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Verification Inspections

The inspection model widely accepted and followed in corrections is patterned after an “outside-in” approach, meaning the agency is first inspected by an outside organization, which identifies, according to their own checklists, specific criteria for evaluation of compliancy. The results are documented by the inspecting organization and the agency is expected to resolve or follow up on those items that are identified as non-compliant. The entire process - though well-intentioned - is usually misunderstood and ineffective at the overall purpose of such an inspection, which is to provide a second set of eyes to the agency for verification of compliance. Often the results are tainted the day of the inspection due to inaccurate evaluations of the facility, the staff, or of the procedure because the administration has “crammed” for the inspection rather than displaying a realistic snapshot of the normal operations of the jail. Perfectionism, subjectivity, and the pride of administrative staff influence the outcome of an inspection and can derail the effectiveness of the inspection goals. It is important to consider these factors when establishing a successful inspection program.

An “inside-out” approach, which is followed and recommended by the NSA, can eliminate such outcomes because it is founded on the premise the agency has already ascertained its primary strengths and weaknesses prior to arrival by conducting its own self audit or self assessment.

Common verification inspections offered by the NSA IJO include the following:

  • Physical Facility
  • Policy Review
  • Intake – Booking
  • Medical / Mental Health
  • Food Services
  • Administration and Training
  • Sanitary/Maintenance
  • Inmate Programs
  • Inmate Management
  • Grievances
  • Life-Safety Issues
  • Risk Management/Liability
  • Overall Verification Inspections

If you are interested in receiving a verification inspection or would like assistance in implementing your own verification inspection program for your agency or state, NSA IJO has numerous resources and information available. Contact NSA IJO staff by clicking here with any information you can provide to expedite the process.