The mission of the National Commission on Correctional Health Care is to improve the quality of health care in jails, prisons and juvenile confinement facilities. NCCHC establishes standards for health services in correctional facilities, operates a voluntary accreditation program for institutions that meet those standards, produces resource publications, conducts educational conferences and offers certification for correctional health professionals. NCCHC is supported by the major national organizations representing the fields of health, mental health, law and corrections. Each supporting organization has named a liaison to the NCCHC board of directors to create a robust, multidisciplinary governing structure that reflects the complexities of correctional health care.
NCCHC’s origins date to the early 1970s, when an American Medical Association study of jails found inadequate, disorganized health services and a lack of national standards. In collaboration with other organizations, the AMA established a program that in 1983 became NCCHC, an independent, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose early mission was to evaluate and develop policy and programs for a field clearly in need of assistance.
Today, NCCHC’s leadership in setting standards for health services in correctional facilities is widely recognized. Established by the health, mental health, legal and corrections professions, NCCHC’s Standards present recommendations for the management of a correctional health services system. Written in separate volumes for prisons, jails and juvenile confinement facilities, plus a manual for mental health services and another for opioid treatment programs, the Standards cover the areas of care and treatment, health records, administration, personnel and medical-legal issues. These essential resources have helped correctional and detention facilities improve the health of their inmates and the communities to which they return, increase the efficiency of health services delivery, strengthen organizational effectiveness and reduce the risk of adverse legal judgments.
Building on that foundation, NCCHC offers a broad array of services and resources to help correctional health care systems provide efficient, high-quality care.