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Passaic County Jail achieves NCCHC re-accreditation

Pictured are Corizon’s “Core 5” at the Passaic County Jail. From left to right Diane Lourido, RN, Compliance Coordinator; Dr. Joel Federbush, Director of Behavioral Health; Allison Genberg, LCSW, Health Services Administrator; Dr. Richard Berardi, Site Medical Director; and Sharon MacIntosh, RN, Director of Nursing.

The National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) recently re-accredited the Passaic County Jail in Paterson, New Jersey, after collaboration between jail administrators and Corizon Health staff ensured all standards were in compliance. The NCCHC is an independent organization established by the American Medical Association to set standards by which jails and prisons are measured. The initial accrediting and every three-year re-accreditation process is an exhaustive deep dive by NCCHC inspectors into all aspects of inmate welfare, reviewing hundreds of standards and lasting several days.

A key challenge to meeting all standards was ensuring individuals entering the facility received a health assessment within their first four hours at the jail – a goal made more difficult following New Jersey’s Bail Reform policies, which increased the length and complexity of the intake process by eliminating the ability to post bail before making a court appearance. Meeting this challenge required the jail to increase custody staff, and Corizon’s team established a triage process to assess all inmates immediately after booking to identify those with the greatest medical needs. Next, a newly renovated intake area was built to provide nurses with a separate area to assess inmates confidentially and expedite their intakes as well as referrals to a practitioner when necessary. The result is that most inmates are seen in less than two hours.

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