New Performance-Based Standards for Correctional Industries. (Accreditation Byline).
A Long Process
The first edition of the Standards for Correctional Industries was published in 1981 and was long overdue for an update when CIA created a standards committee to undertake the task in 1995. By 1997, CIA was ready to deliver the proposed second edition to ACA, only to learn that ACA's Standards Committee was developing a template for performance-based standards. As a result, CIA was asked to wait until the new Performance-Based Standards for Adult Community Residential Services, Fourth Edition, would be completed as the prototype.
With that prototype in hand in 1997, the CIA Standards Committee began to meet a minimum of twice per year to evaluate existing standards and to convert them to performance-based standards. Although the committee was familiar with bench-marking and measuring performance, many questions and issues arose that forced it to evaluate just how correctional industries would measure itself. The committee recognized that due to local statutes, some jurisdictions would be unable to meet certain standards without legislative change. However, the emphasis was on how to use the standards to make the correctional industries profession better. The committee also realized that some jurisdictions may not be able to meet some of the outcome measures established under Section 4, Program and Activity, in Performance-Based Standards for Correctional Industries, Second Edition; however, the committee believes these standards are intended to make correctional industries programs reach a higher level of credibility as the field matu res.
Although Performance-Based Standards for Adult Community Residential Services, Fourth Edition, was not adopted until August 2000, CIA continued work on the industries standards by closely monitoring the progress of the other manual. As a result, the ACA Standards Committee approved the new correctional industries standards for field-testing in that same month, during the meeting at which the final community residential standards were adopted.
Hawaii Correctional Industries, which was due for reaccreditation, volunteered to field-test the new standards. Warden David McKune of the Lansing Correctional Facility in Lansing, Kan., conducted the audit. The authors were on hand to assist with any questions and to clarify issues as they developed with the new performance-based format. As a result, the committee was able to immediately recommend changes to ACA, which helped to further improve and clarify the standards.
Although the initial field-testing was completed in fall 2000 and CIA was ready to submit the standards in January 2001, ACA staff questions caused the committee to revisit its work. A second round of questions and suggestions resulted in the proposed standards having to forego the August 2001 meeting. Although, at times, the process was frustrating, it resulted in a better final document.
The first task CIA faced in 1997 was to reconfigure the old standards into the new performance-based format. Correctional industries managers were instantly comfortable with the concepts and terminology of performance-based standards. These resonated with the quality improvement activities that were an accepted practice in the correctional industries field. Many practitioners already were collecting data for the same outcome measures that eventually became part of the performance standards for correctional industries. In moving from the old format to the new performance-based template, the committee was challenged in different ways, which resulted in identifying further changes that were needed, and incorporating them into the second edition.
Table 1 describes the scope of changes between the first and second editions. There are many new elements in the second edition, including the 16 performance-based standards and all the outcome measures, protocols and process indicators. The second edition also contains fewer comments. This is the result of a deliberate effort by CIA in response to past confusion about the actual status of commentaries. ACA told the working group that comments are not audited during the accreditation process. Consequently, the group attempted to incorporate comments only when it was necessary to provide clarification.
Nineteen of the 74 first edition standards (now called expected practices) have no counterpart in the second edition; however, most of the topics addressed by the practices are found in the second edition (See Table 2).
Jails Join the Process
During the second phase of the revision process, members of the Jail Industries Association (JIA) became active participants on the CIA Standards Committee. The jail practitioners brought a new perspective and helped make the standards readily applicable to local correctional industries operations. As a result, ACA accredited the first jail industries program -- the Peumansend Creek Regional Jail in Virginia, which served as a field-test site and achieved 100 percent compliance.
Many of the difficulties the committee encountered could be attributed to questions about the scope of the correctional industries standards. Unlike most ACA standards manuals, the industries standards address only one operational area within the broader institutional context. Fortunately, the new Performance-Based Standards for Correctional Health Care in Adult Correctional Institutions was being developed at the same time and the committee was able to take some cues from that process. Since then, the committee has referred to the correctional industries standards to establish the scope of the standards for therapeutic communities.
When a standards manual is to stand alone, separate from institutional accreditation, it is difficult to draw the line between program operations and fundamental institutional issues. Fire safety is one example because a correctional industries program could not be considered safe if it were operated in an institution without acceptable safety practices. Knowing which areas to identify and how far to go in each area was a special challenge.
Another difficult dimension of the work emerged in the final months, when ACA staff said they hoped to have the entire set of correctional industries standards replace the more limited standards that are contained in current jail and adult correctional institution manuals. While this news was exciting because it meant the committee's work would reach a broader audience, it also meant carefully reviewing the work one more time.
Worth the Effort
Now that the revised correctional industries standards have been adopted, the committee can reflect on the process and the outcomes. Although the process was more demanding than was imagined, the committee is confident that the final product offers an important new tool for corrections.
The expanded interest in accreditation that has been realized during the past year is a welcome byproduct. In 1998, three jurisdictions obtained accreditation of their industries programs -- Hawaii, New York and Ohio. Today, that number has doubled to six to include Colorado, Louisiana and Virginia's Peumansend Creek Regional Jail. Nevada is seeking accreditation and it is hoped the numbers will increase each year.
Table 1 Changes Between the First and Second Editions Performance-Based Correctional Industries Standards Element Standards, First Edition Performance Standard None Outcome Measure None Expected Practice 74 expected practices (formerly called standards Comment 67 of the 74 (91 percent) expected practices had comments Protocol None Process Indicator None Performance-Based Performance- Standards Element Based Standards Performance Standard All 16 performance standards are new Outcome Measure All the outcome measures are new Expected Practice 77 expected practices 19 first edition expected 37 new expected practices Comment 32 of the 77 expected practices have a comment (41 percent) Protocol Each one of the 77 expected practices has at least one protocol Process Indicator Each one of the 77 expected practices has at least one process indicator Table 2 Deleted and New Expected Practices The deleted expected practices from the first edition are: 1.1.3 Statutory authorization to obtain and spend needed capital 1.1.6 Mechanism to compensate inmate employees for injuries sustained at work 1.1.15 Authorization for industries board or commission, provides for membership 1.1.16 Schedule of meetings for board or commission 1.3.2 At least weekly safety inspections 1.3.9 Routine inspection by qualified fire safety officer 1.3.10 Fire prevention regulations and practices 1.3.14 Security regulations applicable to private industries that operate on grounds 1.3.15 Weekly sanitation inspections by staff; annual by outside agency 1.3.16 Access to sanitary facilities for staff and inmates 1.4.4 Job vacancies available to any inmate who meets criteria 1.5.2 Food products grown or produced are inspected and approved 1.5.3 Distribution system for agricultural units ensuring prompt delivery 1.5.4 Productivity standards for individual work stations 1.5.5 Written procedure for scheduling and control of work orders 1.5.7 Current written equipment inventory 1.6.2 Formalized process for receiving orders, transmitting information 1.6.3 Timely processing of all customer orders 1.6.5 Use of promotional materials and methods in marketing Thirty-seven of the 77 expected practices are new in the second edition and clearly present many new topics and issues. The new expected practices include: 1A-7 Proper storage, handling and disposal of toxic and caustic materials 1A-8 Orientation to safety and operating instructions for equipment 2A-1 Compliance with all security regulations applicable to the facility 2B-1 Contraband policies 2C-1 Correctional industries information and operating systems 2C-2 Compliance with the institution's requirements for data and systems security 4A-10 Value added through the use of inmate labor 5A-1 Compliance with disabilities regulations 5A-2 Harassment policy 5A-3 Equal employment opportunities 5B-2 Voluntary participation 5B-3,4 Disciplinary procedures 5B-5 Grievance procedures 6A-5 Performance of cost accounting centers 6A-9 Applicable laws governing the sale and transportation of prison-made products 6A-12 Product support, product return policies and warranties 6B-4 Identification of activities that contribute to the community 6C-2 Drug-free workplace 6C-3 Workplace rules, ethics 6C-4 Safe and diverse workplace 6C-5 Staff development and training program 6C-6 Formal orientation appropriate to assignments 6D-1 Grievance process for employees 6D-2 Prohibition of harassment 6D-3 Equal employment opportunities for staff 6D-4 Conditions of employment for staff 6D-5 Progressive disciplinary practices 6E-3 Asset management program 6E-5 Monthly financial reports 6E-6 Method for developing product and service prices 6E-8 Inventory management practices 6F-1 Strategic plan 6F-2 Performance standards for industries bench-marking 6F-3 Quality improvement program 6G-1 Relationships between correctional industries and the private sector 6G-2 Compliance with federal requirements of the Prison Industries Enhancement Certification Program
Leonard Black is chief of the Bureau of State Use Industries for the New Jersey Department of Corrections. Rod Miller is president of CRS Inc. in Gettysburg, Pa.