National Institute of Corrections
Programs that Support Jails

Select Training Programs, Networks and Technical Assistance Offerings in Support of the Nation’s Jails

Training Programs

The NIC Jails Division offers numerous training options to accommodate participant learning styles, preferences, and work schedules. Training is available both for individuals and organizations. We offer traditional classroom or Instructor Led Training (ILT), Virtual Instructor Led Training (VILT) or blended training which consists of ILT and VILT formats.

Strategic Inmate Management

– 6 to 12 months including classroom and coaching phases

(Mike Jackson –

The most fundamental goal of every jail is to maintain a safe and secure environment for staff, inmates, and visitors. Effectively managing inmate behavior is critical to this goal. Strategic Inmate Management (SIM) aims to promote safe and secure environments by employing the best practices of direct supervision and inmate behavior management applicable to all physical plant designs. With the SIM initiative, NIC works with jurisdictions seeking to integrate a comprehensive approach to inmate management.

The goals of this initiative include:

  • Support correctional leaders and staff in fulfilling their role in providing safe and secure facilities.
  • Demonstrate the importance of having a cohesive inmate management strategy to manage inmate behavior effectively.
  • Assist correctional agencies in integrating SIM as an operational philosophy, ingraining SIM in the organizational culture.
  • Build organizational capacity to sustain the integration of SIM throughout all levels of the organization.

For more information, visit

Crisis Intervention Team Training

– 40 Hours (Sandora Cathcart –

This classroom-based Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Training program is typically held at a host agency. The training provides front line staff with the needed skills and competencies to effectively handle individuals experiencing a crisis. In addition, the NIC Partnership Training Program involves developmental meetings with the host agency’s CIT Executive Steering Committee to affirm the tenets of CIT and how to replicate and sustain the CIT Program.

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Mental Health First Aid

– 8 Hours (Sandora Cathcart –

Mental Health First Aid is a course that teaches participants how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. In addition, the training provides the necessary skills needed to provide initial assistance and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis.

National Sheriffs Institute- Leadership Training (NSI)

– 40 Hours (Glenn Watson –

The NSI is the only national leadership program designed specifically for first-term sheriffs. It introduces them to their leadership role, specifically as it relates to the sheriff’s role in his/ her organization, the local criminal justice system, and community. All leadership concepts are taught within the context of the experience of the first-term sheriffs.

For more information, visit

National Sheriffs Institute- Jail Administration (NSI-JA)

 – 40 hours (Glenn Watson –

Over 80% of the nation’s jails fall under the responsibility of the local sheriff for safe and effective operation. Unfortunately, many of these sheriffs come from a primary law enforcement background with limited knowledge of their responsibilities of the detention/corrections of the agency. The National Sheriffs’ Institute (NSI)-JA course is a newly developed program designed to enhance the knowledge of sheriffs regarding their responsibilities in leading the administration and operations of a correctional facility.

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Staffing Analysis Training

– 36 Hours (Glenn Watson –

This training program presents an integrated series of steps that agencies can use to formulate a comprehensive and innovative staffing plan. The staffing analysis process involves: jail profiling; net annual work hours calculation; development of a facility activity schedule; staff coverage plan development; completion of a staff summary; schedule development; evaluation, revision, and improvement of the plan; operational costs calculation; report preparation; and implementation of the plan and monitoring of the results.

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Jail Inspector Training for New Inspectors

– 32 Hours (Glenn Watson –

This program is designed to build the knowledge and skills of new detention facility inspectors in their core duties of inspecting, consultation, and technical assistance. In this program, participants will examine their role as a detention facility inspector, create a plan for developing positive working relationships with detention officials and other key stakeholders, examine and practice essential inspection and consulting skills, plan and carry out a practice inspection and report, review trends impacting detention facilities and standards, and gather contacts, information, and resources for professional development. Topics include clarifying the role of the detention facility inspector, conducting detention facility inspections, providing technical assistance, basics of construction plan review, ethics, trends and issues, and workload management.

Participants will also receive information about the various resources available through NIC and other organizations, which may aid in professional development and networking opportunities.

For more information, visit

Managing Restrictive Housing Populations

– 24 hours (single agency); 32 hours (multiple agencies) (Glenn Watson –

The program is designed to help participants understand constitutionally sound restrictive housing policies as well as promising practices to reduce the use of restrictive housing through ensuring the appropriate people are placed in restrictive housing, that there are alternatives available for those individuals who do not need the highest level of confinement, and strategies to reduce lengths of stay in restrictive housing. Most importantly, it prepares participants to leave the training with a fully developed implementation plan to improve and reduce the use of restrictive housing in their facilities.

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Planning of New Institutions (PONI)

 – 24 Hours (Mike Jackson –

Although criminal justice planners and architectural firms have the technical expertise to plan and design a new jail, the jurisdiction will operate the jail long after the planners and architects are gone. This training is designed for key policy and decision-makers with roles in the new jail project. The course teaches concepts through case studies, allowing participants to get “hands- on” experience in planning methods. The course focuses on the critical elements of planning a new facility, including collecting and using data, pre- architectural programming, site evaluation, project management, and determining staffing needs.

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Managing Jail Design and Construction

– 24 Hours (Mike Jackson –

Contracting services for the design and construction of a new facility is only one small step in the much larger process of building a new jail. How staff transfer inmates, accept visitors and create space for special programming are considerations that should be resolved long before construction begins. This program teaches participants to think about the nuances of their operations and how they should translate into design and construction. In addition, the course introduces participants to project management and clarifies the roles and responsibilities of those who develop, design, and construct new facilities.

For more information, visit

How to Open a New Institution (HONI)

– 24 Hours (Mike Jackson –

Transition assistance helps local officials understand how to plan for the transition to and occupation of the new jail. Technical resource providers 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.

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Safety Matters

– 24 Hours (Katie Reick –

Relationships in Women’s Facilities is a training designed to build capacity among corrections practitioners to implement policies and practices that support safe and healthy relationships with and among incarcerated women. The training is based on research and correctional best practice. After the training, participants will be able to effectively use communication skills to manage relationships with incarcerated women and intervene in unsafe situations. This advanced curriculum is designed to build upon pre-existing gender-responsive knowledge, motivational interviewing skills, and understanding of Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) standards and strategies to support sexual safety.

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Correctional Industries Leadership Training

– 40 Hours (Stephen Amos –

NIC collaborates with the National Corrections Industries Association (NCIA) and provides leadership training that promotes effective planning, management, and operations strategies that lead to safe and cost-effective industry programs in jails. In addition, this training program supports pro-social activities while providing a constructive environment to reduce institutional idleness and disciplinary infractions.

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Evidence-based Workforce Development Series

– 40 hours of blended-training plus 2-4 hours of post-training, quarterly coaching sessions (Archie Weatherspoon –

The series was established to prepare individuals for certification as an Employment Retention Specialist. The training combines cognitive behavioral interventions with motivational interviewing techniques to address gainful attachment to the workforce, the collateral consequences of incarceration and criminogenic risk.

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The Reentry Employment Training Series

(Archie Weatherspoon – This training program consists of the following elements:

· Employment Retention: Principles and Practice – 24 Hours
  • Introduction to motivational interviewing techniques
  • Introduction to cognitive behavioral interventions
  • Career theory and assessments
  • Virtual Training (4-hour web-based training)
  • Employment retention strategies
  • Evidence-based concepts
  • Motivational interviewing
· Employment Retention: Criminal Justice System -40 Hours
  • Continuum of care model
  • Career theory operationalization
  • Employment Retention Inventory
· Professional Coaching Sessions – 2-Hour Quarterly Sessions
  • Skill mastery
  • Knowledge enhancement


The NIC Jails Division networks are designed to promote and provide a vehicle for the free and open exchange of ideas, information, and innovation among network members. In addition, NIC networks reinforce the assumption that knowledge can be transferred from one jurisdiction or agency to another. This knowledge can serve as a stimulus for developing effective approaches to address similar problems or opportunities.

Correctional Communication Administrators’ (CCA) Network

(Belinda Stewart –

Public Information Officers (PIO) and Communication Directors play a vital role in jails and prisons throughout the country. The public’s perception/misperception of correctional operations can influence public safety, funding, elections and numerous other factors. The Correctional Communication Administrators Network provides for the free exchange of ideas and information that allows colleagues to share and learn new strategies regarding media inquiries and responses; managing crises; building positive rapport with the media; controlling the agency’s message; engaging the community; conveying the agency’s mission; and more.

Large Jail Network

(Mike Jackson –

The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) established the Large Jail Network (LJN) in 1989 as a connection point for jails and jail systems administrators with an average daily population of 1,000 or more inmates. LJN members explore issues facing jail systems, discuss strategies and resources for dealing successfully with these issues, discuss potential methods by which NIC can facilitate the development of programs or the transfer of existing knowledge or technology and seek new and creative ways to identify and meet the needs of network members.

Chief State Jail Inspectors Network

(Glenn Watson –

Challenges faced by state inspection agencies and the facilities under their purview are significant. The Chief State Jail Inspector Network is a forum to explore issues facing jails systems from the perspective of network members; to discuss strategies and resources for dealing successfully with these issues; to discuss potential methods by which NIC can facilitate the development of programs or the transfer of existing knowledge or technology; to develop and improve communication among network members; to seek new and creative ways to identify and meet the needs of network members.

All Sheriffs Authority

(Mike Jackson –

Criminal justice issues and needs in the 21st century have evolved. They require thought leaders to chart an effective course forward to foster sound policy and practice, community engagement, and public safety. The nation’s sheriffs are uniquely positioned to educate the public on the role of Sheriff and their vantage point regarding criminal justice, community engagement, public safety, policing, and corrections/detention.

Through the development of the All Sheriffs’ Authority, sheriffs convene to discuss contemporary challenges facing the nation’s jails; identify needs and resources for addressing these challenges; consider strategies for implementation; and promote best and promising practices.

Technical Assistance Offerings

Technical assistance (TA) is guidance, support, advice, assessment, and/or customized training that a technical resource provider (TRP) or an NIC staff member provides to federal, tribal, state, or local correctional agencies or other organizations in the field of corrections. The TRP or NIC staff member serves in an advisory capacity and/or works with the staff of the requesting agency in assessing programs and operations, implementing advanced practices, and improving overall agency management, operations, and programming. Select offerings for our nation’s jails include:

Jail and Justice System Assessment

Jurisdictions considering renovating 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 impact the jail population. The recommendations and observations will be presented at a meeting of local officials, jail practitioners, and community members and documented in a follow-up report.

For more information, visit

Jail Operational Assessment

This technical assistance offering aims to provide a comprehensive assessment of a jail facility, so the requesting agency has a complete operational assessment to use as a guide as they consider their current operations and possible opportunities to enhance their services.

Technical Resource Providers or TRPs will review such areas as intake & release, housing plan, policy and procedures, staff training, overall conditions of confinement and sanitation, security, and inmate management, programs and services. Prior to arriving on-site, the TRP will request and review documentation relevant to the scope of the technical assistance, including, but not limited to, jail inspections, staffing plans, post orders, policy and procedures, program schedules, housing plan, mission statement, and service contracts. The TRP will also request and review the documentation on any current litigation, court rulings, consent decrees, and/or other relevant legal issues. After the on-site visit has been conducted, the jurisdiction will receive a written report of the findings and recommendations to address any concerns or issues discovered.

Objective Inmate Classification System Assessment

A properly implemented objective jail classification system can be expected to identify the level of risk presented by newly admitted inmates based on the use of valid and reliable information. Appropriate housing and program assignments can then be made based on the inmate’s potential risk to staff, other inmates, and him or herself. Jails experiencing crowding especially need objective classification. It will enable the identification and separation of violent individuals and potential victims and allow for appropriate staffing when crowded conditions require the mixing of inmates. An objective jail classification system will also provide jail administrators and staff with invaluable data to better carry out their daily responsibilities and project future needs.

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Transition from Jail to the Community (Reentry) Assessment and Assistance

Guided by evidence-based practices, effective transition strategies are promoted based on the use of actuarial risk and need screening instruments, the provision of cognitive- behavioral interventions, the inclusion of case management and case planning practices, and coordination between community partners and correction agencies.

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Children of Incarcerated Parents Program Assistance

In collaboration with the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), NIC has provided technical assistance to local jails centered on parent-child communication and contact during parental incarceration. Technical assistance includes: correctional staff training, evaluation of intake and assessment procedures for incarcerated parents, evaluate family notification and information provision, parent programming, providing support for children’s caregivers, the transformation of lobby and visitation spaces, identifying and fostering community partnerships and preparing incarcerated parents, their children and their children’s caregivers prepare for reentry and reunification.

For more information, visit

Inmate Suicide Prevention Assessment

NIC representatives will review inmate intake policies and procedures, staff training documents, and additional operational policies to assess staff ability and readiness to identify suicidal behaviors. The technical assistance resource staff will also tour the facility and meet with staff and administrators to determine where there may be gaps in awareness and services.

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To apply for technical assistance, go to:

For more information about technical assistance, contact Mike Jackson at or 202-616-9565