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Facility design and construction

The NIC Jails Division's services include training, networks, technical assistance, and information resources, such as documents and DVDs. These services are conducted under five initiatives.

Jail Administration

We provide training on key elements in jail administration, jail resource management, and building a productive relationship between jail officials and their funding authority. We also sponsor a peer-training network for large jail administrators, including meetings and an online discussion forum. Technical assistance and information resources cover a wide range of jail administration and operational issues.

Inmate Behavior Management

We provide training, technical assistance, and information resources on the design and operation of direct supervision jails and on key elements in managing inmate behavior in all types of jails. These key elements include assessing inmates’ risks and needs (classification), assigning inmates to housing, meeting inmates’ basic needs, setting and conveying behavioral expectations, supervising inmates, and keeping inmates productively occupied.

New Jail Planning

We provide training, technical assistance, and information resources on all phases of new-jail planning.

Jail Standards and Inspection

We provide training for jail inspectors, a peer-training network for chief jail inspectors, information resources on standards and inspection, and related technical assistance.

Crisis Intervention Teams

We provide training to help local jurisdictions learn the core elements of CITs and assess agency readiness to start a CIT.

Division Chief: Stephen Amos

This issue includes: Foreword, by Richard Geaither, National Institute of Corrections Jails Division; You Can Do It: Putting an End to Pharmacy Cost Increases, by Mike Kalonick, Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office, Detention Bureau; Accreditation for Adult Local Detention Facilities: Moving from Process Measures to Outcome Measures, by Bob Verdeyen, American Correctional Association; Got Training? Training as a Strategic Management Tool for Performance Enhancement, by Tom Reid, National Institute of Corrections Academy, and Connie Clem, NIC Information Center; The Sheriff's Office as a Community Resource in a Hurricane, by Michael L. Wade, Henrico County Sheriff's Office; Inmate Access to Legal Resources & Materials - How Do We Provide Inmates Access to the Courts? by Mark S. Cacho, Orange County Corrections Department; Urban County Issues in New Jail Planning, Design, and Transition, by Barbara Krauth with Michael O'Toole and Ray Nelson; Harris County Sheriff's Office Teams with Community College to Train Inmates, by Jim Albers, Harris County Sheriff's Office; Mission Creep and the Role of the Jail in Public Health Policy, by Donald Leach, Lexington/Fayette Urban County Government; Multnomah County Model Partnership for Custody and Health, by Timothy Moore, Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, and Gayle Burrow, Multnomah County Health Department; Strategic Planning: A 10-Step Approach, by Barry L. Stanton, Prince George's County Department of Corrections, and B. Jasmine Moultri-Fierro

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Local jurisdictions face a wide variety of challenges when deciding whether to build a new jail. If they decide to build, they face further challenges in the planning, construction, and operation of a new jail. The National Institute of Corrections provides training, technical assistance, and information related to new jail planning. These services address issues such as factors to consider in making the decision to build a new jail; the crucial importance of owner involvement in all phases of the project; and information related to designing, constructing, and occupying the new facility.

Training programs and resource documents are available on the NIC website under Training

Technical assistance opportunities are listed below:

Jail and Justice System Assessment

Jurisdictions that are considering the renovation of an existing jail or constructing a new one can apply for assistance in evaluating their current facility and the role of their jail in the local criminal justice system. NIC will assess the physical condition of the jail and interview criminal justice stakeholders about policies and practices that affect the jail. The assistance will result in recommendations related to new construction or renovation and observations concerning areas of the local justice system that effect the jail population. The recommendations and observations will be presented at a meeting of local officials, jail practitioners, and community members. Results will then be documented in a followup report.

Making the Transition to a New Jail

Transition assistance helps local officials understand how to plan for the transition to and occupation of the new jail. It is available to jurisdictions at two points in time before the new jail opens:

  • Before the jurisdiction breaks ground for the new jail, a technical resource provider can work onsite to help local officials understand the major components of transition, develop criteria for selecting transition team members, and begin to create an action plan for the transition process.
  • After the jurisdiction has broken ground for the new jail, technical resource providers can train the transition team on the function of the jail’s mission statement; development of operational scenarios, policies, procedures, and post orders; move logistics; staff training issues; budgeting for transition; and development of an action plan for transition. If a jurisdiction is within 12 months of opening its new jail, NIC can still provide assistance but it will be limited in scope because of time constraints. A technical resource provider can help local officials and agency staff assigned to the project identify the critical tasks required to open the facility and develop an action plan to complete those tasks.

A special thanks goes to Jefferson County Sheriff's Office for the photograph.


This video explores the lessons learned by four communities that built new jails. The communities utilized the four major steps of the Facility Developmental Process model:

  • Determine the need and feasibility;
  • Decide to build, plan operations;
  • Design the jail;
  • And build the jail, plan the transition.
New Jail Planning: Getting It Right Cover

A checklist for assessing the Tribe's progress through the facility development process is provided. Activities tracked include team development, planning, programming, site selection, environmental review; consultant selection, design, construction, transition planning and facility activation, and project contact persons.

Covering the calendar year 2005, this third annual report to Congress summarizes the activities of the Office of Justice Programs (i.e., the National Institute of Justice, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and the Bureau of Justice Assistance) and the National Institute of Corrections to curtail prison rape. In addition to an introduction and background, this report reviews activities and accomplishments for the: Office of Justice Programs (OJP); National Institute of Justice (NIJ) -- legislative mandate, research awards, and requests for proposals (RFPs); Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) -- legislative mandate, expert panel meetings, administrative survey collections, victim self-report survey collections, coordination efforts, and PREA-related publications; Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) -- legislative mandate, awarding of Protecting Inmates and Safeguarding Communities Program Grants; and National Institute of Corrections (NIC) -- legislative mandate, classroom training, regional workshops for executive leadership, professional conferences, videoconference, informational video, technical assistance, and national clearinghouse.

Report to the Congress of the United States on the Activities of the Department of Justice in Relation to the Prison Rape Elimination Act (Public Law 108-79) Cover

"[T]his resource document will assist agencies starting the process of planning for a successful transition to a new detention facility" (p. iii). Nine chapters comprise this manual: introduction; transitional management; construction; staff/human resources; document development; training and orientation; furniture, fixtures, equipment, and supplies; move logistics; and transition themes of managing change and community relations.

Resource Manual for Transition to a New Jail Cover

This document describes the seven steps of systems planning for jails: getting started; get facts and figures; consider the data; make decisions; take action; make the transition; and the plan's follow-up.

Seven Steps To Plan a Better Jail cover


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