Policies and resolutions.

Position:American Correctional Association's 144th Congress of Correction
 
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Editor's Note: The existing resolution printed below was reviewed by the Resolutions and Policies Development Committee, may have been amended and was then approved for continuation by the ACA Board of Governors and Delegate Assembly at the 144th Congress of Correction in Salt Lake City.

Supporting the Creation of an Office of Criminal Justice Health Care

WHEREAS, the American Correctional Association affirms that comprehensive health care includes prevention, intervention, education and treatment for physical, mental and behavioral health problems; and

WHEREAS, many individuals involved with the juvenile and adult justice systems have or are at risk for communicable diseases and mental health and other health-related problems; and

WHEREAS, a public health crisis is occurring in our nation and its juvenile and adult justice systems; and

WHEREAS, applying public health prevention and intervention strategies in juvenile and adult justice systems is important for protecting and improving the health of offenders, staff and the community at large; and

WHEREAS, providing timely assessments and appropriate services may result in the prevention of further spread of communicable diseases in the community; and

WHEREAS, juvenile and adult justice staff of various disciplines can be exposed to these diseases in the course of their daily duties and placed at risk; and

WHEREAS, there is a need to develop and sustain educational and immunization programs for persons in the adult and juvenile justice systems; and

WHEREAS, the adult and juvenile justice systems have a responsibility to improve public health through the education, immunization, prevention and treatment of an at-risk population; and

WHEREAS, there is no single source of information and resources dealing with the issue of juvenile and adult offender health care; and

WHEREAS, there is a need for collaboration among the various components of the adult and juvenile justice systems and public health systems; and now

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the American Correctional Association supports and urges the creation within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services an Office of Criminal Justice Health Care to coordinate health programs directed at populations under the jurisdiction of adult and juvenile justice systems.

Editor's Note: The new resolution printed below was submitted timely to staff, reviewed by the Resolutions and Policies Development Committee, amended and was then approved for adoption by the ACA Board of Governors and Delegate Assembly at the 144th Congress of Correction Salt Lake City.

Opposing Life Sentences without Possibility of Parole for Youthful Offenders

WHEREAS, youthful offenders convicted of serious and/or violent crimes should be held accountable in a way that reflects human rights, values and moral beliefs; and

WHEREAS, the victims and survivors of crimes committed by youths should be protected and provided with supportive services and the restorative justice necessary to promote recovery; and

WHEREAS, it is understood that there are fundamental differences between youths and adults, particularly with regard to mental and emotion maturity; and

WHEREAS, Roper v. Graham established that children are constitutionally different from adults for purposes of sentencing; and

WHEREAS, youthful offenders have much greater potential for rehabilitation and should be provided every opportunity to heal and rehabilitate; and

WHEREAS, there is a significant cost to correctional agencies for incarcerating youths to life without parole; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Miller v. Alabama that it is unconstitutional to impose an automatic or mandatory sentence of life without parole upon an individual for a crime committed under the age of 18; and now

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the American Correctional Association (ACA) opposes the sentencing of offenders under the age of 18 to life without the possibility of parole; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that ACA supports sentencing policies that hold youthful offenders accountable in an age-appropriate way, while focusing on rehabilitation and reintegration into society.

Supporting Reimbursement For the Incarceration of Undocumented Aliens

WHEREAS, there is a significant number of undocumented aliens housed in U.S. correctional facilities; and

WHEREAS, it is costly for the affected jurisdictions to house these individuals without reimbursement; and now

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the American Correctional Association supports efforts to require the federal government to reimburse state and local governments for total expenses incurred while housing undocumented aliens.

Editor's Note: The existing policies printed below were reviewed by the Resolutions and Policies Development Committee, may have been amended and were then approved for continuation by the ACA Board of Governors and Delegate Assembly at the 144th Congress of Correction in Salt Lake City.

Public Correctional Policy on Classification

Introduction: Proper classification of offenders promotes public, staff and offender safety. It is a continuing process basic to identifying and matching offender needs to correctional resources. Classification also serves as a tool for identifying gaps in correctional services. This continuing process involves all phases of correctional management.

Policy Statement: Classification should balance the public's need for protection, the needs of offenders and the efficient and effective operation of the correctional system. In developing and administering its classification system, a correctional agency should:

  1. Develop written classification policies that establish criteria specifying different levels of security, supervision and program involvement; establish procedures for documenting and reviewing all classification decisions and actions; describe the appeal process to be used by individuals subject to classification; and specify the time frames for monitoring and reclassifying cases;

  2. Develop the appropriate range of resources and services to meet the identified risk and program needs of the population served;

  3. Base classification decisions on rational assessment of objective and valid information, including background material (criminal history, nature of offense, age, gender, social history, educational needs, medical/mental health needs, etc.), as well as information regarding the individual's current situation, adjustment and program achievement;

  4. Train all personnel in the classification process and require specialized training for those directly involved in classification functions;

  5. Use the classification process to assign individuals to different levels of control on the basis of valid criteria regarding risk (to self...

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