The Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province has successfully completed the Praesidium Reaccreditation Process as of April 12, 2023. The province has been accredited by Praesidium, Inc. since its founding in 2014, when it was created by the joining of two accredited Jesuit provinces. It undergoes reaccreditation every five years.
Praesidium is an external, objective organization whose mission is to help organizations protect children and vulnerable adults from abuse. Praesidium’s ongoing accreditation process is designed to be rigorous to ensure that the province’s policies and practices are consistent with today’s standards relating to child protection.
Jesuits have a zero-tolerance policy regarding instances of inappropriate conduct between a Jesuit and a minor. Protocols and procedures have been in place since 2002, when the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.
Every member of the province annually completes two units of training (similar to Protecting God’s Children offered in dioceses) and signs the province’s Code of Ethical Conduct, affirming that he has read and accepts the policies and protocols of the province regarding abuse. Every year, all members of the province renew their training by participating in “Conversations that Matter,” a program mandated by the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, designed to foster within Jesuits a deeper understanding of healthy relationships and awareness of appropriate boundaries.
In line with Praesidium’s Accreditation Standards for Religious Institutes, the province has a rigorous screening process for men interested in becoming Jesuits. Before a Jesuit is accepted as a novice, he undergoes in-depth screening, including psychosexual screening, required references, personal interviews, a review of publicly accessible content on social media, and an extensive criminal background check.