Christopher A. Innes
“APEX Resources Directory Volume 2 provides supportive information to correctional agencies embarking on the APEX (Achieving Performance Excellence) journey. It introduces the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) Information Center, provides detailed information on creating a communications plan for those implementing the APEX Initiative, describes how to use focus groups to effectively gather information and feed-back, and includes a team development guide for those who want to build teams, enhance team performance, and understand what makes teams an effective part of any organization” (p. 1). Chapters following a view of achieving performance excellence are: introduction; NIC resources; APEX Communication Plan; focus groups—a practical guide; and team development guide; and book summary.
This paper expertly describes the Healing Corrections Framework. "The Healing Corrections Framework focuses on the nuts and bolts of the organizational cultures of jails and prisons, how they work, and ways to transform them. It assumes that the primary vehicle for transforming corrections is through meeting the needs of correctional staff to better equip them to work with each other and with those they supervise in jails, prisons, or the community. The logic of this is simple; the work of corrections is done by correctional workers and to change the way corrections works, correctional workers must change how they do their jobs. This will require correctional staff at all levels to communicate with each other and with people under their supervision in more constructive and compassionate ways. In the Healing Corrections framework, “how things are done,” especially how roles and expectations are continuously defined and redefined among the actors within a system, is the working definition of culture" (p. 5). Topics discussed in this document include: capacity versus opportunity; cultural context; cultural fragmentation of systems, the key concept of the Framework, versus coherence; development of the Healing Corrections Framework—its empirical foundation in the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) Prison Culture Project, and the Norval Morris Project, and cycles of engagement and interaction; the Healing Corrections Framework which dialogue as cultural change; Healing Corrections and "mass incarceration"; American culture and American Justice; talking about punishment; and gazing into the abyss. This website provides access to the paper and the presentation slides.
“Culture, including beliefs, assumptions, values, norms, and practices in an organization, determines the success of an organization’s performance and change efforts. This book helps illuminate the role culture plays in an organization that is striving for higher performance ... Knowledge of culture enables an organization to proceed along the path to successful change. The APEX Change Management Model provides a process and map for organizational change based in research and best practices; it engages the human component of the organization to ensure success” (p. 85). Eight chapters follow an introduction to Achieving Performance Excellence (APEX): introduction; organizational culture and change; introduction to change management; APEX Change Management Model; additional elements of successful change management; communications planning during change; change management principles and practices in action—Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA); and changing culture during challenging times.
Norval Morris was "instrumental in founding the National Institute of Corrections [NIC] in the early 1970s and served as a charter member of the NIC Advisory Board until he passed away. Shortly thereafter, the NIC Advisory Board created the Norval Morris Project as an open-ended commitment to honor his contributions to the field and carry on the spirit of his work. The project sought to promote Morris’ legacy by following his model of using collaboration, interdisciplinary insights, and research to bring about innovative change in correctional policy and practice. As it developed over its first few years, the project came to focus on how a Morris Project could be developed and implemented to locate innovative evidence-based approaches from any discipline, evaluate their potential to inform correctional policy and practice, create opportunities to test these innovations in correctional settings, and develop strategies to encourage the dissemination and application of this knowledge in corrections (p. 2-3). This report describes the first ten years of NIC's Norval Morris Project. Sections of this publication cover: first steps; the implementation phase—Virginia Implementation Project, Healing Environment Initiatives, and the Urban Institute evaluation of the Virginia Initiative; and next steps. "At the time of this writing, [the] work is ongoing, but preliminary results show the project has had a positive effect on the department. The most important legacy of the Morris Project, however, may be the demonstration of how a “Morris Project” can be developed and executed in a way that preserves the spirit of Norval Morris’ life and work" (p. 1).