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Preparing for the Accreditation Hearing

NCJ Number
Corrections Today Volume: 66 Issue: 7 Dated: December 2004 Pages: 110-112
Melvin Brown Jr.
Date Published
December 2004
3 pages
This article describes how correctional agencies should prepare for accreditation hearings.
The Commission on Accreditation for Corrections (CAC) Board of Commissioners is responsible for making accreditation decisions and the hearing is a crucial part of the process. CAC members, who are corrections professionals themselves, are concerned with agency compliance with accreditation standards, as well as quality of life within the agency and how the agency responds to and resolves issues of noncompliance. Preparation for the accreditation hearing should begin with a full response to the auditor’s report stating how the agency will address findings of noncompliance, either through a plan of action, a request for a waiver, or through an appeal of the auditor’s findings. The process for appeals and waiver requests is enumerated, followed by advice on preparing plans of action to address findings of noncompliance. Accreditation will be awarded only after the hearing, when the commissioners have satisfied themselves that the quality of life within the agency is appropriate and that the agency is addressing findings of noncompliance. Advice is offered for the hearing: provide documentation for any challenges to the auditor’s findings and avoid plans of action that appear deceptive. Agencies with quality services should have no trouble gaining accreditation.