Offender classification is crucial in corrections for managing operations and adapting to evolving demographics, sentencing, and policy changes. The National Institute of Corrections offers programs, technical assistance, and resources to help agencies establish or update their classification procedures, emphasizing the use of objective systems and techniques.
Gangs (Security Threat Groups)
Gangs are an ongoing national problem that requires effective management by the public safety community. The research discussed covers various topics related to gangs, including slang used by prison gangs and intervention for gang-affiliated inmates.
Leadership Development In Corrections
NIC believes in developing effective correctional leaders through competency-based training aligned with agency needs. It offers Correctional Leadership Competencies for the 21st Century, which links skills, knowledge, and attributes of effective leaders to specific behaviors.
Correctional administrators need to understand the different paths and levels of risk of women offenders to improve outcomes for them. Technical assistance is available to local jurisdictions to examine and improve their responses to this population.
Aging in Prison
The increase in the number of elderly prisoners has brought challenges to the criminal justice system, including the provision of adequate health care and the lack of resources and facilities to cater to their needs. This page provides resources that can help your agency properly prepare, address, and react to issues related to incarcerated individuals with advanced age.
This collection of resources is intended to provide a broad overview of current research and trends in the management and treatment of sex offenders.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy reduces recidivism in both juveniles and adults. The therapy assumes that most people can become conscious of their own thoughts and behaviors and then make positive changes to them. This page gives CBT resources for correctional facilities.
People with Mental Health Conditions in Corrections
This page provides links and resources to innovative ideas and best practices for managing and rehabilitating people with mental illnesses in corrections.
Thinking for a Change
NIC's "Thinking for a Change" program is an evidence-based cognitive-behavioral program designed to help offenders develop pro-social thinking and problem-solving skills. The program emphasizes skill-building and practice in a group setting, and has been shown to reduce recidivism rates for participating offenders. By addressing underlying criminogenic needs, the program aims to improve offender outcomes and promote public safety.
PREA / Offender Sexual Abuse
PREA was enacted to address the issue of sexual abuse of people in custody. Its provisions include zero-tolerance standards, standards for detection, prevention, reduction, and punishment, collection and dissemination of information, and award of grant funds.
LGBTI Persons in Custody and Under Supervision
This webpage provides information on the safe and respectful management of LGBTQI persons in custody, using best practices and considering legal perspectives. Agencies can apply for limited technical assistance to improve their response to managing LGBTQI persons.
Evidence-Based Decision Making
EBDM is a strategic and deliberate method of applying empirical knowledge and research-supported principles to justice system decisions made at the case, agency, and system level. Public safety outcomes will be improved when stakeholders engage in partnerships, use research, and create better outcomes.
Learning and Performance
NIC provides resources and services for trainers in the correctional system through the Learning and Performance Initiative to help build staff training and development capacity in corrections agencies, with guides and resources available to training directors, coordinators, and others responsible for training.
This webpage provides information to correctional agencies regarding safe and respectful management of restrictive housing populations. The use of restrictive housing has varied over time due to factors such as prison overcrowding and an increase in violent and disruptive inmates.
This page addresses the unique needs of justice-involved veterans, who suffer from physical and "invisible" wounds of war. NIC first developed "Veterans Treatment Courts: A Second Chance for Vets Who Have Lost Their Way," and established the Justice Involved Veterans Network to improve outcomes for veterans.
Wellness for Corrections and Supervision Professionals
This page highlights the need for maintaining safety and security while providing opportunities for staff to not become overwhelmed by both institutional and community settings. "Wellness" emphasizes the importance of taking personal well-being seriously and provides a list of topics and resources to help professionals in the corrections field find balance and stay motivated to perform at their best.
Gender-Responsive Management of Women's Prisons
This page on Operational Practice in the Management of Women's Prisons tackles the unique challenges that women face in correctional settings. It provides an overview of evidence-based, gender-responsive tools and practices that can help improve services, management, and outcomes for female offenders. The page covers a range of sub-topics, including medical and mental health, legal issues, communication differences, women's pathways to prison, gender-responsive principles, and staff sexual misconduct.
Prison security is crucial to maintaining staff and inmate safety in a correctional setting. Security Audit Program assesses security risks and vulnerabilities to prevent injuries, escapes, disruptions or property destruction. The Prison Staffing Analysis program helps assess staffing needs, determine critical levels, and modify and implement staffing operations for new or existing facilities.
Correctional Anti-Human Trafficking Initiative (CAHTI)
NIC has launched the Correctional Anti-Human Trafficking Initiative to combat human trafficking in correctional operations. CAHTI is focusing on the victims of sex trafficking. The program aims to identify and rescue victims, provide necessary services and support, and generate evidence against their traffickers.
The Green Corrections Initiative promotes environmentally sustainable practices and green-collar job readiness training programs in correctional facilities. The initiative provides technical assistance to develop strategic plans for implementing GC programs and creates a community to promote green practices throughout the country.
Correctional Policy and Procedure
Well-written policies and procedures inform and govern staff behavior, set clear expectations, and support professional behavior. Policies need to have defensible rationale, such as "legitimate correctional outcomes," prevailing standards, or specific case law, and must be officially approved and issued.
Redemption & Certificates of Rehabilitation
This page includes information and best practices on Redemption & Certificates of Rehabilitation including: Alternative Strategies for Reintegration, Criminal History Records & Employment, In the News, Legislation, Research, Restoration of Voting, Housing, & Pell Grants.
Suicide in Corrections
The resources on this page will help give an overview of the problems surrounding correctional suicides and the ways one can implement strategies to turn around the alarming upward trajectory of suicide rates.
The need for effective and efficient correctional healthcare services has risen with increasing incarceration rates, including mental health, substance abuse, suicide prevention, and elderly care. The this page has resources on correctional healthcare best practices.
Transition from Prison to Community (TPC)
The TPC model encourages strategic system changes to reduce recidivism and future victimization, to enhance public safety, and to improve the lives of communities, victims, and offenders. NIC, along with project partners, has implemented the TPC model in eight states.
Gender-Responsive Policy & Practice Assessment (GRPPA)
The GRPPA is a process designed to guide assessment of gender-responsiveness in policies and programs for women in correctional facilities. It includes two sections, and the assessment process requires collaboration among corrections professionals.
Drugs & Substance Abuse in the Criminal Justice System
This page of drug-related resources has been assembled to assist correctional organizations with the latest insights and best practices taking place in the field.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility
Employers must create a work environment that values diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) to attract the best employees. The DEIA supports individual and organizational growth by providing resources to examine bias, lead diverse teams, support inclusive teams, and create DEIA programs.
PREA: Your Role in Responding to Sexual Abuse
During this course, you will learn to respond appropriately to sexual abuse in your facility.
Inmate Suicide Prevention
This course will provide you with an overview of the problem of inmate suicide and the ways you can help prevent inmate suicides in correctional facilities.
PREA: Investigating Sexual Abuse in a Confinement Setting
Through this course, you will be able to explain the knowledge, components, and considerations that an investigator must use to perform a successful sexual abuse or sexual harassment investigation consistent with PREA standards.
PREA: Preventing and Addressing Sexual Abuse in Tribal Detention Facilities
This course will provide you with guidelines and practices that will help you to prevent and address sexual abuse in your tribal detention facility.
PREA 201 for Medical and Mental Health Practitioners
This course will also allow you to apply your medical and/or mental health knowledge and skills to contribute to investigations and provide care in accordance with PREA standards.
PREA: Behavioral Health Care for Sexual Assault Victims in a Confinement Setting
Through this course, you’ll be able to explain the knowledge, components, and considerations that you must use to be effective in your role as a behavioral health care practitioner, consistent with PREA standards.
Incident Command System for Corrections: Basic
The Basic e-course is intended for line staff and non-security staff. This course will provide you with a fundamental understanding of the line-level response to emergencies in an institutional setting. The Intermediate course is for first-line supervisors and the Advanced course is for second-line supervisors and administrators.
Undue Familiarity: Establishing and Maintaining Professional Boundaries
The goal of this course is to educate and inform correctional and civilian staff on the importance of maintaining professional boundaries and adhering to their agency’s policies for interactions with individuals under their custody or supervision.
PREA: Coordinators’ Roles and Responsibilities
The purpose of this course is to provide agency PREA Coordinators with an overview of the basic role and responsibilities of their position.
PREA for Community Confinement Facilities
This course is intended to provide PREA Coordinators who work in community confinement facilities with an overview of their role and responsibilities in achieving and maintaining compliance with PREA.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in Correctional Settings
This course will help you to begin broadening your perspectives by questioning the assumptions you may have about the people around you. It will also offer you tools to build a more harmonious workplace.
Corrections Outbreak Response
This e-course provides an overview of infectious disease outbreaks in correctional and detention facilities and describes the critical role correctional nurses and others play in an outbreak investigation.
PREA: Audit Process and Instrument Overview
The purpose of this course is to assist agencies in meeting the requirements of Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Section 115.93 Audits of standards.
Reducing the Use of Restrictive Housing
This course is designed to help workers in a correctional setting better understand the benefits of reducing the use of restrictive housing.
Principles of Infection Control and Prevention
This e-course introduces the basic principles of IPC in a corrections or detention setting. It discusses the requirements and challenges of effective IPC in this unique environment and presents evidence-based best practices of IPC.
Transition From Prison to the Community
This course will show how offenders can Transitioning from Prisons to the Community (TPC) Initiative, the TPC approach and model used, how to implement TPC.
Deputy Warden: A Framework for Success
This course will provide you with information that will contribute to you being a successful Deputy Warden. The course discusses key leadership characteristics and skills to portray, and how to use a priority matrix to help you with achieving work-life balance.
Role of the Infection Prevention and Control Coordinator
This e-course serves as an orientation to the role and responsibilities of the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Coordinator.
Managing Restrictive Housing Populations in Prisons [in-person training] (ID: 23P2902)
This four-day program explores the following:
Executive Leadership for New Wardens
The position of warden is one of the most daunting, yet rewarding, opportunities a corrections professional can achieve.