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Management Development for Minorities and Women

On June 12–16, 2023, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) sponsored an in-person training titled Management Development for Minorities and Women (MDMW) at the National Correctional Academy in Aurora, Colorado. The goal of the training is to prepare new and prospective supervisors with the thoughts, theories, and skills needed to be successful supervisors in corrections. Originally offered by NIC from 1994–2007, the latest MDMW training represents the first time the course has been held in 16 years. The program was attended by 25 participants from 8 states holding positions ranging from detention officer to newly promoted captain, records department supervisor, personnel manager, classification supervisor, and director of victim services. The six instructors and curriculum developers who conducted the training were experienced minority and female corrections and military trainers.

The latest MDMW cohort was informed by attendees of NIC’s Large Jail Network meeting in March 2023. Each administrator was given 5 days to recommend participants who were recently promoted or who they thought had the characteristics of high-potential employees. Participants were accepted into the program on a rolling basis, and the training was filled after only 3 days.

During the training week, participants engaged in several self-reflection and group activities, which allowed them to identify their current roles and skills, pinpoint career aspirations, and highlight their strengths. The curriculum also included room for discussions about correctional leadership, emotional intelligence, diversity skills, personal wellness, and much more. Students were led through the discussions in closed sessions where they could speak freely. As a result, there were several aha moments and moments of sheer relief among participants in knowing that they were not alone in their correctional work experiences. As one participant explained, “I get to be here…transparent without judgement.”

With the course’s relaunch, MDMW has been designed to provide participants with the best, most current, and most culturally apt information and training possible. The course was originally developed because NIC understands that the best time to prepare supervisors for promotional roles is before they become supervisors. Research suggests that the needs of mid-level managers and people transitioning into supervisory and managerial roles have similar leadership developmental needs. However, the course was resumed as NIC recognized the growing need to expand available curriculum to address contemporary social challenges.

NIC plans to offer future sessions of this training in the next fiscal year.

a class of participants in a management training course standing outside a building