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New Performance-Based Standards for Correctional Industries. (Accreditation Byline).

The American Correctional Association (ACA) Standards Committee vote to adopt Performance-Based Standards for Correctional Industries, Second Edition, in January, capped seven years of work by the Correctional Industries Association (CIA).

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.

Performance-Based Standards

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.

Stand-Alone Manuals

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

Comment 67 of the 74 (91 percent)
 expected practices had

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

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
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
1.1.15 Authorization for industries board
 or commission, provides for
1.1.16 Schedule of meetings for board or
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
1.3.14 Security regulations applicable to
 private industries that operate on
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
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
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
1A-8 Orientation to safety and operating
 instructions for equipment
2A-1 Compliance with all security
 regulations applicable to the
2B-1 Contraband policies
2C-1 Correctional industries information
 and operating systems
2C-2 Compliance with the institution's
 requirements for data and systems
4A-10 Value added through the use of
 inmate labor
5A-1 Compliance with disabilities
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
6A-9 Applicable laws governing the sale
 and transportation of prison-made
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
6C-6 Formal orientation appropriate to
6D-1 Grievance process for employees
6D-2 Prohibition of harassment
6D-3 Equal employment opportunities for
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.
COPYRIGHT 2002 American Correctional Association, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Author:Black, Leonard; Miller, Rod
Publication:Corrections Today
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2002
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