AMENDED 8/16/2022








Section I. Name - the name of this organization shall be the "Western American Correctional Health Services Association," (also referred to herein as "WACHSA." wash-a)
Section 2. Definitions - For the purposes of this constitution
A. "Correctional Health Services" (CHS) shall be defined as those health services rendered to individuals incarcerated or detained in juvenile or adult detention or correctional settings.
B. "Correctional Personnel" (CP) shall be defined as any deputy sheriff, police officer, parole probation officer, or corrections officer employed in any juvenile or adult detention or correctional setting.
C. "Correctional Health Care Professionals" (CHCP) shall be defined as any individual providing correctional health services, whether within the confines of the prison/jail or outside during the time of confinement, pursuant to their license as a healthcare provider or pursuant to orders issued by a licensed provider. Healthcare providers with licenses referred to by this definition include but are not necessarily limited to physician, psychologist, nurse, dentist, optometrist, podiatrist, physical therapist, social worker, dietitian, and pharmacist.
D. "Writing" is a communication sent by ordinary mail or by email.


The objectives of the Western American Correctional Health Services Association are as follows:
1. To support standards and guidelines for the organization and delivery of quality health services within correctional settings with emphasis on services provided West of the Mississippi river.
2. To provide technical and professional guidance for correctional personnel and correctional health care professionals in the delivery of quality correctional health services.
3. To act as a communication network for the recruitment and hiring of qualified health care professionals into correctional settings.
4. To develop curricula for continuing education.
5. To provide technical and professional guidance to accreditation organizations and to provide technical assistance to correctional systems and facilities toward compliance with established standards.
6. To promote a multi-disciplinary forum and climate for effective communication among health care professionals.
7. To develop liaisons with correctional personnel as a means of promoting effective communication on issues of correctional health care.
8. To promote recognition of correctional health services as a specialty.
9. To facilitate effective communication between the correctional health services providers and health care providers in the free world.


Admission to membership shall be provided by the By-laws.


The Western American Correctional Health Services Association is not organized for profit and no part of the earnings or assets of this organization shall benefit or be distributable to any of its members or any other individual except as properly paid for services rendered. All earnings and assets shall be used exclusively to further the objectives of the organization.


This constitution may be amended at any general state meeting of members at which there is a quorum as provided in the By-laws.


The property of this organization is irrevocably dedicated to charitable purposes and no part of the income or assets of this organization shall directly benefit any director, officer, member or other person(s) except in reasonable compensation for services rendered.
Upon dissolution of the organization, its assets remaining after payment, or provision for payment of all debts and liabilities shall be distributed to a nonprofit fund, foundation or corporation which is organized and operated exclusively for charitable purposes and which has established its tax exempt status under Section 501©(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.



A. The address of the Western American Correctional Health Services Association shall be determined by the board.


Section 1. Individual Membership
Membership shall be provided to any person who asks to join the Western American Correctional Health Services Association and pays dues in the amount determined by the board of directors.

Section 2. Organizational Memberships
A. Memberships for groups of individuals affiliated with organizations interested in the development and improvement of correctional health services shall be provided at the discretion of the board. The fee for organizational memberships shall be determined by majority vote in the board of directors.
B. Benefits provided to all members shall include dues and membership privileges described as follows:
1. Receipt of all correspondence, publications, newsletters, announcements, etc., issued by the Western American Correctional Health Services Association.
2. Tuition discounts as provided to individual members of WACHSA to events and activities.
3. Access to mailing lists of persons and organizations that are members of the Western American Correctional Health Services Association, subject to individual person permission to share this information.


Section 1. Dues
The annual dues for a member of the Western American Correctional Health Services Association shall be $75.00.

Section 2. Year
Dues are due in the annual anniversary month of initial membership.


Section 1. Annual Conference
An educational conference will ordinarily be held annually, alternating between Southern California, Northern California or other site as agreed upon by the majority of the board. This conference may be cancelled or postponed for good cause pursuant to a majority vote of the board. The educational conference will usually include a general membership meeting.

Section 2. General Membership Meetings
A. There shall be a general membership meeting held annually. The meeting may occur during the annual conference, or remotely with notice and response by email.
B. Annual meetings will provide for the notice of newly elected members of the Board of Directors.
C. Additional general meetings may be called at discretion of the Board of Directors.
D. General meetings may be held remotely, as called for by a vote of the board majority, through announcement and response by email.

Section 3. Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors shall meet not less often than two (2) times per year and additionally at the discretion of the President or at the call of three (3) Board members.
These meetings shall be open to all members.


Section 1. Quorum shall be constituted as follows:
A. Board of Directors meeting - A quorum shall consist of the president or assignee, and four other board members. Proposed decisions stated at meetings without quorum may be submitted to the board electronically for a vote by not less than a majority of the board.
B. General membership meeting - A quorum shall consist of ten percent (10%) of the total membership, plus the President, President Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, and immediate Past President. Proposed matters stated at meetings without quorum may be submitted for a vote by not less than ten percent (10%) of the total membership, plus the President, President Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, and immediate Past President.

Section 2. Voting.
All Western American Correctional Health Services Association members in good standing are eligible to vote.


The rules contained in the current edition of Roberts Rules of Order shall govern the organization in all cases to which they are applicable.


Section1. Board of Directors
A. Eligibility. 
All members of the Board of Directors shall be members in good standing with the Western American Correctional Health Services Association.
B. Membership. The Board of Directors shall include up to 17 WACHSA for board vote members to include:
1. President
2. President-Elect
3. Secretary
4. Treasurer-Membership
5. Immediate Past President
6. Communications Coordinator
7. No less than five but no greater than nine members at large, to include where possible a variety of professions working in correctional health care, and residing in Western States.
C. Duties. The Board of Directors shall be responsible for the day-to-day management of the property and affairs of the Western American Correctional Health Services Association.
D. Terms of Office.
1. The President and President-Elect will each serve one three (3) year term.
2. The Treasurer-Membership and Secretary will each serve three (3) year terms.
3. The immediate Past-President will serve a three (3) year term.
4. Each year of office will be considered to be January 1 through December 31.
5. The Communications Coordinator will serve a three (3) year term.
6. Members at large will serve staggered two (2) year terms.
7. Should a member of the Board of Directors miss three (3) consecutive meetings (general and/or executive) without good cause and reasonable cause, he/she may lose his/her seat position on the Board of Directors pursuant to decision by the President.
8. Any member of the Board of Directors may resign at any time by giving written notice to the President.
9. Any vacancy resulting from resignation or any other cause shall be filled by the Board of Directors by a majority vote.
E. The Board of Directors may remove an officer or director based on reasonable cause by a two-thirds majority vote of the entire board.

Section 2. Officers
A. State Officer.
1. Except when circumstances prevent, the President shall be from one region, President-elect from the other region, alternating every three years. 

B. Duties of Officers

1. President:
a. To call and preside at all general and board meetings or appoint a designee to do so in the President's absence.
b. To maintain communication with the Board of Directors and general membership.
c. To prepare an agenda for all meetings with the assistance of the secretary.
d. To conduct WACHSA business and approve disbursements.
e. May co-sign checks with the Treasurer. The President may also delegate to a current board member responsibility for check signing and other duties as required during the President's absence or as needed.
f. Appoint committees.
g. To preside and/or serve as an ex-officio member of all committees or designate a board member as an ex-officio member of all committees.
j. To redirect the essential duties of the vacant directors to other directors.

2. President-elect:

a. To attend meetings and in the absence of the President preside at said meetings.
b. Upon expiration of the president's term of office, assume the office of President.
c. In case of serious illness, injury, death, or resignation of the President, to assume the duties of the President until the end of his/her term of office.
d. May co-sign checks with treasurer.
3. Treasurer-Membership:
a. To attend all meetings and present a financial report at said meetings.
b. To keep an accurate record of receipts, disbursements, and bank accounts using the current, selected, financial management software.
c. To be authorized to co-sign all checks with president, president-elect, or immediate past president and carry out financial activities.
d. Keep membership records.
e. To present all financial records for annual audit and submit forms required by State and Federal agencies.

4. Secretary:

a. To attend meetings and keep an accurate account of all transactions at those meetings.
b. To keep an up-to-date copy of the Constitution and By-Laws.
c. To serve as correspondence officer.
d. To assist the President in preparing the agenda for all meetings.
e. To send out notices of general and board meetings as required by Article IV
f. To notify members of activities.
g. Be actively involved with the election process for Board members.

5. Immediate Past President:

a. Serve as parliamentarian for Board of Directors meetings and state general meetings.
b. Other duties as assigned by the President or Board of Directors.
c. Serve as consultant for the Conference Committee
6. Communications Coordinator
a. Organize, plan, solicit input for the WACHSA website and notifications.
b. Assist in annual conference organization and solicitation of participants, in accord with instructions from the board of directors.
c. Maintain the web site.



Section 1: Standing Committees

A. Standing committee appointments shall be announced by the President.
B. The committees shall have an annual meeting and others as indicated.
C. The following Standing Committees may be appointed by the President and approved by the Board of Directors. These committees shall be:

1. Constitution and By-laws/Nominating:

a. To review all proposed amendments to the by-laws of the Association and standing rules of committee to assure conformity with the remainder of the Bylaws.
b. To present to general membership at least one nomination for each of the positions vacant that year.

2. Public Relations - to promote the organization and recruit members.

3. Education and Program Development

a. to develop education programs for the general membership.
b. to assure that programs qualify for Continuing Education Credits.
c. to identify educational articles for the website.

4. Annual Conference to organize and plan the annual conference in conjunction with the public relations and education committee.

5. Government Affairs Committee to review policy, legislation, and regulations, and to author a Governmental Affairs column for the newsletter.

Section 2. Special Committees

A. Special committees shall be established as necessary.
B. The committees shall be appointed by the President and/or President-Elect.
C. When the tasks of the committees are completed, they shall be disbanded.


A. Proposals for amendments/modifications to these bylaws may be initiated by the Board of Directors, constitution and by-laws committee, or by petition of twenty (20) members of the organization.
B. All proposed amendments shall be referred to the Constitutional By-laws nomination committee of the organization for study and recommendation.
C. The secretary of the organization shall have a notice of the proposed amendments e-mailed as described in Section 1D below, to all members of the organization prior to the next general statewide meeting and/or they will be posted on the website.
D. Notice by email shall be considered equivalent of notice by US MAIL and sufficient for the purpose of this article. Upon request, notice by regular US mail will be made if possible and to the best ability.
E. Voting to confirm proposed amendments shall be made at the general statewide meeting. Upon the approval of a board majority, amendments may be proposed and authorized for approval by majority vote of the general membership following email notice to the general membership with response (yes or no) returned from no less than a quorum of the general membership as defined above.
F. Proposed amendments are confirmed by a simple majority yes vote among all responding to the notice, provided total response meets quorum requirement as described above in Article V.


At the annual general membership meeting the Board of Directors shall present a report, including but not limited to details on the following:
A. Financial statement of assets and liabilities of the organization.
B. Revenue and receipts of the organization.
C. Expenses and disbursement of the organization.
D. The number of members of the organization


A. The nomination by-laws committee shall prepare a slate of candidates.
B. The nomination by-laws committee shall verify the acceptance of nomination by nominees.
C. The nomination by-laws committee shall submit a final slate of officers with a brief biography to the secretary.
D. The secretary shall make all reasonable efforts to assure confidentiality of the ballot process.
E. The secretary shall e-mail ballots to members in a timely manner prior to the annual general membership meeting.
F. Members may write in candidates.
G. The secretary of the organization shall have a notice of the proposed Amendments mailed as described in Section 1H below, to all members of the organization prior to the next general statewide meeting and/or they will be posted on the website.
H. Notice and or voting by email shall be considered equivalent of notice or voting by US MAIL and sufficient for the purpose of this article. Upon request, notice by regular US mail will be made if possible and to the best ability.
I. Voting to confirm proposed amendments shall be made when possible at the general statewide meeting. Upon the approval of a board majority, amendments may also or in the alternative be proposed and authorized for approval by majority vote of the general membership following email notice to the general membership with response (yes or no) returned from no less than a quorum of the general membership as defined above.
J. Ballots shall be returned to the secretary.
K. The president shall appoint ballot tellers to include the secretary. Results of the election, along with ballots and certification by the tellers of the count shall be announced at the general meeting where possible, or immediately following by email. The ballots shall be counted within one week of the deadline announced in the ballot.
L. Immediately following the counting of the ballots, the Secretary will notify the President of the complete election tally. The secretary will notify all candidates for office and board positions, the Board Directors, and then the general membership of the election results.
M. Persons elected shall assume office following the election with the transition to be complete by January 1st.
N. In the absence of interested qualified individuals the WACHSA Board of Directors may nominate and appoint appropriate candidates who may be approved by vote at the annual meeting or by mail as described above. 
O. Board of Directors vacancies occurring after the annual meeting may be filled by appointment by the current Board of Directors with final approval at the annual meeting.


These by laws, including amendments pursuant to the vote by general membership approving changes in the bylaws as provided herein. 
2023 Changes: 

  • All references to ACHSA are changed to WACHSA.

  • "Statepen" as a newsletter name has been removed.

  • Annual dues are increased from $50 annually to $75.

  • notice by email is the equivalent of notice by mail.