A busy – and successful – year for accreditations

It has been a busy year for accreditations at KPEP. By the end of 2019, all of our facilities will have undergone re-accreditation or certification for ACA (American Correctional Association), CARF (Commission on Accreditation for Rehabilitation Facilities), PREA (Prison Rape Elimination Act), or a combination of these.

It takes a lot of work and a coordinated team effort to maintain each of these over the accreditation term. Incorporating the standards into our everyday practices is the key to success – it makes busy seasons such as these much more manageable.

To understand the work it takes to remain accredited/certified, there first needs to be an understanding of the process. Each of our programs is on a three-year cycle with each accrediting body. At the end of the cycle, the accrediting bodies are invited into our programs to complete their process of evaluating our compliance with the standards.

What does this look like? It usually involves a team of 1 – 3 people, on-site for several days, evaluating ongoing compliance with the relevant standards over the previous three-year period.

The 250 ACA standards are more correctional in nature and encompass everything from safety and security to health and management. CARF, on the other hand, evaluates more than 1,200 standards that are focused on treatment services. They include standards on client-centered planning, program and service structure, performance measurement, and continuous improvement. Finally, the 46 PREA standards serve to demonstrate our commitment to having zero tolerance towards all forms of sexual abuse and sexual harassment.

While the process can be time consuming and costly, the value of successfully meeting these standards far outweighs the cost. By conforming to the standards, we can ensure that we are meeting best practices in the field and are providing quality cost-effective, evidence-based programming that meets the needs of those we serve. Accreditation is another way that KPEP continues to carry on its commitment to excellence.

Here is a snapshot of what we have achieved so far in 2019 and what is still to come:

  • Calhoun and Olmstead completed their ACA re-accreditation audit in June and were awarded their certificate in August.
  • All facilities completed the CARF re-survey in July and will receive a three year accreditation in August or September
  • Berrien and Chicago will complete their ACA re-accreditation audit in November.

Congratulations and thanks to our hard-working teams at all these KPEP facilities.