ACA's new paradigm in the making.Today, legislators and taxpayers hold correctional agencies to a higher level of performance. Increasingly, we are required to show that what we do leads to positive behavioral change in offenders and improved staff performance. As resources become scarce, concepts such as total quality management, greater accountability and results-oriented government have become ideas in good currency.
Federal and some local agencies already have moved to the use of performance-based measures. The Government Performance and Results Act The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) is a US Law enacted in 1993. It is one of a series of laws designed to improve government project management. The GPRA requires agencies to engage in project management tasks such as setting goals, measuring results, and reporting (GPRA GPRA Government Performance and Results Act of 1993
GPRA Gouvernement Provisoire de la Republique Algerienne
GPRA Government Procurement Reform Act (Philippines)
GPRA General Practice Registrars Australia ) requires that, by 1997, all federal agencies must develop a set of performance measures to evaluate whether they have achieved their missions and goals.
As Osborne and Gaebler point out in Reinventing Government, government agencies traditionally pay more attention to processes rather than outcomes. They have defined effective organizations as those that measure performance in terms of "outcomes rather than outputs."
For correctional agencies to be fully supported by the taxpayer, it is predicted that we will need to adopt new ways of measuring our performance. This will require a fundamental shift in thinking from just measuring activities (or outputs) to measuring outcomes (or results).
As we consider these concepts in relation to correctional standards, it is helpful to think about the difference between efficiency and effectiveness. Efficiency means acting in a way that results in a minimum of waste or unnecessary effort. For example, streamlining procedures and reducing duplication duplication /du·pli·ca·tion/ (doo-pli-ka´shun)
1. the act or process of doubling, or the state of being doubled.
2. and fragmentation (1) Storing data in non-contiguous areas on disk. As files are updated, new data are stored in available free space, which may not be contiguous. Fragmented files cause extra head movement, slowing disk accesses. A defragger program is used to rewrite and reorder all the files. always will be ways to increase efficiencies. All of these activities are necessary in an efficient operation. But, it is important to recognize that efficiency simply measures outputs, not outcomes. Effectiveness, on the other hand, measures the quality of the service we provide. It asks us to show that what we accomplish ultimately improves the quality of our service and, more important, helps us achieve our intended end-result.
Steven Covey cov·ey
n. pl. cov·eys
1. A family or small flock of birds, especially partridge or quail. See Synonyms at flock1.
2. A small group, as of persons. , in Principle-Centered Leadership, says that the essence of demonstrating effectiveness is the ability to show that what we are doing is "right," not just faster or more efficient. In other words Adv. 1. in other words - otherwise stated; "in other words, we are broke"
put differently , performance should be measured against one's missions and goals. Performance-based standards will be achievable if we define clearly our purposes and goals in the programs and facilities we operate.
The first attempt to define effective correctional practice took place in 1979 when a national ACA ACA - Application Control Architecture task force recommended that the quality of the facility environment and living conditions living conditions npl → condiciones fpl de vida
living conditions npl → conditions fpl de vie
living conditions living should be measured over and above compliance with standards. In Measuring Excellence: The History of Correctional Standards and Accreditation accreditation,
n a process of formal recognition of a school or institution attesting to the required ability and performance in an area of education, training, or practice. , Paul Keve points out that, after the Attica riot, correctional agencies were required to demonstrate quality of life in a facility in order to be eligible for accreditation.
In 1988, the U.S. Congress directed the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (or OJJDP) is an office of the United States Department of Justice and a component of the Office of Justice Programs. (OJJDP OJJDP Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (federal agency) ) to examine the conditions of confinement con·fine·ment
1. The act of restricting or the state of being restricted in movement.
confinement in juvenile detention and correctional facilities. OJJDP concluded that most of the nationally recognized standards focus on processes rather than outcomes. They pointed out that most standards call on procedural regularity, such as policies and procedures Policies and Procedures are a set of documents that describe an organization's policies for operation and the procedures necessary to fulfill the policies. They are often initiated because of some external requirement, such as environmental compliance or other governmental , and not on defining the "quality" of the service provided. This is consistent with the insights by Osborne and Gaebler that government agencies focus more on measuring efficiencies and processes rather than on effectiveness. OJJDP raised some important questions about whether ACA standards and accreditation were measuring the "right things."
In 1990, the Standards Committee and the Commission on Accreditation for Corrections held a retreat to examine ways to improve ACA's standards. One of the more significant improvements noted during the early 1990s was the publication of the manual of Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions Noun 1. correctional institution - a penal institution maintained by the government
detention camp, detention home, detention house, house of detention - an institution where juvenile offenders can be held temporarily (usually under the supervision of a juvenile , 3rd edition. Using expertise in constitutional case law with regards to conditions of confinement, environmental sciences, and architectural design This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims.
Please help Wikipedia by adding references. See the for details.
This article has been tagged since September 2007. , significant changes to physical plant standards were adopted that reflected the philosophy of what contemporary corrections should be.
Other national initiatives calling for a new way of thinking about standards include the Bureau of Justice Princeton Project The Princeton Project on National Security is a multi-year, bipartisan initiative to develop a sustainable and effective national security strategy for the United States of America. Under the stewardship of honorary co-chairs George P. . In discussion papers for the project, Drs. Joan Petersillia and Charles Logan Charles Logan may refer to:
Petersillia proposes an overall mission for community corrections, five goals and a broad menu of performance measures. For example, the goal of protecting the community is measured by the number and type of supervision contacts (which we would consider a process measure) and the number and types of arrests during supervision (outcome measures).
Performance-based standards that define the quality of health care have been in the process of development since 1988 by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals,
n.pr See Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health-care Organizations (JCAHO/TJC). (JCAH JCAH Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals ). Last year, the JCAH asked their agencies to show that they were using performance measures and making progress in meeting their own benchmarks. They have condensed con·dense
v. con·densed, con·dens·ing, con·dens·es
1. To reduce the volume or compass of.
2. To make more concise; abridge or shorten.
a. their policy and procedure standards to one standard found in one section of a manual. Beginning next year, they will develop a national database to decide thresholds of performance that they can provide for their accredited accredited
recognition by an appropriate authority that the performance of a particular institution has satisfied a prestated set of criteria.
cattle herds which have achieved a low level of reactors to, e.g. agencies.
The American Probation and Parole parole (pərōl`), in criminal law, release from prison of a convict before the expiration of his term on condition that his activities be restricted and that he report regularly to an officer. Association (APPA) also has called on probation agencies to move away from merely counting activities (such as the number of referrals to services) to measuring results (Did the service address the offender's needs?).
Further Development Of ACA's Standards
Because of these national trends and the important conclusions of the OJJDP report, I felt that these issues needed to be addressed by ACA. As ACA president, I asked the Standards Committee in 1994 to initiate the development of performance-based standards for juvenile and community correctional facilities and probation and parole field services.
ACA's vision to recreate standards is based on what we believe to be sound contemporary practice in the corrections field. Also, we would not have advanced this far without the support of numerous ACA members in the juvenile and community corrections field. There is a growing consensus among corrections professionals that moving toward performance-based standards is right for the profession.
Developing Performance-Based Standards
There is agreement among various associations and organizations that the process for developing performance-based standards must include:
1. defining one's core values and overall mission (What is the purpose of your correctional program or facility?)
2. defining agency goals (What are you really trying to achieve by your program or facility?)
3. defining a set of performance measures that can be used to demonstrate achievement of one's purpose and goal
Our Performance-Based Standards Project also links mission, purpose and goals to performance measures.
Guided by Principles
We have been driven by some overall guiding principles in the development of performance-based standards. We believe that measuring the effectiveness of our performance will enhance correctional practice for juvenile and community corrections facilities and probation and parole field services.
We also believe that both intermediate and long-range outcomes are important. Recidivism recidivism: see criminology. should not be the only measure for evaluating effectiveness. If we can demonstrate in the short-term that the offender offender n. an accused defendant in a criminal case or one convicted of a crime. (See: defendant, accused) has achieved a general equivalency equivalency
the combining power of an electrolyte. See also equivalent. diploma and reduced his or her number of positive drug tests, then we have accomplished a great deal in protecting public safety while the offender is under our supervision.
A balanced approach to measuring performance is necessary. While ACA should give outcome-based measurements high priority, we should continue to preserve process measures because they measure whether our activities carry out our objectives.
If we define why we are trying to achieve a certain standard, and how we should be measured against that standard, corrections will be in a better position to shape its own future. If we don't define for legislators how we should be evaluated, recidivism likely will remain as the primary measure for evaluating our effectiveness.
ACA's Progress To Date
In the past two years, four subcommittees under the leadership of Joe Lehman, chairman, ACA Standards Committee, and commissioner, Maine Department of Corrections, have been hard at work in developing performance-based standards in four areas - juvenile detention and training schools, juvenile community residential programs, adult/juvenile field services and adult community residential services. By August 1996, it is anticipated that the first draft manual will be submitted to the Standards Committee for their review to develop a plan for field testing.
It is ironic that community correctional facilities and probation and parole field services will be among the first manuals to be converted to performance-based standards. In 1978, the first accreditations were granted to community corrections facilities and field services.
Earlier this year, we developed new guidelines guidelines,
n.pl a set of standards, criteria, or specifications to be used or followed in the performance of certain tasks. for the development of performance-based standards. These guidelines require that ACA members propose an overall purpose and goal statement when submitting a new or revised standard. Performance measures must be proposed for each standard to determine whether the standard can be achieved against its purpose and goals.
At ACA, we have decided not to develop benchmarks. Without a national database to determine norms, the corrections field is not in a position to set them. We are encouraging agencies to set up their own and to measure their own progress over time against them.
ACA has developed two types of performance measures for correctional standards - process and outcome. Process measures assess whether the activities conducted are carried out as originally planned. Examples would include enrollments and attendance in education or treatment activities or number of drug tests performed. These measures count activities that are performed.
Outcome measures assess whether the expected result has been achieved. Examples include percentage increase in grade level, percentage of successful completion of treatment, reduction in the number of positive drug tests or reduction in the number of re-arrests. These measures assess the degree to which the end result is achieved.
Outlook for the Future
Performance-based standards require a fundamental shift in thinking from just counting activities to also measuring outcomes.
As one might guess, moving in a new direction isn't easy. Change always is difficult. Nevertheless, it often is said that "In the end, the only people who fail are those who do not try."
For too long, we've been defined by the courts and by legislators. Until we step up to the challenge of clearly defining what correctional programs are supposed to accomplish and then go about measuring results against expected outcomes, those outside our profession will hold us to performance measures we feel are unrealistic.
It is important to keep in mind that the development of performance-based standards is a process, not an event in our Association's history. The development of performance measures and particularly outcome-based standards is the next step in our history as the nation's premier standard-setting body. The corrections profession will be enhanced and strengthened by moving to the next step. I am confident that when we look back on what has been achieved we will feel proud to have been a part of this historical process.
Boone, Ph.D., Harry N., Betsy Fulton, Ann H. Crowe and Gregory Markley. 1995. Results-driven management: implementing performance-based measures in community corrections. Lexington, Ky.: American Probation and Parole Association.
Bureau of Justice Statistics Noun 1. Bureau of Justice Statistics - the agency in the Department of Justice that is the primary source of criminal justice statistics for federal and local policy makers
BJS . Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. 1993. Performance measures for the criminal justice system. Discussion Papers from the BJS-Princeton Project. Washington, D.C.
Covey, Steven. 1991. Principle-Centered Leadership. New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of : Summit Books.
Keve, Paul. 1996. Measuring excellence: The history of correctional standards & accreditation. Graphic Communications, Inc.: Upper Marlboro Upper Marlboro may refer to:
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. 1994. Research Report: Conditions of Confinement: Juvenile Detention and Corrections Facilities. Washington, D.C.
Osborne, David and Gaebler, Ted. 1992. Reinventing Government. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley.
Bobbie L. Huskey is president of the American Correctional Association The American Correctional Association is an association of providers of services to prisons in the United States. It holds an annual trade show where products used in prisons are shown to prospective purchasers.
It was formerly known as the American Prison Association. .