Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

On Thursday, January 4, 2024, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) co-sponsored the 2024 American Correctional Association (ACA) Education in Corrections Symposium during the annual ACA Winter Conference in National Harbor, MD. It was the first education symposium in ACA’s history and consisted of a full day of guest speakers and paneled discussions focused on enhancing educational opportunities for incarcerated adults.

NIC Director (A) Holly Busby joined ACA Executive Director Robert Green and Bureau of Justice Assistance Director Karhlton Moore in providing remarks. Busby noted and applauded the expansion of educational opportunities now available for many incarcerated adults. U.S Department of Education (DOE) Secretary Dr. Miguel Cardona provided the event’s keynote address. A session titled “What Corrections Should Know About Federal Resources for Pell Reinstatement” was hosted by Office of Justice Programs Assistant Attorney General Amy Solomon and DOE Assistant Secretary Amy Loyd.

Symposium sessions covered a wide range of topics, including ones on how to partner with legislators and other decisionmakers to access funding and other resources to support correctional education programs. Presenters of the session titled “How to Educate Your Legislature on Education in Corrections” encouraged attendees to think about looking beyond requests for funding when reaching out for assistance. Technology and equipment needs as well as amendments to laws can serve students and provide benefits to staff. Attendees were also advised to think about what their priorities are before meeting with decision makers. Information should be prepared in advance to provide details about what a program lacks when asked.

Other sessions explored alternatives to education, noting that adults with a large number of high school credits may find it better or faster to graduate via non-General Education Development programs. Technical education and professional certification programs that incorporated emerging technologies, such as virtual reality for automotive technician training, were also highlighted.

American Corrections Conference Education Summit audience photo

Since its beginnings in the early 1970s, the National Sheriffs’ Institute (NSI) has evolved from a single leadership course for sheriffs to a comprehensive sheriff education program. In recent years, training on jail administration was introduced, and now a communications course is underway. The Major County Sheriffs Association has also asked the National Institute of Corrections to create a professional network for NSI alumni that provides ongoing training. With so many changes afoot, NIC sought the participation of alumni, association representatives, and other stakeholders in a day-and-a-half strategic plan listening session.

Session attendees were asked fifteen questions related to seven topic areas regarding the NSI. For each topic area, attendees were divided into small groups of three to four for discussion. The small groups captured and documented their responses, and once complete, each small group presented its findings to the full workgroup for additional discussion and refinement of ideas and concepts. The following goals were derived:

  • Provide the nation’s sheriffs with training and networking opportunities that advance the office of the sheriff.
  • Recruit, develop, and support outstanding faculty who will strengthen the NSI’s pursuit of excellence through their teaching and mentorship.
  • Establish a stable infrastructure to support the mission of the NSI.

The priorities identified throughout the listening session are the foundation of the goals, objectives, and strategies outlined in a strategic plan.

National Sheriffs Institute Strategic Plan Listening Session

During the American Correctional Association Winter 2024 Conference in National Harbor, MD, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) hosted an in-depth workshop titled The Essential Elements of an Effective Pretrial System and Agency: A Framework for Pretrial Justice. The presentation began with a definition for bail and then highlighted laws, standards, evidence-based practices, and organizational theory as the four essential elements of effective pretrial. Throughout the presentation, discussion focused on how to use pretrial effectively to promote court appearance and public safety by using the least restrictive approaches to applying conditions, interventions, and treatment. 

Systems throughout the country are beginning to make improvements to local pretrial based on available data and resources from organizations like NIC. However, the field remains new. The presenters shared that:

  1. The body of knowledge about evidence-based and best pretrial supervision practices is still developing.

  2. Levels of supervision appear to influence outcomes, but individual conditions appear not to influence outcomes.

  3. Outcome assessment and outcome and performance measurement data suggest that low to moderate supervision levels are appropriate for most defendants.

How pretrial systems and agencies define success is crucial. The presentation ended with examples of outcome and performance measures that pretrial agencies have begun to adopt as markers of more effective pretrial practice. Among them were suggestions for measuring rates of success, safety, release, and appearance in more meaningful ways.

a speaker talking at a conference

Staff and leaders of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services received specialized security audit training from the National Institute of Corrections. To receive this training, participating agencies must have 3-person teams representing agency leaders with the capacity to make high-level decisions within their organization. Coursework involves the evaluation of agency working conditions, policies, practices, and performance and the assessment of the risk to security that an agency continues to have following the review. 

Security Audit Training group photo from Nebraska

The Jail System

Missouri has 110 jails in 114 counties. The jail population in 2021 was 10,510.

The Prison System

As of December 31, 2021, the number of prisoners under the jurisdiction of the State of Missouri correctional authorities was 23,107 located in 21 state prisons and held in custody of private prisons or local jails. Missouri operated facilities had a budget of $824,944,691.

The Community Corrections System

As of December 31, 2021, Missouri community corrections population was 37,585 under probation and 18,238 under parole.

The Jail System

Mississippi has 86 jails in 82 counties. The jail population in 2021 was 12,044.

The Prison System

As of December 31, 2021, the number of prisoners under the jurisdiction of the State of Mississippi correctional authorities was 16,975 located in 24 state prisons and held in custody of private prisons or local jails. Mississippi operated facilities had a budget of $310,898,986.

The Community Corrections System

As of December 31, 2021, Mississippi community corrections population was 29,450 under probation and 10,973 under parole.

The Jail System

Minnesota has 83 jails in 87 counties. The jail population in 2021 was 4,553.

The Prison System

As of December 31, 2021, the number of prisoners under the jurisdiction of the State of Minnesota correctional authorities was 8,003 located in 11 state prisons and held in custody of private prisons or local jails. Minnesota operated facilities had a budget of $632,104,000.

The Community Corrections System

As of December 31, 2021, Minnesota community corrections population was 84,153 under probation and 6,979 under parole.

The Jail System

Michigan has 82 jails in 83 counties. The jail population in 2021 was 11,748.

The Prison System

As of December 31, 2021, the number of prisoners under the jurisdiction of the State of Michigan correctional authorities was 32,186 located in 34 correctional facilities and held in custody of private prisons or local jails. Michigan operated facilities had a budget of $2.1 billion.

The Community Corrections System

As of December 31, 2021, Michigan community corrections population was 113,891 under probation and 11,351 under parole.

Subscribe to