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  • Webinar: We Can Go to War, but Can We Go to Work?
                  (PowerPoint presentation only)
  • Webinar: Branding of Corrections
                  (PowerPoint presentation only)



The new Center for the Correctional Work Force of the Future is officially open at the ACA headquarters in Alexandria, VA. The operation of this center has been made possible through funding by the Bureau of Justice Assistance.


While the center will have many functions, ACA envisions it as a vehicle to assist the association's corrections colleagues in several human resource areas such as recruitment and retention of staff, extending the work life of those soon to retire, and reducing the cycle of time it takes to hire and train new employees. Jim Gondles, executive director of ACA, said, "This center will be much more than just a tool for the human resources aspect of corrections. Focusing on issues that are important to corrections professionals, the center also plans to focus on such areas as improving the image of corrections, practicing good ethics in correctional settings and assisting with the daily challenges presented in day-to-day correctional life." The center will gather and make available resources highlighting "good ideas" on programs that work so that others may adopt these to enhance and/or streamline their own facilities’ activities and functions. This Web site will include real-time tools to provide the most up-to-date facts and research information.  While the center is still in its infancy, several positive strides have already been made. An advisory council, consisting of corrections professionals from all areas of corrections, has been established with Joyce Fogg as its chair. A list of the members of the Advisory Council can be found on this site.


Several center initiatives have begun with many more to follow.  Already more than 50 workshops on work force issues have been completed at ACA conferences and other association conferences. A strategic planning focus group session was held at ACA's 137th Congress of Correction in Kansas City, Mo., to obtain the field's perspective on trends in corrections. The group discussed what corrections expects from the center and what type of information and support the center should provide. They also brainstormed ways to attract qualified applicants and retain employees and how to brand and market the center to corrections professionals and the public. A summary of the ideas presented by the participants is contained on this site.  The May/June 2007 issue of Corrections Compendium published survey results on "Correctional Officers: Hiring Requirements and Wages," updating a portion of the initial work force survey. This, as well as the initial (phase I) work force report and summary, are posted on this site.


The center has appointed Debbi Seeger, former ACA executive office administrative manager, as the work force center coordinator.  ACA has also enlisted the services of Ed Barlow, highly respected futurist, and Dick Judy, internationally-known economist and author of the book Workforce 2020, to assist with this endeavor. Jim Gondles; Elizabeth Gondles, Ph.D.; Past President Chuck Kehoe; and key ACA staff, including Jeff Washington, Gabriella Klatt, Jennifer Bechtel and Leslee Hunsicker, as well as the Joyce Fogg, have also been instrumental in the center's development and support the continuation of its activities. 


"Criminal justice and specifically corrections must be proactive in monitoring work force trends, making appropriate adjustments and being a leader of innovations to maintain and increase our most valuable resource: a qualified, well-trained professional work force. The American Correctional Association has been, and should continue to be, at the forefront in this dynamic endeavor of keeping corrections competitive in a global economy," said Justin Jones, director of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections and chair of the ACA Probation and Parole Committee.  The center promises to fulfill a valuable need identified by the field. ACA hopes that its members are excited about the center and that they will participate in its development.


Members are encouraged to submit ideas on ways the center can assist them by e-mailing or by calling 1-800-222-5646, ext. 0169. Ideas, suggestions and/or comments are always welcome, and ACA looks forward to hearing from you.


BJA and ACA are committed to the shared vision of developing strategies for recruiting and retaining a qualified correctional work force in the 21st century. ACA will keep its members informed as the journey continues.

American Correctional Association   206 N. Washington Street - Alexandria, VA 22314   Phone: (703) 224-0000 - Fax: (703) 224-0179
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