On August 10-13, 2023, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) attended the 153rd Congress of Correction in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, hosted by the American Correctional Association (ACA). The event attracts thousands of correctional staff, students, and researchers each year for corrections-related workshops and networking.
NIC Director (A) Alix McLearen provided remarks at a director’s meeting of the Correctional Leaders Association. NIC staff, meanwhile, conducted workshops at the ACA conference.
“Preparing for a Multidisciplinary Approach to Mitigate Risk: Implementation of Guidelines for Managing Substance Abuse in Jails” was moderated by NIC Jails Division Chief Stephen Amos. The workshop helped participants learn how to assess their organization’s readiness to implement recommendations from the newly released Guidelines for Managing Substance Abuse in Jails, describe the decision process and multidisciplinary team approach required to care for incarcerated people at risk of withdrawal, and identify solutions to potential implementation issues. The session was co-presented by Meg Chapman, policy advisor with the Bureau of Justice Assistance; Geoff Stobart, Chief Deputy with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office in Columbus, Ohio; and Dr. Marc Stern, chief medical advisor for the National Sheriffs’ Association, American Jail Association, and Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, affiliate assistant professor at the School of Public Health at the University of Washington, and clinical professor at the School of Public Health at the University of Albany.
In a session titled “Workforce Development: Assessing the Risk…Meeting the Needs,” NIC Correctional Program Specialist P. Elizabeth Taylor delivered an interactive presentation on the components of an effective workforce development program. Session attendees also discussed the benefits of correctional industries programming, identified the training needs of workforce development practitioners, and learned how to navigate “Correctional Industries: A Guide to Reentry-Focused Performance Excellence,” a Web-based resource developed to help correctional industries programs nationwide maximize their effectiveness. The session was co-presented by Amy Pataluna, executive director of the National Correctional Industries Association, and Karen Brown, former director of Correction Enterprises in North Carolina.
“Veteran Intercepts in the Criminal Justice System: Focusing on Intercepts 4-5” was presented by NIC Correctional Program Specialist Greg Crawford. The purpose of the workshop was to help participants develop a better understanding of the Veteran Sequential Intercept Model and the intervention strategies that are available at select intercepts to assist military veterans who have found themselves negatively involved in the criminal justice system. The session was co-presented by Jessica Blue-Howells, Deputy Director of Veterans Justice Programs for the U.S. Veterans Administration; Dr. Ron Self, Executive Director of Veterans Healing Veterans from the Inside Out, United States Marine Corps Veteran, and formerly incarcerated individual from San Quentin Prison; and John Darcy, Guidance Specialist for Veterans Services with the New York Department of Corrections and Supervision.
NIC Correctional Program Specialists Belinda Stewart and Katie Reick co-presented “#GenderMatters in Corrections: An In-Depth Look at the Women’s Risk Needs Assessment (WRNA).” The session summarized NIC’s commitment to helping agencies institute gender-responsive strategies for justice-involved women and presented the history and development of the WRNA. Participants also learned about the nuances of interviewing and assessment skills, assessment-driven case planning, and implementation associated with the WRNA. The session with co-presented by Dr. Emily Salisbury, associate professor with the University of Utah, director of the Utah Criminal Justice Center, and director of the Women’s Risk Needs Assessment Lab.