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Healthcare Professional Interest Section
 

 
 
 
  Statements from ACA Executive Di
Page Title: Past, Present and Future

 

Nothing Works/Something Works - But Still Few Proven Programs

By Howard N. Snyder

December 2007, Corrections Today

In the 1970s the corrections field was overrun by the notion that nothing works - that no inmate treatment program could reduce recidivism. While some tried to fight this argument, many retreated into one of two camps. Some decided that the solutions for crime were not in programs designed to work with individual offenders but in tackling the societal factors that promote criminal behavior. Others took the 'nothing works' to heart and their solution became incapacitation. As a result, prison populations soared and states passed truth-in-sentencing and/or three-strikes legislation to ensure the incapacitation of untreatable offenders. Not surprisingly, during this period efforts (and funding) to develop and evaluate new treatment programs were scarce. Why test a new program when we know that nothing works?

In recent years the pendulum has swung far in the opposite direction. The basic assumption now is some programs must work. The mantra 'evidence-based programs' is dominating discussions of professionals and (perhaps even more important) financial backers. You would think that this new perspective would have led to the development of new proven treatment programs - to a smorgasbord of empirically-proven programs from which practitioners could select the one that meets their unique service needs. Sadly, this has not happened. Practitioners who 30 years ago were told that nothing works are now being told that some programs/interventions must work - but we don't know which ones they are.

There is a dearth of evidence-based treatment programs because a substantial level of effort is needed to prove that a program reduces recidivism. At a minimum, a program must be replicated in more than one site and evaluated using either random assignment or carefully selected control groups. For multiple sites to implement the same program, the program must be well scripted and documented. New programs are not good candidates for replication because they are likely to change and adapt during the first few years of existence. Thus, it takes a lot of time and money to develop, test and eventually give a program the evidence-based seal of approval. As a result, efforts (and funding) to design and evaluate effective treatment programs are as scarce now as they were 30 years ago.  Why begin the process of developing a new program when it is so difficult for the program to achieve the required status of evidence-based?

Whether its 30 years ago or today, the same situation exists for those in need of an effective program for their inmate populations. Not many effective programs exist, and largely none exist for most populations and settings. Too few new programs are being developed and too few promising programs are being tested with the rigor that would yield the proof needed to label them as evidence-based. Thirty years ago the major barrier to program development was the common assumption that nothings works. Today, program development is inhibited by time, cost and the reluctance of funding sources to support anything that is not already evidence-based.  Both then and now, though for different reasons, practitioners do not have the tools needed to meet their responsibilities effectively.

So what can be done? First, research and development (R&D) must become an integral part of the corrections business.  Most successful large corporations have their own R&D departments. We have generally expected R&D work to be done by the federal government, but their funds will always be limited. And recently the funds that exist have been redirected to other, apparently more pressing, national concerns. Can you imagine large drug companies waiting (as we do) for the government to design and test new drugs? The justice system itself must assume the bulk of the R&D responsibilities. If state legislators and private foundations can be convinced that the world needs evidence-based treatment programs, then we should be able to convince them that it's nuts to wait for someone else (i.e., the federal government) to develop and test these needed programs.

Second, though most state systems and private foundations do not have the funds to mount anything but the smallest R&D effort on their own, collaboration is possible. For example, what if four or five state and local correctional agencies worked together to form an R&D collaborative? Together they could select an existing, promising program that might be able to serve one of their unmet needs and then lend their support to an empirically-sound, multiple-site evaluation of it. Funds to support the work could come from state legislatures who are demanding evidence-based treatment programs and from local foundations eager to be part (at relatively low costs) of a large R&D effort that has the potential to produce a model recidivism-reduction program. If the test proved successful, the field would have a new tool to use; if the program failed to produce the desired effects, the costs to each member of the collaborative would be minimal. The point is that such a collaboration puts the future of corrections in the hands of those to whom it is most important.

Today, few believe that nothing works. Most people know there must be programs that work, we just have to find them. If the correctional agencies in this country do not assume responsibility for developing the tools they need to be successful, we will continue to be thwarted and frustrated - just as we were in the 1970s - by people telling us we do not have the tools to do our job and that our efforts to reduce recidivism are predestined to fail.

 

Howard N. Snyder, Ph.D., is director of systems research at the National Center for Juvenile Justice and holds the center's Maurice B. Cohill Jr. Juvenile Justice Policy Research Chair. He received ACA's Peter P. Lejins Research Award in 2004.
 

Correctional Health Continues to Provide Quality Care
By Gary D. Maynard
President, ACA
Secretary
Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services
October 2007, Corrections Today

On Nov. 9, 1973, a Texas inmate was injured performing a work assignment. The inmate was dissatisfied with the medical care he received and took his case to court. His complaint ultimately made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court where, in 1976, the Supreme Court declared that inmates have a constitutional right to medical care. No other group in the United States has ever been officially given such an entitlement.

On one hand, outrage came from opponents who felt that the impoverished in the community should have a right to health care - not those who committed felonies. On the other hand, proponents of inmate rights were skeptical because the inmate was only entitled to freedom from "deliberate indifference" to "serious medical needs." Would the level of quality be comparable to back alley medicine or approach community standards? Would medications prescribed reflect the most effective available in the community or something less?

As time has passed, these concerns have proved to be unfounded. The "right" to care has served correctional administrators as one of the primary keys to tranquility within an institution (together with food, jobs and visits). From the community perspective, returning a healthy individual to the community is recognized as an imperative component of the public safety mission. For example, no one wants a person with undetected tuberculosis released into the community. ACA has been a leader in guaranteeing this direction through its adoption of performance-based standards for both medical and mental health practice.

The articles in this month's edition of Corrections Today reflect just how far correctional health care has come. Correctional health care is on the forefront of the battle against sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/ AIDS. Facilities offer more concentrated hepatitis C diagnosis, monitoring and treatment than anywhere else in society. The scope of mental health disorders for which treatment is available in institutions surpasses that available to indigents in the community, and prisons constitute the largest source of residential mental health treatment available in the country. In short,

correctional institutions have become an indispensable component of the nation's public health system, delivering quality health care to those who otherwise might find it inaccessible.

This means that prison health care faces the same challenges currently being experienced by all public health care providers - and then some:

Health care is expensive. Growing inmate populations place a greater demand on resources in an era of tightening budgets. The consumer price index for medical costs in urban areas last year exceeded 5 percent, compared to the 2 to 3 percent rise in other economic sectors. In addition, health care clamors for a greater percentage of the overall budget as a result of increasing costs and a greater need for services.

Health care employees are scarce. The recruitment and retention of nurses in a prison environment is difficult, especially given the shortage of nurses in the medical community generally. Recruitment is further inhibited by less than glamorous

conditions and difficult patients.

Inmate-patients are "sicker" than most. In many cases, correctional health care workers are treating inmates affected by life on the streets or in dangerous communities. They are treating intravenous drug users and the malnourished - both the underfed and those whose intake has little nutritional value. Many inmates never received childhood immunizations and few have regular medical examinations. Hardly any have had the educational background to understand or the opportunity to learn behaviors taught in prevention programs.

In order to overcome these obstacles, a team approach is imperative.

Medical staff must not be viewed as outsiders in the institutional environment and must not view custody as an obstacle to achieving results. A balance must be achieved between ensuring the adequate movement of inmates to meet "sick call"/"chronic care clinic" demands and the need to restrict movement for security reasons and to reduce demands for additional officers. As in so many situations, the key is communication and understanding.

To bring treatment and security professionals together to provide effective health care delivery and management, ACA has created the Healthcare Professional Interest

Section. The association recognizes the importance of this collaboration in maintaining quality care for inmates and encourages communication on relevant issues. Treatment and security professionals working together can advance the corrections profession and improve programming.

Adequate funding is also imperative. Correctional medicine is already the "cheapest" medicine delivery system in the nation on a per capita basis. It is not a category in which administrators can "make do." Hospitalization cannot be deferred; medications cannot be withheld; and the mentally ill cannot go undetected and untreated. Despite rising costs and demands, the quality of care cannot suffer as a result of deficient resources.

Working together, medical and security staff can bring much deserved positive recognition to correctional health systems. Correctional health systems must continue to serve a recognized role in the public health system and continue their cutting edge work in stemming the impact of hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS. This will only be the case if we look back to the 1976 Supreme Court decision for encouragement to provide quality health care that advances with research and standards. We must recognize and remember that medical care is a key component in the operation of our facilities and in meeting our public safety mission.
 


 
Providing Gender-Responsive Services for Women and Girls

By Joann Brown Morton, DPA

President

Association on Programs for Female Offenders

August 2007, Corrections Today

           

This issue of Corrections Today focusing on female offenders is a part of the American Correctional Association's long-standing effort to improve programming and services for women and girls in the criminal justice system. Until recently, women and girls were called the 'forgotten offenders' because they were frequently overlooked in correctional research, policy development, program design and organizational management. As the articles in this issue illustrate, this has changed during the last several years. It would not have been possible without additional knowledge about female offenders and the development of effective policies and practices for them.

 

With the rise of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s and the expanding roles of women and girls, some predicted that females would begin committing the same types of crime as males did. While this did not happen, the number of female offenders grew mostly as a result of the war on drugs, and the need for better treatment surfaced as poor conditions were documented in a number of studies.

 

Faced with a need for change, limited research about women and girls, and the requirement for equal or comparable programming for females, many began to claim that an inmate was an inmate and that being female made no difference. 'Equality' came to mean corrections should provide the 'same' programs for women and men. Women and girls were issued male uniforms instead of letting them wear their own clothes or uniforms designed to fit females. Razor ribbon was strung around female facilities housing mostly minimum security inmates, and curtains, rugs and other 'feminine' items were removed. In one egregious example of ignoring differences between men and women, one state began charging women for sanitary napkins, claiming women were not discriminated against because men were also charged for hygiene products. In response to the excesses of this 'equality,' research concerning the difference between male and female offenders began.

 

In 1990, ACA published a landmark study by Jackie Crawford titled The Female Offender: What Does the Future Hold? This study was one of the first publications that profiled adult and juvenile female offenders in the United States, in both local jails and state facilities, and it provided invaluable data on their characteristics and needs. Under the leadership of the late Susan Hunter, Ph.D., the National Institute of Corrections began funding research on female offenders in institutions and proposing new approaches. Other government agencies, including BJS, OJJDP and NIJ, followed suit.

 

The NIC research culminated in the very informative report, Gender-Responsive Strategies: Research, Practice, and Guiding Principles for Women Offenders (2003) by Barbara Bloom, Ph.D., Barbara Owen, Ph.D., and Stephanie Covington, Ph.D. It established the following six guiding principles to ensure correctional agencies provide gender responsive management, supervision and treatment services for women:

  • Acknowledge that gender (being female) makes a difference;

  • Create an environment based on safety, respect and dignity;

  • Develop policies, practices and programs incorporating the fact that women are relationship-oriented;

  • Address substance abuse, trauma and mental health issues in a comprehensive, integrated and culturally relevant manner in services and supervision;

  • Provide women an opportunity to improve their socioeconomic status; and

  • Establish a system of community supervision and reentry with comprehensive, collaborative services.

National correctional policy began to change as more data became available on women and girls. The most recent version of the ACA policy 'Public Correctional Policy on Adult and Juvenile Female Offender Services,' extensively revised in 2006, reflects the NIC guiding principles and calls for 'gender responsiveness in the development of services and programs for adult and juvenile female offenders.' Rather than simply import services designed for males, it specifies, 'programs must be designed and implemented to meet the needs' of the female population.

 

To implement programs reflecting the basic principles of gender responsiveness and ACA public policy, everyone from top administrators to line-level staff must agree that gender does make a difference. Correctional administrators need someone at the policy-making level in central office who will say, 'What is the impact of this policy or procedure on women and girls?' For example, to save money, a number of systems now charge for sick call. This means women and girls who statistically come to correctional facilities with more medical problems than do males will have to pay extra for something that is a result of being female. In addition, disciplinary policies do not always work out as planned. An agency that decided to place inmates in pink jumpsuits to punish them for inappropriate sexual relationships did not anticipate that women inmates would relish wearing pink over dull prison beige. Having every inmate leaving a maximum-security institution wear belly chains and leg-irons may make sense for males. This practice, however, can be dangerous for women in advanced stages of pregnancy. It can also be time consuming and unnecessary for minimum-custody women who are in a maximum-security facility because it is the only place to house them.

 

Women-centered approaches, such as those in New Mexico described in the article by Helen Carr, are difficult or impossible without central office leadership and

support. The positive benefits of a central office focus on women and girls was illustrated recently in South Carolina when the director of the Department of Juvenile Justice, Judge William Byers, made better services for girls a priority and assigned a senior staff person to make it happen. As a result, the number of incarcerated girls dropped from the 90s to the 30s.

 

As noted in the article by Marilyn Moses and Ellen Kirshbaum, currently 14 states and the Federal Bureau of Prisons have directors of women's services. Unless these positions are written in to law, they are very vulnerable to leadership changes or budget cuts, which happened recently in Minnesota and North Carolina and earlier in Florida. They are also subject to having other responsibilities added to their job descriptions that negate their effectiveness.

 

As the articles on PREA by Andie Moss and ethical issues and training staff to work with girls and women by Joanie Shoemaker illustrate, recruiting and preparing talented people who want to work with women and girls is a major challenge. Many corrections professionals believe the stereotype that women and girls are more difficult to work with than males. Former Idaho Warden Bona Miller said it best in a 1998 article in the December issue of Corrections Today, noting that women are 'different not more difficult.'

 

An emphasis on implementing gender-responsive programs in the community is critical. Most women and girls under supervision are not in institutions but are assigned to probation, parole (aftercare) or other community-based programs that historically have received the least attention. Judy Anderson, warden of the Camille Griffin Graham Correctional Institution in Columbia, S.C.,  Rita Rhodes, Ph.D., from the University of South Carolina and Joann Morton, DPA, held focus groups with women within 30 days of leaving South Carolina, prisons and with those who had just returned. They found that women had unrealistic expectations about what would go well when returning to the community from prison and also that relationships with family and community supervisors were critical to reducing technical violations that would return them to prison.

 

Single-gender caseloads and gender-responsive policies for women and girls in community programs might help alleviate alienation from supervisors. They certainly can save money. The Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, for example, implemented single-gender caseloads for girls more than 10 years ago, and in two years, they reduced the number of girls from Baltimore being sent to juvenile facilities by 90 percent.

 

As the descriptions of programs for females in this issue illustrate, gender-responsive services cannot be successful without the support and involvement of others. Multidisciplinary task forces on female offenders, which have been established in a few states and by the South Carolina Correctional Association; women's organizations such as state commissions on the status of women; community domestic violence programs; and organizations such as the Girl Scouts of the United States of America have already committed to help. Seeking out and building alliances with academic institutions, medical and mental health organizations, other governmental agencies, individuals, and groups in our community is essential in implementing meaningful gender-responsive services for women and girls in the criminal justice system. By sharing information and program ideas, implementing the principles of gender-responsive programming, and following the policies and standards established by ACA and related organizations, we can ensure that correctional systems nationwide will met the needs of women and girls.

 

 


The Best Professionals Partner With the Best Technology
By J. Daron Hall
ACA Vice President
Sheriff, Davidson County Sheriff's Office
Nashville, Tenn.
June 2007, Corrections Today

The corrections professionals submitted for this year's Best in the Business issue have gone above and beyond their required duties, and represent all facets and levels of corrections. They work on the line, in the central office, in the kitchen, in the community and on their time off. Some accomplished heroic feats. Others developed innovative technologies or programs. Those with generous hearts served the community, and many demonstrated overall excellence on a daily basis.

Davidson County Sheriff's Office employees strive daily to make our agency a model for others to follow. Of course, setting the goal of being the best makes every day a challenge. Taking assistance wherever one can is important - and necessary. Technology is an area about which we have learned a great deal through the years. Hopefully, sharing our best practices will help others advance toward being the Best in the Business.

It was about 20 years ago when I heard the saying, 'I've never seen a camera jump off a wall and help anybody.' I think our profession has learned that technology can play a vital role in the world of corrections, so long as staff exhibit the utmost professionalism. No matter how good the technology, people are what make facilities safe and secure.

Technology certainly will never replace a correctional officer, but it can enhance an officer's ability to do his or her job. The same cameras that can't jump off the wall, can be mounted in strategic locations that may help defend an officer in a lawsuit or may encourage staff to act appropriately in difficult situations. In addition to enhancing security, technology can track inmate movement and statistics, reduce paperwork, and make inmate institutional history easily available for classification purposes.

The Davidson County Sheriff's Office has come a long way since our jail management system was implemented in 2001 and our first security electronics system came online in 2005. We just completed installation of another security electronics system (three facilities in two years), and because of what we learned previously, this installation went much smoother. We learned that when implementing technology in a correctional setting, it is necessary to consider five areas: 1) Determine the needs to match the resources available. When determining your needs, it's important to distinguish between critical needs and the 'nice to have' items. In other words, do you really need a Mercedes when a Chevy will do? Once you establish your budget, you can determine how you can best meet those needs with the resources at hand. When starting a technology project, you should first determine what your essential criteria are and if you have the resources - in terms of funding and staff - to implement and maintain the system you choose. 2) Research and select a reliable vendor with a proven product. It is important to select a vendor who will provide a technology that has been proven in the correctional setting. Some questions you may ask are: Who else is using that product? Does the vendor have a history of supporting their technology in a correctional environment? 3) Select a knowledgeable internal coordinator. One area often overlooked is the role of the internal coordinator. The internal coordinator bridges the gap between the world of technology and the operations of corrections. He or she must identify and prevent breakdowns in communication, keep the project on task and on time, and ensure the technology meets the needs and expectations that you initially defined. When selecting this person to coordinate between the vendor and the jails, you should look for someone who understands the technology, communicates well, works without constant direction and understands the needs of a correctional environment. 4) Be flexible throughout the implementation. Expect change and react positively. How you handle changes will have an enormous impact on your project. In the middle of implementing an electronic security system in our largest jail, we were surprised to find that the floor plan on our touch screen system - displaying door locations, intercoms and cameras - did not completely match the building layout. Operations had chosen to move two doors, which were not reflected in our documentation or in the software. We did not panic or complain; we talked with operations, who informed us that this was a valid and necessary change that better suited their workflow. We assessed the cost to our budget and timeline and moved forward. 5) Plan for support after implementation. Now that your system is in place and your users are trained, life is good. Suddenly, the phone rings at 2 a.m., and your technology is broken. This is the wrong time to be thinking about how to repair and support your new technology.

Support has to be addressed at the same time you are identifying your needs and resources. The level of support you need (whether it is next-business-day or 24/7) will depend on how critical the system is to your operations. You may choose to contract with your vendor for support or to educate your in-house staff, depending on the cost. Technology is, for the most part, a behind-the-scenes tool that assists all of us daily. In this issue, we recognize many corrections professionals whose behind-the-scenes efforts protect offenders, staff and the public.


The Kansas Offender Risk Reduction and Reentry Plan
By Roger Werholtz
Secretary of Corrections
Kansas Department of Corrections
April 2007, Corrections Today

More than four years ago, Kansas started developing strategies to reduce the rate at which offenders returned to or entered prison for noncompliance under supervision. At that time, the largest group of admissions to prison was parole violators with no new sentences, or in corrections jargon, 'technical violators.' Through internal planning, and work through several topic-specific technical assistance grants (condition violators, offenders with mental illness, sex offenders), we began to realize how complex the issue of reentry really is. Kansas, like many states, received federal funds through the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI), which provided an opportunity to establish a geographic-specific comprehensive reentry program.

This program identifies high-risk offenders scheduled for release to Shawnee County (where the state capitol is located) and recruits and engages those offenders for intense case management and classes beginning the year before release and concluding six months after release. Reentry case managers work alongside facility counselors and parole officers to address individual's specific risk and need areas. Case management is supported by volunteers and specialty staff in the areas of housing, substance abuse, employment and cognitive work. More than 50 community partners joined the effort, including law enforcement (where a specialized reentry police officer was placed), service providers, property managers, employers and community organizations. The Shawnee County Reentry Program (SCRP) provided an example of how to effectively implement reentry practices.

As SCRP began to show positive results, with return rates among the offenders participating remaining at or below 20 percent (compared to a statewide rate of more than 50 percent four years ago, across all risk levels), the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) worked with various national, state and local partners to develop a comprehensive plan to implement risk reduction and reentry practices throughout the state. KDOC is employing a variety of strategies to infuse risk reduction practices into the organization and within various partner organizations.

The Kansas Offender Risk Reduction and Reentry Plan (KOR³P) identifies an array of strategies to implement a 20-goal plan, addressing housing, employment, substance abuse, mental health, transportation, cognitive issues, capacity of community and faith based organizations, identification (driver's license, social security cards), legal barriers (child support arrearages, detainers), case management and case planning, organizational culture, data, evaluation, marketing, and legislative support. KDOC has developed strong and productive partnerships with state agencies and organizations, including legislative and cabinet members, which led to the formation of the Kansas Reentry Policy Council(KRPC). KRPC has hired an executive director and will be working closely with the department of corrections to establish a multidiscipline steering committee to help implement this plan.

Risk reduction and reentry impacts every area of operation in the department and depends on the participation of many key state and local partners. Many corrections professionals, and professionals from other disciplines, are already engaged in risk reduction work, though they may not call it by that name. Effective communication, engaging offenders in participating in their own compliance and success, and working with other service systems are activities taking place every day in the department. The risk reduction and reentry plan is designed to formalize these processes, add tools, develop skills, deploy and develop resources, and establish policies, practices and procedures in corrections and other systems to support and enhance this work.

The following are some of the key principles guiding our work:

  • Everyone is responsible for success;
  • People should be accountable;
  • People can change;
  • Reentry is a legitimate community safety strategy;
  • We can have an impact on the ability of offenders to be successful citizens after prison;
  • Change and innovation are positive and necessary;
  • Targeting highest-risk offenders will have the most impact;
  • Targeting multiple criminogenic risk/need areas will lead to the best outcomes;
  • Engaging offenders is a critical part of the work;
  • Case management is the heart of the work;
  • Reentry is a community issue, affecting victims and neighborhoods;
  • Systems integration is necessary;
  • Programs and practices must adhere to the research;
  • Rigorous evaluation must be part of the process, with a willingness to course- correct as needed; and
  • Information systems must support the work, including through sharing data between agencies and organizations and providing real-time trend and case information to practitioners.


As the chart shows above, what we are doing is having an impact. We are excited about the opportunity to sustain this trend in the future and demonstrate that risk reduction alongside risk containment is good corrections practice.


Rising to the Occasion When Disaster Strikes
By James A. Gondles, Jr., CAE
Executive Director
American Correctional Association
February 2007, Corrections Today

When disaster strikes America , Americans pull together as one family to help those most affected. We are not Republicans, Independents or Democrats; we are not rich or poor, old or young, black, brown, red, yellow or white - we become 'just an average American.'

Disaster struck several times a little more than a year ago in the form of hurricanes. All of us unaffected watched with horror at the devastation, destruction, pain, agony and loss of life in four of our nation's wonderful states - Alabama , Louisiana , Mississippi and Texas . All suffered, but none more than Louisiana .

This issue of Corrections Today is dedicated to the departments of correction in these states for the sacrifices they have made to make their homes safe and secure once again. Many of us have heard Secretary Richard Stalder of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections and his staff present a moving account of their efforts after Hurricane Katrina struck. What most of us do not know, and never will know, is the physical and emotional toll these natural disasters have played upon our correctional families. No songs ever sung, no poems ever written or editorial ever read can match the gut-wrenching emotions our brothers and sisters experienced during those challenging times. And, as is often the case in a fast-paced world such as ours, we soon forget what Alabama , Louisiana , Mississippi and Texas went through. Yesterday's news is old news.

The best lesson we can learn from their sacrifices, I believe, is how important these women and men are to all of us - not just for public safety, but for transportation, food, medical care, housing, clothing and other important necessities of life. They provided it all to their fellow citizens as well as to offenders in their care.

So while hurricanes are 'yesterday's news' to most Americans, to the corrections family it is a continuing opportunity for us to show how much we love this nation, how much we love our fellow citizens and how much we care about all of the great institutional foundations of America. It is another opportunity for us to thank the departments of corrections in Alabama , Louisiana , Mississippi and Texas . It is another opportunity for us to say 'well done.' God bless them all.

This month's magazine is also taking a careful look at the correctional work force and the challenges it faces in the 21st century. This is not a new topic for ACA. We have been involved in work force issues for several years. We have established a steering committee devoted to studying how trends in corrections and population demographics are changing the way departments hire and retain employees. We are also developing a work force resource center, which will compile and make available information that addresses these transformations.

The aging of the baby boomer generation is a popular topic in the news these days. This demographic phenomenon can be seen in every industry and profession, and corrections is no exception. As senior personnel approach retirement in unprecedented numbers, correctional agencies will face an exodus of their most experienced professionals. ACA is committed to responding to this upheaval so that younger employees are prepared to fill some very big shoes as they move up the ladder.

We offer a full range of educational and training opportunities which include the Correctional Certification Program, the Online Corrections Academy , the Leadership Development Program, training workshops and technical assistance. In addition, last month at the Winter Conference in Tampa , Fla. , ACA introduced its Healthcare Professional Interest Section. With emerging technology and an aging inmate population, correctional health care is facing unique challenges. This new initiative will help health care professionals and correctional leaders join together and examine important health care issues in corrections.

Whether responding to unexpected disasters, like the hurricanes of 2005, or adjusting to the anticipated dynamics of a new century, I am confident that the correctional work force of the 21st century will continue to rise to the occasion. And ACA will be with all of you every step of the way.

 


 
 

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