenever possible, assure that age, gender, health and mental health status are
considered prior to initiating the use of force and that the least restrictive and/or least
likely type to cause impairment/harm is utilized. Medical conditions such as
pregnancy, respiratory ailments, advanced age, or physically debilitating diseases
create an increased risk of serious injury and should be factored into the decision
regarding which response is appropriate for the situation.

This Public Correctional Policy was unanimously ratified by the American Correctional Association
Delegate Assembly at the Winter Conference in Orlando, Fla., Jan. 18, 1985. It was reviewed Jan. 17, 1990,
at the Winter Conference in Nashville, Tenn., with no change. It was reviewed Jan. 18, 1995, at the Winter
Conference in Dallas, with no change. It was reviewed and reaffirmed Jan. 12, 2000, at the Winter
Conference in Phoenix, with minor amendments. It was reviewed and amended Jan. 14, 2002, at the
Winter Conference in San Antonio. It was reviewed and amended at the Congress of Correction in
Nashville, Tenn., Aug. 13, 2003. It was reviewed and amended at the Winter Conference in Kissimmee,
Fla., Jan. 14, 2009. It was reviewed and amended at the 140th Congress of Correction in Chicago, Aug. 4,
2010.

30 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Victims of Crime
1985-10

Introduction:
Victims of crime suffer financial, emotional and/or physical trauma. The criminal
justice and juvenile justice systems are dedicated to the principle of fair and equal
justice for all people. Victims’ rights should be pursued within the criminal justice and
juvenile justice systems to ensure their needs are addressed.
Policy Statement:
Victims have the right to be treated with respect and compassion, to be informed about
and involved in the criminal and juvenile justice process as it affects their lives, to be
protected from harm and intimidation, and to be provided necessary financial and
support services that attempt to restore a sense of justice to them. Although many
components of the criminal justice and juvenile justice systems share in the
responsibility of providing services to victims of crime, the corrections community has
an important role in this process and should:
A. Support activities that advocate for the rights of the victims;
B. Promote local, state and federal legislation that emphasizes victims’ rights and the
development and enhancement of victim services;
C. Support efforts by federal, state and local units of government to increase funding
and improved use of existing resources to support victim services and programs;
D. Advocate for programs in which offenders provide restitution to victims,
compensation and service to the community, and whenever possible, hold offenders
financially responsible for their crimes;
E. Promote active participation of victims in the criminal justice and juvenile justice
processes, including the opportunity to attend and be heard and/or to participate in
juvenile and adult institutional release and/or parole release hearings; provide separate
waiting areas for victims and their families where offenders and victims may be present
at the same hearing;
F. Provide advance notification of institutional release when safe and consistent with
applicable law or expeditious notification of an escape to victims;
G. Educate, with sensitivity to culture, language and disability needs, victims and
victim service providers about correctional practices and involve correctional personnel
in victim advocacy activities;

31 
 

H. Educate justice officials regarding victims’ services, the impact of crime on victims,
and promote sensitivity to victims’ rights;
I. Operate victims’ assistance programs that appropriately fall within the responsibility
of the field of corrections. Correctional agencies should, at a minimum but not limited
to:
1. Designate personnel in each agency to respond to questions and concerns of
victims and to ensure that appropriate victim notification and assistance
procedures are implemented;
2. Develop and distribute materials describing the correctional system and specific
victims’ rights within that system;
3. Support and facilitate the use of victim impact statements in sentencing, postconviction reviews and programming processes; and
4. Provide appropriate victims’ services to staff who are assaulted, held hostage or
otherwise victimized.
J. Promote the use of community resources and volunteers to serve the needs of
victims.

This Public Correctional Policy was unanimously ratified by the American Correctional Association
Delegate Assembly at the Winter Conference in Orlando, Fla, Jan. 20, 1985. It was reviewed and amended
Jan. 16, 1991, at the Winter Conference in Louisville, Ky. It was reviewed and amended at the Congress of
Correction in Nashville, Tenn., on Aug. 21, 1996. It was reviewed and amended at the Congress of
Correction in Philadelphia, on Aug. 15, 2001. It was reviewed and amended at the Congress of Correction
in Charlotte, N.C., Aug. 16, 2006. It was reviewed and reaffirmed without amendment at the Congress of
Correction on Aug. 6, 2011, in Kissimmee, FL.

32 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Conditions of Confinement
1987-1

Introduction:
Juvenile and adult correctional systems must provide services and programs in an
environment that promotes and protects public safety and the safety, rights and dignity
of staff, volunteers, victims and those persons served by these systems.
Policy Statement:
Sustaining safe, secure and constitutionally acceptable conditions of confinement
requires adequate resources and effective management of staff, operational procedures,
programs, the physical plant and the offender population. To support safe, secure and
constitutionally acceptable conditions, agencies should:
A. Establish and maintain a safe and humane population limit for each facility and
housing unit therein based upon recognized professional standards;
B. Provide an environment that will support the health and safety of staff, volunteers
and confined persons. Such an environment results from appropriate design,
construction and maintenance of the physical plant as well as the effective and efficient
operation of the facility and the provision of adequate and appropriate services for
offenders;
C. Maintain a professional and accountable work environment for staff that includes
job-specific training and supervision, sufficient staffing and effective deployment of
staff to carry out the mission of the facility; and
D. Maintain a fair and structured environment that provides a range of gender- and
culturally-responsive programs and services appropriate to the needs and requirements
of offenders in a climate that encourages responsible behavior and positive change.

This Public Correctional Policy was unanimously ratified by the American Correctional Association
Delegate Assembly at the Congress of Correction in New Orleans, Aug. 6, 1987. It was reviewed and
amended at the Congress of Correction in San Diego, Aug. 15, 1990. It was reviewed Jan. 18, 1995, at the
Winter Conference in Dallas, with no change. It was reviewed and reaffirmed Jan. 12, 2000, at the Winter
Conference in Phoenix, with minor amendments. It was reviewed and amended at the Congress of
Correction in Baltimore, Aug. 10, 2005. It was reviewed and reaffirmed without change at the 140th
Congress of Correction in Chicago, Aug. 4, 2010.

33 
 

34 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Correctional Health Care
1987-2
Introduction:
Incarcerated individuals, or those in the custody of criminal justice and juvenile justice
agencies, have a legal right to adequate health care in accordance with generally
recognized professional standards utilizing a comprehensive holistic approach that is
sensitive to the cultural, age and gender responsive needs of a growing and diverse
population. To ensure accountability and professional responsibility, these services
should follow the policy guidelines below, as well as the health care standards of the
American Correctional Association.
Policy Statement:
Health care programs for offenders include comprehensive medical, dental and mental
health services. Such programs should:
A. Be delivered by qualified and appropriately credentialed health care professionals;
B. Include a comprehensive health promotion and disease prevention program
designed to meet the specific health maintenance needs of the specific residential
population, which includes health, nutrition, and safety education programs;
C. Employ a stratified system of service delivery to maximize the efficient use of
medical and mental health care resources;
D. Include corrections officers who work in health care units as active participants in
the multidisciplinary treatment team;
E. Create community linkages, which will facilitate the continuation of the treatment
plans by community health care agencies for persons being released from incarceration;
F. Establish appropriate classification, programs and housing assignments for juvenile,
elderly, female and other identified classes of special needs offenders.
G. Establish hospice services for terminally ill offenders supported by a compassionate
release program for those who qualify;
H. Provide all offenders with language-appropriate verbal and written information
concerning access to health care services during intake screening, followed by more
formal instruction during the admission and orientation program;

35 
 

I. Provide continuous, comprehensive services commencing at admission, including
effective and timely screening, assessment and treatment, and appropriate referral to
alternate health care resources where warranted;
J. Establish a system to provide access to emergency treatment 24 hours per day;
K. Establish a formal process to screen for, identify, treat and manage offenders with
infectious diseases;
L. Provide appropriate health care training programs that are cognizant of cultural, age
and gender issues for all correctional and health care staff, and allow for continuing
professional and medical education programs;
M. Provide a medical records system to document diagnosis, and treatment, programs
to facilitate treatment continuity and cooperation between health care professionals,
consistent with privacy, confidentiality and security requirements;
N. Provide a pharmaceutical distribution system that conforms to applicable state and
federal laws and established formularies;
O. Provide a continuing quality improvement program, including risk management
programs and peer review activities to monitor and evaluate the health care services
delivered;
P. Establish a patient bill of rights;
Q. Provide a system for medical and administrative review of grievances relating to
health care offered, provided or denied;
R. Provide screening for co-occurring disorders;
S. Provide all offenders given new prescriptions with verbal counseling and or written
information about their medications, which should be provided by a health care
practitioner.
T. Provide a sufficient supply of prescription medication upon release to ensure
continuity of care.
U. Provide the opportunity to establish living will and/or advanced directive.

This Public Correctional Policy was unanimously ratified by the American Correctional Association Delegate Assembly at the
Congress of Correction in New Orleans, Aug. 6, 1987. It was reviewed Jan. 22, 1992, at the Winter Conference in Portland, Ore.,
without change. It was reviewed and amended at the Congress of Correction in Nashville, Tenn., Aug. 21, 1996. It was reviewed
and amended at the Congress of Correction in Philadelphia, Aug. 15, 2001. It was reviewed and amended at the Congress of
Correction on Aug. 6, 2011, in Kissimmee, FL.

36 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Employment of Offenders
1987-3

Introduction:
Obtaining and maintaining employment are critical steps toward offenders' successful
completion of correctional supervision. The involvement of government, business, and
volunteer agencies and organizations is essential in making employment opportunities
available. Offenders provide valuable manpower to help fill gaps in the workforce.
Policy Statement:
Offenders should be given equitable consideration for employment. Correctional
agencies should:
A. Implement and promote programs that will help offenders to prepare for, seek and
retain gainful employment in the community;
B. Develop and implement social skills training for offenders that provide them with
skills needed to work well with others in the workplace and to become valued workers;
C. Develop and implement a policy permitting qualified ex-offenders to be employed
in correctional agencies in capacities that preserve the security and public safety
mission of those agencies; and
D. Advocate for the amendment of laws and licensing regulations to mitigate
unreasonable barriers to the employment of offenders.

37 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Employment of Women in Corrections
1987-4

Introduction:
People who are qualified for a particular position/assignment or for job-related
opportunities should not be denied such employment or opportunities because of
gender. Women have a right to equal employment and should be afforded equal
opportunities in the workplace.
Policy Statement:
The American Correctional Association affirms the value of female employees and
supports equal employment opportunities for women in adult and juvenile correctional
agencies. To encourage the employment of women in corrections, correctional agencies
should:
A. Ensure that recruitment, selection and promotional opportunities for women are
open and fair;
B.
Assign women employees duties and responsibilities that provide career
development and promotional opportunities equivalent to those provided to other
employees;
C. Provide all levels of staff with appropriate training on developing effective and
cooperative working relationships between male and female correctional personnel;
D. Provide all levels of staff with appropriate education and training in cross-gender
supervision; and
E. Conduct regular monitoring and evaluation of affirmative action practices and be
proactive in achieving corrective actions.

38 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Research and Evaluation
1987-5

Introduction:
Research and evaluation, and the use of the findings that result from such efforts, are
essential to informed decision-making, correctional policy, program development and
effectiveness.
Policy Statement:
Correctional agencies have a continuing responsibility to promote, initiate, sponsor, and
participate in correctional research and evaluation efforts, both external and internal, in
order to expand knowledge about offender behavior and identify exemplary practices
that can be used to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of programs and services.
To encourage and support these research and evaluation efforts, correctional agencies
should:
A. Establish clearly defined procedures for data collection and analysis that ensure the
accuracy, consistency, integrity and impartiality of correctional research projects;
B. Conduct regular and systematic research and evaluation of correctional management
policies, programs and procedures and implement necessary changes;
C. Review and monitor correctional research to ensure compliance with professional
standards, including those relating to confidentiality and the protection of human
rights;
D. Prohibit the use of offenders as experimental subjects in medical, psychological,
pharmacological and cosmetic research except when warranted and prescribed for the
diagnosis or treatment of an individual’s specific condition in accordance with current
standards of health care;
E. Make available the information necessary for correctional research and evaluation,
consistent with concerns for privacy, confidentiality and security;
F. Involve and train appropriate correctional staff in the application of correctional
research and evaluation findings;
G. Encourage the dissemination of correctional research and evaluation findings; and
H. Develop performance outcomes for correctional programs to measure their
effectiveness.

39 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Capital Punishment
1990-1
Introduction:
Correctional agencies administer sanctions and punishment imposed by courts for
unlawful behavior. In some jurisdictions the law permits capital punishment, and
correctional officials have the final responsibility to carry out these executions. Opinions
about capital punishment are strongly held, based upon fundamental values about
public safety and human life.
There is no uniformity of position about such a controversial issue as capital
punishment, either within the corrections profession or as a matter of public opinion at
large. A single position for or against capital punishment would not be a fair or candid
representation of the range of strongly held and thoughtfully considered positions that
exist within the profession.
Policy Statement:
Corrections professionals have a fundamental responsibility to support participation in
the public dialogue concerning capital punishment, and to make available to the public
and their policymakers the unique perspectives of persons working in the profession.
Toward this end, correctional agencies should:
A. Support conducting research on capital punishment, to inform the public debate
with accurate information about all aspects of capital punishment;
B. Support full public discussion of capital punishment, focusing on the morality,
purposes and efficacy of this form of punishment;
C. Accept and encourage a diversity of opinion within the field, ensuring that
employment, promotion and retention are never affected by the expression of an
opinion either in support of or in opposition to capital punishment;
D. Select staff who are involved with carrying out executions on a voluntary basis, and
carefully screen them and train them in execution procedures. In addition, postexecution interventions must be available to staff who participate in or are affected by
the execution process;
E. When executions are conducted, ensure that they are carried out with dignity and
respect for all parties.
This Public Correctional Policy was unanimously ratified by the American Correctional Association Delegate
Assembly at the Winter Conference in Nashville, Tenn., on Jan. 17, 1990. It was reviewed Jan. 18, 1995, at the Winter
Conference in Dallas, with no change. It was reviewed and reaffirmed Jan. 12, 2000, at the Winter Conference in
Phoenix, with no change. It was reviewed, amended and reaffirmed Jan. 12, 2005, at the Winter Conference in
Phoenix. It was reviewed, amended and reaffirmed Jan. 27, 2010, at the Winter Conference in Tampa, Fla.

40 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Higher Education
1990-2
Introduction:
The purposes of higher education include instruction, public service and research.
Corrections can and does benefit from academic endeavors in each of these areas.
Policy Statement:
The field of corrections, in cooperation with higher education, should contribute to the
improvement of the professional practice of corrections. Academic programs concerned
with criminal justice, including juvenile justice and corrections should:
A. Provide a pool of qualified candidates for correctional service, and assist in the
delineation of dimensions of work responsibilities that may emerge as a result of
changing social, economic, political and technological trends;
B. Promote understanding, both for correctional practitioners and for the public at
large, of the complex social, ethical, political and economic factors that influence all
areas of corrections;
C. Challenge assumptions about crime and corrections, and stimulate change when
change is needed;
D. Partner with criminal justice, juvenile justice and corrections organizations to
promote and support ethical standards in research, planning and evaluation in all areas;
E. Engage in public service related to corrections, including informational programs,
volunteer programs and opportunities for training, such as internships and practicums
to enhance the relationship between the academic community and corrections;
F. Encourage colleges and universities to provide opportunities for research and the
publication of research findings;
G. Support, through program and faculty development, the evolution of corrections as
a distinct professional discipline;
H. Implement programs in corrections at the associate degree level that can serve as a
minimum requirement for full professional status as a correctional employee; and
I. Partner with correctional agencies to promote and facilitate learning initiatives for
employees.
This Public Correctional Policy was unanimously ratified by the American Correctional Association Delegate Assembly at the
Winter Conference in Nashville, Tenn., Jan. 17, 1990. It was reviewed and amended Aug. 9, 1995, at the Congress of Correction in
Cincinnati. It was reviewed at the Congress of Correction in San Antonio, on Aug. 16, 2000, with no change. It was reviewed and
amended at the Congress of Correction in Baltimore, Aug. 10, 2005. It was reviewed and amended at the 140th Congress of
Correction in Chicago, Aug. 4, 2010.

41 
 

42 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Religious Faith and Practice
1990-3

Introduction:
Correctional systems provide opportunities for religious faith and practice by offenders.
These opportunities, however, must not override the choice by some offenders of
nonparticipation in such practices. Protection of religious beliefs and of their exercise is
recognized in U.S. and Canadian constitutions and in other human rights documents.
Policy Statement:
Recognizing the existence of differing religious faiths, correctional systems must be
guided by principles not only of voluntary participation, but of equity of opportunity
for the practice of religions represented within the offender population. Limited only by
reasons of safety, security and order, institutions should:
A. Provide for direction and supervision regarding religious issues and activities by
professionally qualified and trained chaplaincy and/or religious staff, including the use
of volunteers for the delivery of programs consistent with the identified religious needs
of the population being served;
B. Develop written policies and guidelines for decision-making and communication
between chaplaincy staff and institutional administrators regarding religious faith and
practice within the institution;
C. Provide appropriate facilities and support services needed for individual and group
religious activities;
D. Allow the observance of periodic special or ritual activities requested by offenders
and deemed essential by the respective religious judicatories or national offices of that
religious group;
E. Permit access to chaplains by all offenders;
F. Ensure that neither participation nor nonparticipation in religious activities affects
evaluation processes or qualifications for other programs and opportunities by the
offender;
G. Ensure that an offender's opportunity to practice religious faith is consistent with
current statutes and case law;
H. Require that reasonable application of individual rights to exercise religious faith
and practice be balanced against the necessity of maintaining safe and secure

43 
 

correctional facilities, accommodating religious differences among offenders of different
faiths, and ensuring that such facilities are free of religious coercion; and
I. Document the reasons for restriction of offenders' participation in religious activities
or programs, or for limitations of religious practices.
This Public Correctional Policy was ratified by the American Correctional Association Delegate Assembly
at the Congress of Correction in San Diego, Aug. 15, 1990. It was reviewed Jan. 18, 1995, at the Winter
Conference in Dallas, with no change. It was reviewed and amended Jan. 12, 2000, at the Winter
Conference in Phoenix. It was reviewed and amended Aug. 16, 2000, at the Congress of Correction in San
Antonio. It was reviewed and amended at the Congress of Correction in Baltimore, Aug. 10, 2005. It was
reviewed and amended at the 140th Congress of Correction in Chicago, Aug. 4, 2010.

44 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Substance Abuse
1992-1

Introduction:
Substance abuse, and the criminal activity and human suffering associated with it, is a
major social and public health problem in society. A substantial majority of offenders
have documented substance abuse problems, and, therefore, the impact has reached
critical dimensions within correctional programs and facilities and in society.
Policy Statement:
A comprehensive response to the substance abuse crisis must include coordinated
public and private sector strategies, along with a commitment to provide effective
substance abuse treatment, education and awareness to those who need such services,
regardless of their legal status or criminal involvement. To support a comprehensive
response, correctional agencies should:
A. Provide education and information to offenders that fosters their awareness of the
chemical effects on the brain and on the need for treatment;
B. Assess offenders' need for substance abuse services, and provide a continuum of
nonresidential and residential treatment services that promote a lifestyle of recovery;
C. Maintain appropriately trained staff for the delivery of care, programs and services;
D. Maintain an organizational climate that proactively addresses the abuse of
substances by staff;
E. Advocate for and cooperate with interagency and community efforts to prevent
substance abuse and interdict the supply of illegal substances;
F. Maintain professionally appropriate record-keeping of the services and programs
provided;
G. Evaluate the quality and effectiveness of services and programs provided; and
H. Provide leadership and advocacy for legislative and public support to obtain the
resources needed to provide effective substance abuse treatment services.

45 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Employee Assistance Programs
1993-1

Introduction:
The most valuable resource in any correctional agency is the staff employed by that
agency. The employees who deliver these services should be afforded all reasonable
assistance to allow them to do the best job possible.
Policy Statement:
Employee assistance programs should be made available to all employees. The
programs should address employee needs and requirements to assist them in the
performance of their duties. Correctional agencies should:
A. Establish and periodically review employee assistance programs and referral
mechanisms based on needs assessed by both the employees and the agency;
B. Publicize the program regularly and frequently in a variety of ways to ensure that all
employees are aware of its availability, and information about the program/services is
available to family members upon request;
C. Provide programs at no cost to the employee where possible. If the employee is
asked to pay some or all of the cost of the program/service, the cost should be based on
a sliding scale commensurate with their salary;
D. Provide an employee in the central/main office of the agency who is responsible for
coordinating all employee assistance programs. Each facility or major organizational
unit should have one person designated as a coordinator of employee assistance
programs;
E. Use other public or private agencies if these services are not available within the
agency;
F. Require the employee assistance program coordinator to report to management, at
least quarterly, on employee assistance services provided and include
recommendations for enhancing the agency's employee assistance program; and
G. Ensure that employee requests or referrals for assistance remain confidential, unless
the employee expressly elects to waive confidentiality; and
H. Ensure that use of the program/services does not reflect negatively upon the
employee.

46 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Sentencing
1994-1

Introduction:
Changes in U.S. sentencing policies have been a major cause of an unprecedented
increase in the prison population. The sentencing process should attempt to control
crime as much as possible, at the lowest cost to taxpayers and in the least restrictive
environment consistent with public safety. There should be a balanced consideration of
all sentencing objectives.
Sentencing policy today takes many forms. In some venues, legislatures have taken
authority over that policy, leaving little discretion in the sentencing of individual
offenders to the judiciary. Under these circumstances “sentencing” discretion is shifted
to the prosecutors and takes the form of plea bargaining and charge selection. In others,
judges and parole boards retain wide discretion on a case-by-case basis. In still others,
sentencing commissions have been given responsibility for defining how offenders are
punished. Regardless of the form, sentencing policy directly affects what the
correctional practitioner does on a daily basis, and to the extent that this policy fails in
fairness and rationality, then correctional practice is adversely affected.
As implementors of sentencing policies, corrections professionals have a unique
vantage point from which to provide input on their effectiveness and consequences. If
corrections does not voice its collective experience on this matter, then sentencing
practices nationwide will fail to be as soundly based as they should be in this important
public policy area.
Policy Statement:
The American Correctional Association actively promotes the development of
sentencing policies that should:
A. Be based on the principle of proportionality. The sentence imposed should be
commensurate with the seriousness of the crime and the harm done;
B. Be impartial with regard to race, ethnicity and economic status as to the discretion
exercised in sentencing;
C. Include a broad range of options for custody, supervision and rehabilitation of
offenders;
D. Be purpose-driven. Policies must be based on clearly articulated purposes. They
should be grounded in knowledge of the relative effectiveness of the various sanctions
imposed in attempts to achieve these purposes;

47 
 

E. Encourage the evaluation of sentencing policy on an ongoing basis. The various
sanctions should be monitored to determine their relative effectiveness based on the
purpose(s) they are intended to have. Likewise, monitoring should take place to ensure
that the sanctions are not applied based on race, ethnicity or economic status;
F. Recognize that the criminal sentence must be based on multiple criteria, including
the harm done to the victim, past criminal history, the need to protect the public and the
opportunity to provide programs for offenders as a means of reducing the risk for
future crime;
G. Provide the framework to guide and control discretion according to established
criteria and within appropriate limits and allow for recognition of individual needs;
H. Have as a major purpose restorative justice — righting the harm done to the victim
and the community. The restorative focus should be both process and substantively
oriented. The victim or his or her representative should be included in the “justice”
process. The sentencing procedure should address the needs of the victim, including his
or her need to be heard and, as much as possible, to be and feel restored to whole again;
I. Promote the use of community-based programs whenever consistent with public
safety; and
J. Be linked to the resources needed to implement the policy. The consequential cost of
various sanctions should be assessed. Sentencing policy should not be enacted without
the benefit of a fiscal-impact analysis. Resource allocations should be linked to
sentencing policy so as to ensure adequate funding of all sanctions, including total
confinement and the broad range of intermediate sanction and community-based
programs needed to implement those policies.

This Public Correctional Policy was unanimously ratified by the American Correctional Association
Delegate Assembly at the Congress of Correction in St. Louis, Aug. 10, 1994. It was reviewed and
amended Jan. 20, 1999, at the Winter Conference in Nashville, Tenn. It was reviewed and amended at the
Winter Conference in New Orleans, Jan. 14, 2004. It was reviewed and amended at the Winter Conference
in Kissimmee, Fla., Jan. 14, 2009.

48 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Crime Prevention
1996-1

Introduction:
The occurrence of violent and other serious crimes in our communities is a continuing
and growing social concern. One of the most visible outcomes of this concern has been
the dramatic growth in correctional populations and caseloads. Correctional
practitioners have both crime control and crime prevention responsibilities. Offender
programs should be preventive and reduce the risk of re-offending. The American
Correctional Association encourages moving beyond conventional boundaries in order
to become involved in the search for, and promotion of, effective early preventive
measures. Crime prevention strategies and programs that focus on factors in families,
neighborhoods, schools and communities that contribute to a decrease in crime, deserve
the correctional practitioner's attention and support.
Policy Statement:
Correctional practitioners and other professionals should develop policies and
programs that will be effective in both the prevention of crime and the lowering of
recidivism rates. Correctional agencies and organizations should:
A. Advocate for and promote a blended, culturally-responsive approach to crime
reduction, which includes prevention and intervention, community-based sanctions
and, when necessary, confinement;
B. Advocate for and continue to participate in existing programs that demonstrate
effectiveness in violence and crime prevention;
C. Participate as active partners with law enforcement, courts, communities, health care
providers, schools, and faith-based agencies in crime prevention and reduction
initiatives;
D. Advocate for and support prevention and early intervention strategies in health
care, mental health, education and social services;
E. Advocate for and promote investment in programs for children, particularly those at
risk;
F. Advocate for and/or provide programs that:
1. Reduce domestic violence;
2. Reduce child abuse;
49 
 

3. Reduce teen pregnancies;
4. Improve parenting skills and the functioning of families and healthy
relationships;
5. Help offenders and their families resist gang involvement while establishing
and maintaining prosocial relationships; and
6. Reduce substance abuse while supporting sustained recovery from addiction
and other criminal lifestyles.
G. Consider the offender's family as an integral component of crime prevention; and
H. Evaluate performance outcomes of crime prevention and reduction strategies and
programs.

This Public Correctional Policy was unanimously ratified by the American Correctional Association
Delegate Assembly at the Winter Conference in Philadelphia, Jan. 17, 1996. It was reviewed and amended
at the Winter Conference in Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 1, 2006. It was reviewed and amended at the Winter
Conference in San Antonio, Feb. 1, 2011.

50 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Violence Reduction
1996-2

Introduction:
Of utmost concern to the public and those working both in the criminal and juvenile
justice systems is violence in our society.
Policy Statement:
Correctional agencies are in a unique position to assume a proactive role in violence
reduction and prevention. In particular, corrections professionals can help reduce
violence through their work directly with offenders and indirectly through their
support of violence prevention policies. Specifically, correctional agencies should:
A. Train staff to recognize those risk factors that contribute to violent behavior and to
utilize effective intervention strategies to reduce violence;
B. Design and implement effective classification and treatment programs utilizing a
wide range of modalities so that a continuum of interventions is available to all
offenders in need;
C. Provide offenders and their families with counseling, parenting and other life skills
training that emphasize the need to break the “cycle of violence” whereby a childhood
history of physical and psychological abuse predisposes the victim to become a
perpetrator of violence in later years;
D. Integrate conflict resolution methods into institutional and community treatment
programs so that offenders and their families learn and demonstrate these skills as
alternatives to violent behavior;
E. Establish restorative justice programs that allow victims an increased role in the
justice process and which require offenders to restore the victim and the community;
F. Provide effective community supervision services that promote community
protection, aid in the development of offender skills and competency, and hold the
violent offender accountable;
G. Initiate at all stages within the juvenile justice system a comprehensive approach
toward the prevention, treatment and remediation of violent behavior among youths;
H. Support a long-term crime reduction strategy that draws on interdisciplinary
research and addresses the risk factors contributing to violent criminal behavior in a
comprehensive and integrated manner, including providing employment opportunities,
51 
 

strengthening families, building strong neighborhoods, increasing community
involvement and enhancing the quality of education and other social institutions;
I. Build partnerships that improve communication and collaboration and share
technologies, information and intelligence among the key stakeholders in the criminal
and juvenile justice systems, elected officials and the community to combat violence;
J. Support firearm control legislation and measures to reduce deaths, injuries and
suicides from firearms and reduce their availability to violent offenders and juveniles;
and
K. Support mass media campaigns against violence and efforts to encourage the media
and entertainment industries to adopt practices that deglamorize violence.

52 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Children, Youth and Families
1997-1

Introduction:
No single organization or agency can address the causes and consequences of crime and
violence, especially as it relates to promoting safe, healthy and non-delinquent children.
Policy Statement:
ACA encourages corrections practitioners to work with national, state and local leaders,
service providers, representatives of public and private groups, and community
members to facilitate safe and healthy environments for children and their
families/caregivers.
The corrections community should collaborate with other organizations and agencies to
develop broad-based policies and programs that address the needs of children, youths
and families/caregivers. In addition, correctional practitioners should:
A. Encourage the establishment of state, regional and local community initiatives that
address high-risk behaviors in youths and families for the purpose of reducing the
number of children and families who become involved in harmful actions.
B. Advance research, training and best practices when identifying risk factors. Specific
emphasis should be placed on the overrepresentation of minorities in the specified
populations;
C. Establish goals for correctional programs that reduce risk factors and enhance
protective factors associated with violent and anti-social behavior at the individual and
family levels.
D. Encourage and support long-term commitments to a range of initiatives that include:
1. Prenatal, early childhood and parenting programs.
2. Community-based services available and accessible to high-risk and
delinquent youths and their families/caregivers.
3. Anti-violence programs available to families/caregivers and to all children at
an early age in schools and in the community.
4. Early intervention programs such as parent education and skills
development, family preservation and support services, child care and early
home visits for parents of newborns.
53 
 

5. Media and information campaigns to educate constituents about the
relationship between substance abuse and criminal behavior.
6. Educational and vocational needs assessments and training for delinquent
youths.
This Public Correctional Policy was unanimously ratified by the American Correctional Association
Delegate Assembly at the 127th Congress of Correction in Orlando, Fla., Aug. 13, 1997. It was reviewed
and amended at the Congress of Correction in Nashville, Tenn., Aug. 13, 2003.It was reviewed and
amended Aug. 13, 2008, at the Congress of Correction in New Orleans.

54 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Correctional Industry Programs
1999-1
Introduction:
Correctional industry programs, whether operated by the public or private sector, aid
correctional systems by developing offenders’ work ethics, providing offenders with job
skills and training, promoting restorative and/or reparative justice, lowering operating
costs, reducing offender idleness and adding value to the local community.
Policy Statement:
Correctional industry programs, using sound business practices, should:
A. Promote and adhere to statutes and regulations regarding the development,
manufacturing, marketing, distribution, and delivery of correctional industry products
and services;
B. Support legislation encouraging the employment of offenders during and beyond
their period of correctional supervision;
C. Promote collaboration with employers, labor organizations, and other relevant
agencies and organizations to overcome barriers to successful re-entry;
D. Recognize that the goals of industry programs include:
1. Developing inmate work ethics and employability skills;
2. Professionally managing programs that replicate the private sector as closely
as possible;
3. Promoting career development and employment opportunities that allow for
self-sufficiency upon re-entry; and
4. Improving safety in institutions for staff and offenders by reducing inmate
idleness.
E. Support investment of revenue to improve and/or expand overall operations,
maintain and upgrade equipment and help support offender training programs that
lead to employment upon reentry;
F. Create a mutually supportive environment between correctional industry programs,
both public and private, and the host institution;
55 
 

G. Provide opportunities that promote good work habits, career development and
other learning experiences that can lead to employment upon re-entry to support
themselves and their families;
H. Ensure that programs for women teach real-world, marketable skills that enable
them to support themselves and their families upon re-entry;
I. Provide working conditions that mirror the private sector regarding both training
and safety, ensuring that all federal and state mandates in that regard are met, if not
exceeded;
J. Ensure that business practices in an industry operated by either the public or private
sector are comparable to those in the industry at large; and
K. Recognize that prison and jail inmates are not employees and are not entitled to
minimum wage, and that inmates, except those employed in the Prison Industries
Enhancement and work release programs, are specifically excluded from the minimum
wage provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

This Public Correctional Policy was ratified by the American Correctional Association Delegate Assembly
at the Winter Conference in Nashville, Tenn., Jan. 20, 1999. It was reviewed and amended at the Winter
Conference in New Orleans, Jan. 14, 2004. It was reviewed and amended at the Winter Conference in
Kissimmee, Fla., Jan. 14, 2009.

56 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Drug Free Work Force
1999-2

Introduction:
Substance abuse is a significant and pervasive problem in American society. This is
reflected in the number of persons incarcerated or under adult and juvenile supervision
at all levels. Substance abuse represents a significant threat to the well-being of staff,
offenders and the public safety.
Policy Statement:
In order to provide the highest level of services and public protection, the correctional
work force must be drug-free. In order to achieve this goal, the American Correctional
Association recognizes the following:
A. No large work force can claim immunity to alcohol and other drug abuse by its
employees;
B. Illicit drug use and alcohol and other drug addictions by correctional staff in
institutions or community settings can lead to significant health problems and serious
security risks for staff, offenders and the general public;
C. All staff have a right to a safe and secure workplace;
D. All correctional agencies should develop and implement education, training,
assistance and control methods necessary to ensure that the correctional workplace is
drug-free; and
E. There should be a "zero tolerance" approach to illicit drug use by correctional staff.

This Public Correctional Policy was unanimously ratified by the American Correctional Association
Delegate Assembly at the Congress of Correction in Denver, Aug. 11, 1999. It was reviewed and amended
Aug. 4, 2004, at the Congress of Correction in Chicago.

57 
 

58 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Firearm Control
1999-3

Introduction:
As the possession of firearms by individuals involved in unlawful behavior greatly
increases the potential for injury and death, corrections professionals have joined with
other law enforcement organizations in calling for tougher firearm regulations and
legislation at the local, state and federal levels. This increased chance of injury and
death is particularly true for young people, as gunshot wounds are a leading cause of
death among those ages 10 to 34. While a diversity of opinion exists within the
correctional community regarding firearm ownership, there is a consensus that
reasonable, common-sense gun-related policies are useful in preventing unauthorized,
incompetent, immature and/or violence-prone persons from owning, possessing or
unlawfully using firearms.

Policy Statement:
Corrections professionals work every day with people affected by the pervasive and
potentially destructive nature of firearms in our society. Therefore, it is important for
corrections officials to share their expertise and perspectives on the effect firearms have
on crime and violence. Toward that end, the American Correctional Association urges:
A. Other law enforcement organizations to join the American Correctional Association
in calling for tougher firearm control at the federal, state and local levels;
B.

Where possible, government agencies move toward registration of firearms;

C. Support of research efforts that monitor firearm-related injuries and fatalities to
better inform the public of the costs associated with criminal violence. Additional
support should be expressed for research efforts that identify the nature of criminal
acquisition and the use and trafficking of firearms;
D. Refinement and use of firearm security and safety technologies that minimize
unauthorized access to firearms, especially through theft, including support for efforts
that limit young children and teenagers from gaining access to firearms without proper
adult supervision;
E. Promotion of educational efforts and programs that provide for violence prevention
and incorporate conflict resolution techniques for young people;

59 
 

F. Adoption of laws and policies that encourage personal responsibility and increase
civil and criminal accountability for firearm owners, firearm manufacturers and
firearms dealers who do not take reasonable and adequate steps to secure their firearms
from unauthorized access and theft; and
G. Improved access to information regarding firearm ownership to law enforcement
professionals in the field on an as-needed basis.
This Public Correctional Policy was unanimously ratified by the American Correctional Association
Delegate Assembly at the Congress of Correction in Denver, Aug. 11, 1999. It was reviewed and amended
Aug. 4, 2004, at the Congress of Correction in Chicago. It was reviewed and amended Aug. 12, 2009, at
the Congress of Correction in Nashville, Tenn.

60 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Funding the Incarceration of Undocumented Aliens
1999-4

There is a significant number of undocumented aliens housed in U.S. correctional
facilities. It is costly for the affected jurisdictions to house these individuals without
reimbursement.
Policy Statement:
The American Correctional Association supports efforts to require the federal
government to reimburse state and local governments for total expenses incurred while
housing undocumented aliens.
This Public Correctional Policy was unanimously ratified by the American Correctional Association
Delegate Assembly at the Congress of Correction in Denver, Aug. 11, 1999. It was reviewed and amended
Aug. 4, 2004, at the Congress of Correction in Chicago. It was reviewed, amended and reaffirmed Jan. 27,
2010, at the Winter Conference in Tampa, Fla.

61 
 

Public Correctional Policy on International Staff Exchange
1999-5

Introduction:
The American Correctional Association has long endorsed the development of
cooperative relationships among corrections personnel around the world.
Policy Statement:
ACA encourages an international staff exchange program that would:
A. Provide an opportunity for correctional staff to gain insight into correctional issues
and management techniques worldwide;
B. Promote meaningful working relationships with corrections professionals in other
countries; and
C. Encourage all correctional agencies to take a supportive role and participate in such
programs.

This Public Correctional Policy was unanimously ratified by the American Correctional Association
Delegate Assembly at the Congress of Correction in Denver, Aug. 11, 1999. It was reviewed without
change Aug. 4, 2004, at the Congress of Correction in Chicago. It was reviewed and amended Aug. 12,
2009, at the Congress of Correction in Nashville, Tenn.

62 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Nonsmoking Policies
1999-6

Introduction:
Many health problems are linked directly or indirectly to smoking. The negative effects
of smoking and passive inhalation have been well-documented by the surgeon general
of the United States. Correctional employees and inmates are exposed to passive smoke
if smoking is permitted in facilities and work locations. As a result, a growing number
of correctional systems, facilities and programs have nonsmoking policies.
Policy Statement:
The American Correctional Association supports nonsmoking policies and encourages
correctional systems, facilities and programs to adopt such policies. Therefore
correctional systems, facilities and programs should:
A.
Ensure that nonsmoking staff and offenders are provided a smoke-free
environment;
B. Recognize that the health benefits of a nonsmoking environment for staff and
offenders lead to decreased medical expenses for the correctional systems, facilities, and
programs as well as the persons involved;
C. Acknowledge that fire safety is improved when nonsmoking policies are
implemented; and
D. Provide programs and assist both staff and offenders in smoking cessation efforts.

This Public Correctional Policy was unanimously ratified by the American Correctional Association
Delegate Assembly at the Congress of Correction in Denver, Aug. 11, 1999. It was reviewed without
change Aug. 4, 2004, at the Congress of Correction in Chicago. It was reviewed and amended Aug. 12,
2009, at the Congress of Correction in Nashville, Tenn.

63 
 

64 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Parole
1999-7

Introduction:
Parole is the discretionary release of an offender from confinement in order to serve the
remainder of the sentence pursuant to specified terms and conditions of supervision in
the community. Parole is a fundamental function of the correctional process as the
public is best protected by a supervised transition of the offender from institutional to
community integration. The discretionary granting of parole and its revocation are
responsibilities of the paroling authority. Supervision of the parolee is provided by a
designated agency that monitors compliance with all of the specified terms and
conditions of release through a case management process. Parole offers economic
advantages to the public, the offender and the correctional system by maximizing
opportunities for offenders to become productive, law-abiding citizens.
Policy Statement:
The paroling authority component of the correctional system should function under
separate and independent decision-making to fully represent the views of all
stakeholders. Paroling authorities should seek a balance in weighing the public interest,
victim interest and the readiness of the offender to re-enter society under a structured
program of supervisory management and control. Paroling authorities should be
equipped with resources and technologies for tracking and administering the
investigative, supervisory and research functions. Laws and administrative regulations
governing the granting of parole, its revocation, case supervision practices and
discharge procedures should incorporate standards of due process and administrative
fairness. To achieve the maximum benefits of parole supervision, full advantage should
be taken of community-based resources available for serving offender employment and
training needs, substance abuse treatment and other related services.
The parole system should:
A. Establish procedures to provide an objective decision-making process, incorporating
standards of due process and fundamental fairness in granting of parole that will
address, at a minimum, the risk to public safety, impact on — and views of — the
victim, and information about the offense and offender;
B. Provide access to community services to meet levels of offender risks and needs
consistent with realistic objectives for promoting law-abiding behavior;
C. Ensure that supervision requirements will not exceed the minimum needed to
adhere to the terms and conditions of parole and are consistent with public safety;
65 
 

D. Provide a case management system to allocate supervisory resources through a
standardized classification process, report parolee progress and monitor individual
parolee supervision and treatment plans;
E. Provide for the timely and accurate transmittal of status reports to the paroling
authority for use in decision-making with respect to revocation, modification or
discharge of parole cases;
F. Establish programs for sharing information, ideas and experiences with other
agencies and the public;
G.
Involve the public, victims and victims' families in the parole process;
H. Evaluate program efficiency, effectiveness and overall accountability consistent with
recognized correctional standards; and
I. Be sensitive to and provide for gender differences and special needs that may affect
supervision processes.

This Public Correctional Policy was ratified by the American Correctional Association Delegate Assembly
at the Winter Conference in Nashville, Tenn., Jan. 20, 1999. It was reviewed and amended at the Winter
Conference in New Orleans, Jan. 14, 2004. It was reviewed and amended at the Winter Conference in
Kissimmee, Fla., Jan. 14, 2009.

66 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Term “Correctional Officer”
1999-8

Introduction:
Correctional personnel are skilled professionals and should be treated as such. The term
“guard” evokes a stereotypical and negative image that does not recognize their
professionalism. The duties of corrections personnel, whose primary responsibility is
custody and control, also include direct or indirect support of habilitative or
rehabilitative programs that require advanced or specialized training.
Policy Statement:
The American Correctional Association recognizes the use of the term “correctional
officer” in all of its publications and communications to describe custodial/security
personnel. The Association is committed to promoting the use of the term “correctional
officer” and discouraging the use of the word “guard.”
Therefore, correctional agencies should:
A. Ensure that all agency policies, procedures and practices use the term “correctional
officer” when referring to custodial/security personnel;
B. Promote employee conduct that is consistent with professional standards and
practices; and
C. Educate the media in the use of the term “correctional officer” when referring to
custodial/security personnel.

This Public Correctional Policy was ratified by the American Correctional Association Delegate Assembly
at the Winter Conference in Nashville, Tenn., Jan. 20, 1999. It was reviewed and amended at the Winter
Conference in New Orleans, Jan. 14, 2004. It was reviewed and amended at the Winter Conference in
Kissimmee, Fla., Jan. 14, 2009.

67 
 

68 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Youthful Offenders
Transferred to Adult Criminal Jurisdiction
1999-9

Introduction:
Juveniles have developmental needs that require highly specialized management and
treatment by corrections professionals; therefore, a separate system of corrections for
juveniles was developed in states across the country many years ago. While the vast
majority of youths are processed through the juvenile justice system, a growing number
of youths in some states are adjudicated as adults and sentenced to prison. These
individuals are referred to as “youthful offenders.”
Policy Statement:
The American Correctional Association supports separate housing and special
programming for youths under the age of majority who are transferred or sentenced to
adult criminal jurisdiction. Therefore, correctional agencies should:
A. Support vesting judicial officers with the decision to try youths under the age of
majority as adults. The decision should be made after a hearing on the record consistent
with due process protections. Judges should make specific findings of fact. In
jurisdictions that nonetheless allow for prosecutorial or automatic waiver, certification
should be limited to the most serious crimes of violence;
B. Support the adoption of legislation in each state that authorizes correctional
authorities to place people under the age of majority who are detained or sentenced as
adults in an appropriate juvenile detention/correctional system or youthful offender
system distinct from the adult system;
C. Support the development of research and technical assistance programs by the
federal government to assist states in safely and effectively addressing the complex
issues and problems raised by the confinement of youthful offenders who have
committed serious, violent crimes; and expanded technical assistance to states in which
youthful offenders under the age of majority are confined in adult correctional and
detention facilities;
D. Support the development and use of specialized facilities and units within juvenile
detention/correctional or youthful offender systems distinct from the adult system.
Such specialized facilities or units should be designed to meet the security risks and
programming needs of those youthful offenders under the age of majority who are
transferred to adult jurisdictions or who cannot be handled by other facilities or

69 
 

programs within the juvenile correctional/ detention systems. Included in such
facilities should be the following:
1. A design and perimeter security that promotes safety and security;
2. The recruitment and retention of highly qualified professional staff who are welltrained and genuinely interested in providing direct services and programs to
youthful offender populations;
3. Special programming and case management to meet the developmental,
educational, health, religious, mental health and other special needs of youthful
offenders;
4. Appropriate resident/staff ratios to meet the special security and programming
needs of youthful offenders and to manage living units;
5. Mental health and suicide screening and specialized counseling for youthful
offenders;
6. Screening and classification processes, both at intake and at regular intervals, to
ensure that specialized facilities and/or units house only youthful offenders in need
of such treatment;
7. Structured processes for the timely transmission of written information regarding
a youthful offender’s adjustment, achievements, and educational and disciplinary
records within the specialized facility or unit for consideration upon transfer of the
offender out of the facility or unit; and
8. Housing units that allow for personal interactions and group-oriented activities.
E. Support, in those jurisdictions that continue to house youths under the age of
majority in adult correctional/ detention systems, housing them in specialized facilities
or units that have the features set forth above. In addition, the following requirements
should be met:
1. Offenders in the specialized units have no sight or sound contact with adult
offenders in living, program, dining or other common areas of the facility, and
opportunities for any other sight or sound contact are minimized; any such contact
that does occur is brief and in conformance with any applicable legal requirements;
2. Youthful offenders under the age of majority are housed in these specialized
prisons or units except:
a. When a violent, predatory youthful offender poses an undue risk of harm to
other youths within the specialized unit or prison; or
70 
 

b. When a qualified specialist in the developmental, programming and other
special needs of youthful offenders has determined that the offender cannot
benefit from placement in the specialized prison or unit.
3. When a youthful offender under the age of majority is placed in the general
population, a written statement specifically explaining the substantial reasons for
the placement is prepared;
4. Offenders over the age of majority are placed in these specialized units only when
two requirements are met:
a. A qualified specialist in developmental levels and needs has, after a thorough
assessment, determined that an offender’s developmental and programming
needs can best be met through this specialized placement; and
b. A determination has been made that placement of the offender in the
specialized prison or unit will not jeopardize the safety of the youthful offenders
housed there.
5. When an offender over the age of majority is placed in a specialized unit or prison
for youthful offenders, a written statement specifically explaining substantial
reasons necessitating the placement is prepared.
F. Support the evaluation and refinement of classification systems and assessment
processes by corrections professionals to ensure the appropriate placement of offenders
in the specialized facilities or units for youthful offenders under the age of majority,
based on risks and needs;
G. Support the preparation and consideration of fiscal and correctional impactassessment statements before the enactment of legislation that leads to the confinement
of youths under the age of majority in adult correctional facilities; and
H. Support the adoption of legislative, fiscal, regulatory and other mechanisms that
will ensure that adequate resources are allocated for the specialized facilities and/or
units developed for youthful offenders who cannot safely and effectively be handled by
existing juvenile correctional/detention facilities.
This Public Correctional Policy was ratified by the American Correctional Association Delegate Assembly
at the Winter Conference in Nashville, Tenn., Jan. 20, 1999. It was reviewed and amended at the Winter
Conference in New Orleans, Jan. 14, 2004. It was reviewed and amended at the Winter Conference in
Kissimmee, Fla., Jan. 14, 2009.

71 
 

72 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Fiscal Responsibility for Correctional Legislation
2000-1
Introduction:
The changing needs as well as the increased size of the correctional population in the
United States have resulted in crowded facilities and excessive workloads for staff of
many correctional systems around the country. These conditions are due, in part, to
state and federal mandates that do not consider the fiscal impact of compliance.
Policy Statement:
Adequate levels of funding are necessary to ensure that public safety and rehabilitation
objectives are achieved and that adult and juvenile correctional agencies are operated in
a safe, secure and constitutional manner. Implementation of sound correctional
practices requires that institutional and community operations be adequately staffed
and staff be properly trained. Correctional facilities and programs must have adequate
resources to ensure that security, treatment and rehabilitation services are delivered
cost-effectively in a safe and structured correctional environment.
The American Correctional Association supports funding to ensure sound correctional
practice. There should be adequate funding to ensure that:
A. Appropriate remedies are available to accommodate the future growth in demand
for prisons, jails, juvenile facilities, probation and parole services, intermediate
sanctions and other correctional services;
B. Correctional programs and community human services are effectively coordinated;
C. Gender- and culturally-responsive offender programming is provided to overcome
barriers to successful reentry, reduce recidivism and provide restitution to victims and
reparations to the community;
D. There are sufficient correctional personnel and adequate physical space necessary to
operate efficient and effective correctional programs;
E. There are sufficient community corrections resources to provide adequate
supervision and services to offenders released to the community on probation and
parole or other forms of community supervision; and
F. There are sufficient resources to provide for on-going program evaluation and for
research into new and relevant services.
This Public Correctional Policy was ratified by the American Correctional Association Delegate Assembly
at the Congress of Correction in San Antonio, Aug. 16, 2000. It was reviewed and amended at the
Congress of Correction in Baltimore, Aug. 10, 2005. It was reviewed and reaffirmed without change at the
140th Congress of Correction in Chicago, Aug. 4, 2010.

73 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Adult/Juvenile Offender Access to Telephones
2001-1

Policy Statement:
Recognizing that there is no constitutional right for adult/juvenile offenders to have
access to telephones, it is nonetheless consistent with the requirements of sound
correctional management that adult/juvenile offenders should have access to a range of
reasonably
priced
telecommunications
services.
When
contracting
for
telecommunications services for adult/juvenile offenders, correctional agencies should:
A. Comply with all applicable state and federal regulations;
B. Establish rates and surcharges that are commensurate with those charged to the
general public for like services. Any deviation from ordinary consumer rates should
reflect actual costs associated with the provision of services in a correctional setting; and
C. Provide the broadest range of calling options determined to be consistent with the
requirements of sound correctional management.
This Public Correctional Policy was unanimously ratified by the American Correctional Association
Delegate Assembly at the Winter Conference in Nashville, Tenn., Jan. 24, 2001. It was reviewed and
amended at the Winter Conference in Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 1, 2006. It was reviewed and amended at the
Winter Conference in San Antonio, Feb. 1, 2011.

74 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Community Service and Restorative Justice
2001-2

Introduction:
Establishing a sense of community is an important part of the rehabilitation process of
offenders. Whether within an institution or as part of community corrections, it is
beneficial to promote community service for offenders to assist their reentry into society
and to promote the positive restoration within the community of the harm that criminal
activity has caused.

Policy Statement:
The ACA supports community service for offenders and urges its use consistent with
correctional management principles and public safety objectives.
While promoting community service, justice systems and institutions must consider
factors that contribute to the success of the effort -for the offender and the public.
Therefore, when developing criteria for successful community service efforts, criminal
justice and rehabilitative programs must:
A. Enhance public safety;
B. Integrate the offender into the community;
C. Contribute to principles of restorative justice;
D. Gain public support for programs and promoting acceptance of offenders;
E. Enhance the self-esteem of offenders by using their time, talents and skills to benefit
themselves and others;
F. Provide value to government, the community and nonprofit organizations;
G. Provide valuable, transferable skills to offenders;
H. Balance community service with other responsibilities including family and work,
and the availability of transportation;
I. Restore public confidence in offenders; and
J. Maintain public confidence in the justice system.

75 
 

This Public Correctional Policy was unanimously ratified by the American Correctional Association
Delegate Assembly at the Winter Conference in Nashville, Tenn., Jan. 24, 2001. It was reviewed and
amended at the Winter Conference in Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 1, 2006. It was reviewed and amended at the
Winter Conference in San Antonio, Feb. 1, 2011.

76 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Reentry of Offenders
2001-3

Introduction:
Successful reentry of offenders in the community is in the best interest of society.
Reentry programs enhance public safety, help prepare offenders for transition to
responsible citizenship, can help reduce future criminal behavior, remove the barriers
that make it difficult for offenders to reenter their communities, and develop necessary
community support.

Policy Statement:
The American Correctional Association fully supports evidence-based practices and
reentry programs, and encourages the elimination of any local, state and federal laws
and policies that place barriers on the offender’s successful reentry. Therefore, public
and private agencies at the federal, state and local levels should:
A. Advocate for the review and revision of existing laws and regulations that inhibit the
successful reentry of offenders;
B. Initiate individualized transitional planning during intake to a facility.
C. Provide recidivism-risk and reentry-needs assessments and associated services and
programs during incarceration;
D. Provide an expedited process to obtain appropriate legal identification prior to or
upon release;
E. Assist the offender in accessing appropriate housing upon release;
F. Provide sufficient staff trained to supervise and motivate offenders released to the
community;
G. Encourage institution and community supervision staff to integrate work efforts to
assure a comprehensive continuum of supervision and services;
H. Develop community partnerships and support networks for providing to provide a
seamless and timely connection between pre- and post-release programs and services;
I. Provide information and assistance to address health care needs following release
such as obtaining Medicaid, medical and substance abuse treatment, and other health
and psychological services. Provide a sufficient supply of prescription medication upon
release;
77 
 

J. Provide information and assistance to offenders to gain employment upon release,
such as pre-employment readiness training, job identification and retention skills
training, and job placement services;
K. Ensure that offenders who have served in the U.S. military are provided with
information regarding the benefits and services to which they may be entitled, and are
referred at discharge, to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs or local veteran service
organizations; and
L. Provide services to facilitate successful family and community reunification.

This Public Correctional Policy was ratified by the American Correctional Association Delegate Assembly
at the Congress of Correction in Philadelphia, Aug. 15, 2001. It was reviewed and amended at the
Congress of Correction in Charlotte, N.C., Aug. 16, 2006. It was reviewed and amended at the Congress
of Correction on Aug. 6, 2011, in Kissimmee, FL.

78 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Justice System Partnerships
2003-1

Introduction:
Law enforcement, the courts and its agents; juvenile and adult corrections; and public
and private social service agencies are components of the criminal and juvenile justice
systems. Protection of the public and the promotion of social order under law are
shared responsibilities of each. Public safety will be promoted when all components
fully collaborate with each other in the spirit of a full and unconditional partnership.
Policy Statement:
Correctional practitioners and other service providers should make every effort to
collaborate with one another, law enforcement and the courts in ways that will improve
the overall criminal and juvenile justice systems. This results in enhanced protection of
the public, efficiency in handling offenders and long-range cost effectiveness.
Opportunities exist for partnerships to be developed in reentry programs and services,
crime prevention initiatives, community corrections programs, probation and parole
services, staff recruitment and development, violence reduction and other areas.
Correctional agencies and organizations should:
A. Develop communication policies and procedures to share information among
agencies that promote prevention, early intervention, public safety and the reduction of
recidivism;
B. Commit to improving communications between agencies and initiating regular
meetings with a variety of partners;
C. Promote mutual aid agreements, shared training and resource utilization;
D. Initiate research efforts to determine the benefits and outcomes of the partnerships;
E. Support legislative efforts at all levels of government that will improve public safety
and enhance the resources available to the partner agencies;
F. Eliminate the barriers that are counterproductive to these partnerships; and
G. Acknowledge the differences in each of the agencies and seek to understand the
mission, vision and role of each agency within the partnership.

79 
 

80 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Correctional Mental Health Care
2004-1

Introduction:
Corrections professionals believe that offenders with mental illnesses should receive
appropriate treatment and services including referral to external mental health service
providers as necessary. Adult and juvenile correctional agencies should provide a
continuum of mental health services. These services must be made available to
offenders on community supervision, in correctional facilities and upon release. In
detention and correctional facilities, seriously mentally ill offenders may be provided
special housing to reduce potential injury to themselves, other offenders and to staff.
Mental health care should be consistent with the standard of community care and in
compliance with ACA standards and accreditation guidelines. In order to ensure
comprehensive care, a multidisciplinary treatment plan should be developed. These
plans should address individual differences of offenders with mental illnesses and
consider gender, cultural and age issues.
Policy Statement:
Comprehensive correctional mental health services shall include:
A. Screening and comprehensive assessments, including the evaluation of co-occurring
disorders, when indicated, to determine risk and level of impairment;
B. Crisis stabilization services for offenders suffering from acute episodes;
C. Policies on the prescription, distribution and administration of psychotropic
medication;
D. Continued access to mental health services while housed in disciplinary or
administrative segregation;
E. Coordination and collaboration among treatment service providers;
F. Establishment of a multidisciplinary treatment team in correctional facilities that
includes mental health and other treatment professionals as well as custodial staff to
develop and monitor treatment plans, including medication monitoring. A mental
health professional should have a lead role on the treatment team;
G. Suicide prevention strategies, including a policy on recognition, prevention and
treatment methods;
H. Policies on restraint/seclusion and involuntary psychotropic medication use;
I. Development of medical and legal guidelines that address:
81 
 

1. Informed consent;
2. Confidentiality;
3. Treatment refusal;
4. Mental health commitments;
5. Right to treatment;
6. Guardianship issues;
7. Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) if applicable;
8. Special needs housing.
J. A holistic approach that emphasizes cognitive, social and coping skills development,
relapse prevention, and repayment and restoration to their victim(s);
K. Specialized training on mental health issues on at least an annual basis, including
training of mental health professionals on security issues; and
L. Transition treatment planning in cooperation with parole and community mental
health agencies and other service providers prior to release to ensure continuity of care.

This Public Correctional Policy was ratified by the American Correctional Association Delegate Assembly
at the Winter Conference in New Orleans, Jan. 14, 2004. It was reviewed and amended at the Winter
Conference in Kissimmee, Fla., Jan. 14, 2009.

82 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Offender on Offender Sexual Abuse
2005-1

Policy Statement:
Sexual abuse against individuals confined in correctional facilities or on community
supervision is wrong, illegal and should not be tolerated. Victims of sexual abuse may
suffer severe physical and psychological effects. Corrections professionals have a
responsibility to those they serve to provide a safe environment within which offenders
are supervised.
To promote a safer and healthier environment for offenders and the community,
correctional agencies should:
A. Establish, publicize and enforce a zero-tolerance policy regarding all forms of sexual
abuse;
B. Develop classification and supervision policies and procedures that minimize the
potential for sexual abuse to occur and develop policies that serve to protect the victim
and prevent repeat occurrences;
C. Establish investigative policies and procedures that include the processes for
reporting and thoroughly investigating every allegation involving sexual abuse,
including appropriate measures to protect the complainant during an investigation;
D. Establish mental health and medical protocols for treating the victim, including
initial screening, reporting, and appropriate follow-up treatment. Ensure victims are
afforded assistance services and receive ongoing counseling and support;
E. Foster an environment in which the reporting of alleged sexual abuse is encouraged
and reports may be made without fear of reprisal;
F.
Establish relationships and protocols with outside law enforcement and
prosecutorial agencies to pursue the prosecution of perpetrators of sexual abuse when
there is a suspected violation of law;
G. Maintain adequate and appropriate levels of staff to protect inmates against sexual
abuse;
H. Develop effective correctional strategies that provide constructive activities, and
increase staff and offender safety and security;
I. Promote facility design that enables effective supervision within facilities;
J. Provide orientation and ongoing in-service training to staff, volunteers and
contractors, emphasizing the zero-tolerance policy, explaining state law, case law,
83 
 

administrative policies on the issue, and providing the skills needed to effectively
manage offenders;
K. Provide information to offenders, inmates and detainees on how to avoid sexual
abuse; and
L. Establish a systematic process for the collection of data that document the number of
sexual assault allegations, the nature of each allegation and the resolution of the
allegation.

This Public Correctional Policy was unanimously ratified by the American Correctional Association
Delegate Assembly at the Winter Conference in Phoenix on Jan. 12, 2005. It was reviewed, amended and
reaffirmed Jan. 27, 2010, at the Winter Conference in Tampa, Fla.

84 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Minority Overrepresentation
in Justice Systems and Programs
2005-2

Introduction:
Minority populations are overrepresented in the justice systems of the United States
compared with their proportion within the general population. This disparity
contributes to injustice and unfairness, as well as the perception of inequity in the
justice system. It also underscores the need to assess, determine, recommend and
implement corrective actions that contribute to a more equitable justice system.
Policy Statement:
Correctional agencies and programs do not control the number of minority persons
placed in their supervision or custody. Correctional agencies and programs have a
responsibility to collaborate with other components of the justice system and nonjustice
organizations such as victims’ organizations and community-based service providers
and organizations to develop systemic solutions to the disparity. Correctional agencies
and programs have an obligation to ensure that internal policies and procedures and
decision-making tools do not foster disparate outcomes. Parole release policies and
procedures, probation and parole revocation policies and procedures, classification and
housing determinations, assignments to halfway houses, work release and other
temporary release programs, and internal work and program assignments should be
designed to operate in a way that does not foster disparate outcomes for minority
populations.
ACA recommends that correctional agencies should:
A. Support initiatives and efforts that encourage jurisdictions to identify the problem,
assess the reasons for the problem, and develop mitigating strategies;
B. Work with law enforcement, the judiciary, probation, detention intake and other
governmental agencies to develop objective screening tools for use in detention
decisions to minimize disparity in the confinement of minority populations;
C. Collaborate with the judiciary, other governmental agencies, and community
organizations in the development of prevention and early intervention programs to
strengthen the protective factors that reduce juvenile and adult crime;

85 
 

D. Develop and expand culturally-responsive programming that addresses the needs
of minority populations;

E. Collect and maintain statistics on minority population disparity in juvenile and adult
case processing, in admissions to correctional facilities, and in community programs;
report to the judiciary, legislative and executive bodies, and system agencies relevant
statistics and information on the decision points where disparity is apparent; and
encourage the development and implementation of strategies that minimize disparity;
F. Recruit and advance a qualified and diverse work force, including volunteers, to
provide professional role models to all offenders held within correctional systems and
programs;
G. Review best and promising practices and models, and their effectiveness, to
eradicate the disproportionate confinement and/or contact of minority populations
with the justice system; and
H. Play a larger role in mitigating minority population confinement and/or contact
with the justice system through cultural training, reentry, in-prison programs, and
partnering with community and faith-based groups.

This Public Correctional Policy was unanimously ratified by the American Correctional Association
Delegate Assembly at the Winter Conference in Phoenix on Jan. 12, 2005. It was reviewed, amended and
reaffirmed Jan. 27, 2010, at the Winter Conference in Tampa, Fla.

86 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Restoration of Voting Rights for Felony Offenders
2005-3

Introduction:
People convicted of crimes are expected to become responsible citizens after being
discharged from correctional supervision. However, many individuals are excluded
from exercising their civic rights because they are banned from voting in many
jurisdictions. The laws that prohibit offenders from voting, even after they have been
discharged from correctional supervision, frustrate the offenders in their attempts to
fully reenter society successfully, reduce the voting constituency, and
disproportionately exclude a large number of people from participating fully in society.
Nearly all states place some form of restriction on felon voting rights. Some states have
developed processes to restore voting rights, but many felons are unaware of them, do
not present the proper documentation, or the processes are often cumbersome and
discourage voting.
Policy Statement:
The American Correctional Association affirms that voting is a fundamental right in a
democracy and it considers a ban on voting after a felon is discharged from correctional
supervision to be contradictory to the goals of a democracy, the rehabilitation of felons,
and their successful reentry to the community.
Therefore, ACA advocates:
A. Restoring voting rights for felony offenders upon the completion of their sentence
including community supervision;
B. Developing protocols for federal, state, and local correctional agencies that inform
inmates near their release about the means by which their voting rights will be restored
and provide education and assistance to felony offenders in completing the restoration
process to regain their civil rights; and
C. Developing state election agency procedures that permit eligible felony offenders to
vote in elections after completing and filing all necessary paperwork.

This Public Correctional Policy was unanimously ratified by the American Correctional Association
Delegate Assembly at the Winter Conference in Phoenix on Jan. 12, 2005.It was reviewed, amended and
reaffirmed Jan. 27, 2010, at the Winter Conference in Tampa, Fla.

87 
 

88 
 

Public Correctional Policy on Staff Sexual Misconduct With Offenders / Detainees
2005-4

Policy Statement:
Staff sexual misconduct with offenders/detainees in correctional environments is
wrong, illegal and should not be tolerated. Staff sexual misconduct includes, but is not
limited to, committing or attempting to commit acts such as sexual assault, sexual
harassment, sexual contact, obscenity, unreasonable and unnecessary invasion of
privacy, behavior of a sexual nature or implication, and conversations or
correspondence suggesting a romantic or sexual relationship. Sexual misconduct may
occur between individuals of the opposite or same sex. There can never be "consensual
sex" in a custodial or supervisory relationship. Any sexual misconduct between
employees or agents and offenders/detainees is inconsistent with the professional and
ethical principles of the American Correctional Association. ACA advocates for the
prompt reporting and thorough, professional investigation of all allegations of
misconduct by those with the responsibility and authority to handle such matters.
ACA recommends that correctional agencies should:
A.
Support and/or strengthen legislation making sexual misconduct with
offenders/detainees a criminal offense and eliminating consent as a defense;
B. Establish, publicize and enforce a zero-tolerance policy regarding all forms of sexual
misconduct;
C. Develop and adopt specific, clear and concise policies and definitions that clarify
interpretations of the term "sexual misconduct"Â and that provide clear direction for
the agency's response to violations of the policies;
D. Foster an environment in which the reporting of alleged sexual misconduct is
encouraged and in which reports may be made without fear of reprisal;
E. Establish partnerships with prosecutors, medical providers, mental health providers,
and others who can provide advice, support, and direct services to victims of staff
sexual misconduct;
F. Develop policies and procedures that clearly explain the investigative process to staff
and offenders, including policies on transfer and movement or separation of the people
alleged to be involved;
G. Provide orientation and ongoing in-service training to staff, volunteers and
contractors, emphasizing the zero-tolerance policy, explaining state law, case law and
administrative policies on the issue of staff sexual misconduct;

89 
 

H. Establish investigative policies and procedures that include the processes for
reporting and thoroughly investigating every allegation involving sexual misconduct,
including appropriate measures to protect the complainant during an investigation;
incorporate medical and mental health protocols; and provide intensive training,
resources and support for personnel assigned to investigate allegations;
I. Provide offender/detainee orientation and ongoing education on staff sexual
misconduct that includes information on the zero-tolerance policy, how to report
allegations, how to obtain medical and mental health services, how to seek relief against
retaliation for reporting allegations, and possible disciplinary actions for making false
allegations;
J. Report all instances of sexual misconduct to the proper authorities for investigation
and possible criminal action; and
K. Establish a systematic process for the collection of data that document the number of
sexual misconduct allegations, the nature of each allegation and the resolution of the
allegation.
L. Promote facility design that enables effective supervision in facilities; and
M.
Establish relationships and protocols with outside law enforcement and
prosecutorial agencies to pursue the prosecution of perpetrators of sexual misconduct
when there is a suspected violation of law.

This Public Correctional Policy was unanimously ratified by the American Correctional Association
Delegate Assembly at the Winter Conference in Phoenix on Jan. 12, 2005. It was reviewed, amended and
reaffirmed Jan. 27, 2010, at the Winter Conference in Tampa, Fla.

90 
 

Public Correctional on Criminal Sentencing and Early Release From Confinement
2010-1

Introduction:
A number of states have eliminated parole and/or good-time policies in favor of some
form of a determinate sentencing scheme that may include sentencing guidelines.
Determinate sentencing is designed to reduce the discrepancy between the sentence
imposed and actual time served in prison and to provide offenders and victims of crime
with accurate information on the amount of time inmates will serve in prison.
Determinate sentencing ordinarily involves the judge specifying a number of years or
months as a sentence of incarceration, to be followed by a specified period of
supervised release in the community. Usually, the sentence of incarceration can be
reduced by good time earned by the prisoner through good conduct. Determinate
sentencing in some jurisdictions is structured in a sentencing guidelines system.
Observers consider some guidelines systems to be complicated and others to be simple
and readily understandable.
Other jurisdictions have retained indeterminate sentencing schemes, including parole.
Under parole, offenders serve some final portion of their sentence under supervision in
their community. Like supervised release, parole is designed to help offenders find
employment, obtain a residence, establish personal finances, and adjust to life upon
release from prison. It is also designed to serve as a mechanism to sanction any
continuing maladaptive behaviors.
Because correctional systems play a major role in the reformation of inmates and in
their preparation for reentry into the community after imprisonment, it is in the interest
of justice to understand the position that corrections takes on matters related to criminal
sentencing and early release from confinement.
Policy Statement:
Both indeterminate and determinate sentencing systems can be structured to yield
appropriate sentences that include incarceration, parole or supervised release,
probation, or other alternatives to incarceration. The length of a term of incarceration
resulting from a criminal conviction should be only as long as necessary to accomplish
the objectives of punishment (retribution, restraint, reformation and deterrence). This
will optimize the cost to the taxpayers of operating a correctional system, minimize any
deleterious effects of imprisonment, and maximize the chances for the successful
reintegration of offenders into the community after release and also ensure that the
public's interest in the long-term incarceration of habitual, violent and predatory sex
offenders is preserved. Periods of incarceration that are longer than necessary to
achieve the objectives of punishment are counterproductive. They increase the chances
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that offenders will lose important contacts with family, lose linkages to community
support systems, and become institutionalized. Periods of incarceration that are shorter
than necessary to achieve the goals of punishment are also counterproductive. They can
decrease public safety and erode public confidence in the justice system.
Incentives for inmates to maintain acceptable conduct and to participate in correctional
programs while in prison are important for the individual's successful return to the
community following release from custody, as well as aiding in institutional
management and public safety. Inmates who exhibit positive institutional conduct and
program participation may be afforded reductions in their term of imprisonment. The
interests of justice are best served and correctional systems are able to perform at an
optimal level and help criminal justice systems meet the objectives of punishment if
there exists: 1) a general “good-time” policy that rewards designated inmates with the
possibility of reductions in the court-imposed term of imprisonment for good conduct
and general program participation, and 2) additional mechanisms that allow
appropriate inmates to receive further reductions in their term of imprisonment after
successful completion of or for substantial participation in programs that have been
demonstrated to have a positive effect on reducing recidivism.
Correctional agencies should:
A. Pursue legislative authority (where it does not exist) for a sentencing policy
designed to impose only the term of incarceration necessary to achieve the objectives of
punishment, regardless of whether the sentencing scheme implemented is determinate
or indeterminate in structure;
B. Pursue legislative authority (where it does not exist) for a good-time policy that
allows for reductions in designated inmates' court-imposed term of imprisonment to
provide incentives for offenders to maintain acceptable conduct and participate in
correctional programs;
C. Pursue legislative authority (where it does not exist) for a sentencing policy that
allows appropriate inmates to receive additional reductions in their term of
imprisonment for successful completion of or for substantial participation in programs
that have been demonstrated to have a positive effect on reducing recidivism;
D. Work with legislators and policymakers in the area of criminal sentencing and
provide information to these policymakers relative to the objectives of punishment, the
relation to criminal sentences, sentencing guidelines, and good-time/early-release
policies;
E. Provide legislators and policymakers with information regarding the costs of specific
inmate programs and the benefit of these programs in terms of reductions in recidivism
and the reduced future cost of incarceration;

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F.
Encourage legislators and policymakers to conduct more comprehensive
cost/benefit analyses of inmate programs; and
G. Conduct research to assist legislators and policymakers in determining the
relationship between probation, alternatives to incarceration, incarceration and
supervised release, and recidivism and justice system aggregate costs.
This policy was unanimously ratified by the American Correctional Association Delegate Assembly at the
140th Congress of Correction in Chicago, Aug. 4, 2010.

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Public Correctional Policy on Environmentally Responsible
and Sustainability-Oriented Practices
2011-1
Introduction:
Adult and juvenile facilities and programs have the responsibility to deliver short- and
long-term cost-effective performance through the implementation of environmentally
responsible and sustainability-oriented measures, such as composting, energy
conservation, recycling, water conservation, pollution reduction and the utilization of
renewable energy alternatives.
Policy Statement:
The American Correctional Association fully supports appropriate short- and long-term
cost-effective facilities and materials management strategies that are resource efficient
and environmentally responsible. Therefore, public and private agencies at the federal,
state and local levels should:
A. Promote and engage in recycling efforts that may be determined by the

surrounding community resources regarding markets and services for
recyclable materials. However, each facility and program should pursue all
reasonable alternatives that have the effect of an overall reduction in the waste
stream;
B. Promote and engage in composting of appropriate materials;
C. Conserve energy through periodic energy-use audits and cost-effective efficiency

improvements in areas such as lighting, heating, cooling, transportation and
building construction. Agencies should pursue maintenance schedules that
demonstrate effective maintenance of heating and cooling equipment. Agencies
should demonstrate analysis of the cost of transportation vehicle use and related
fuel consumption. Agencies should require LEED standards in all remodeling
and new construction;
D. Conserve

water through the use of cost-effective, efficient water use
technologies. Agencies should seek alternatives to unlimited water use in the
form of efficient plumbing fixtures such as reduced flow shower heads,
waterless urinals, controlled shower time for offenders, development of
drought-resistant landscaping, recycling of rainwater runoff, and similar
strategies;

E. Reduce pollution through the use of nontoxic, non-caustic chemicals, liquids and

powders;
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F. Utilize cost-effective, renewable energy alternatives. Agency staff should be able

to demonstrate that they have researched and sought methods of obtaining and
implementing cost-effective, renewable energy strategies.
G. Provide appropriate training to staff [and offenders] regarding environmental

responsibility and cost-effective, sustainability-oriented practices. For offenders,
training may include preparation for future jobs in building retrofit industries or
in alternative energy industries such as solar, wind turbine, or geothermal
installation, operation and maintenance. For staff, facilities should seek ways to
share information among staff on the importance of energy, water and resource
conservation, to aid in the efficient and cost-effective operation of their
workplace.
H. Provide for organizational strategies that allow time and opportunity for staff to

focus on environmental and resource efficiency issues.
This policy was unanimously ratified by the American Correctional Association Delegate Assembly at the
141st Congress of Correction in Kissimmee, FL on Aug. 9, 2011.

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