American Correctional Association Accreditation

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO) under the guidance of Director Guillermo Viera Rosa has begun the process of pursuing accreditation from the American Correctional Association (ACA). ACA accreditation is an integral part of DAPO’s 3 YEARS TO EXCELLENCE plan which contains the following components: (1) Family Systems Theory, (2) Enhanced Case Management, (3) Professional Development, (4) American Correctional Association Accreditation, and (5) Virtual Integrated Mobile Office. The accreditation effort is headed by Accreditation Manager, Davies Sasere. Dr. Sasere holds a Ph.D in Homeland Security Administration: Leadership and Policy and as a former facility director with GeoCare, a re-entry correctional facility contracting with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, he has successfully undertaken the ACA accreditation process.

ACA is the only national accreditation agency recognized worldwide for accreditation standards in the correctional industry. Founded in 1870, ACA is the oldest, largest, and most prestigious correctional organization in the world. ACA is a professional organization which focuses exclusively on the field of corrections, whose activities include the administration of a nationally recognized accreditation program for all components of adult corrections. ACA has developed national standards which address services, programs, and other operations essential to effective correctional management. Accreditation provides systemic standardization of many critical operations and promotes sound public policy which will enable staff at all levels to be part of a nation-wide network of professionals with enhanced productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness.

ACA accreditation is bestowed on facilities and programs that are believed to be the “Best of the Best” in the field of corrections and sets a professional benchmark for correctional management. Agencies seeking accreditation must undergo intensive evaluations by ACA that culminate with the accreditation audit, a comprehensive assessment that encompasses every area of correctional operations. ACA provides an accreditation program for correctional agencies that address services, programs, and operational management; including administrative and fiscal controls, staff training and development, safety and emergency procedures, rules and discipline, offender programs, and the provision of basic services affecting the life, safety, and health of offenders and staff.

Through the accreditation process, DAPO will be able to maintain a balance between protecting the public and providing an environment which safeguards the life, health, and safety of staff and parolees. ACA’s performance-based standards will provide data that can be used in the day-to-day management specific to parole operations in California. Ultimately, accreditation compliance will provide CDCR parole operations with standardization, increase efficiencies, and enable CDCR to reduce potential risk of further legal challenges against its parole operations.

DAPO seeks ACA accreditation of 113 parole units based on a sampling of the following 6 units: (1) Sacramento Natomas, (2) Sacramento North, (3) Woodland, (4) Escondido 1, (5) Escondido 2, and (6) Inland GPS. In order to receive accreditation, DAPO shall comply with 176 of the ACA Performance-Based Standards for Adult Probation and Parole (4th Edition) with a score of 100% on 6 mandatory requirements and at least 90% on 170 non-mandatory requirements. In addition, DAPO shall provide data and statistical information on 65 of the standards to evaluate its performance and efficiency. DAPO expects to meet all requirements for ACA accreditation in June 2017.

In order to maintain ACA accreditation, DAPO will be evaluated by an ACA audit team every three years. In addition, DAPO will conduct an annual self-evaluation to ensure its policies, procedures, and practices conform to ACA national standards.

For more about the American Correctional Association, visit