The Jails and Justice Support Center (JJSC) assists jails in creating and sustaining safe, humane, and effective environments for their populations, including incarcerated individuals, staff, and visitors.
The JJSC offers virtual engagement through the Core Topics Library and Core Topic Toolkit on this website. The JJSC engages directly with jurisdictions in the delivery of training and technical assistance (TA) on the core topics listed under the “Strategies” section. The TA plan for fiscal years 2024 and 2025 offers the following national and state-level engagement:
- Sixteen pilot sites
- Two state sheriffs’ association sites
- Peer learning
To access these opportunities, please visit our How We Can Help page here and request assistance.
Safer healthier communities through safer healthier jails
The Jails and Justice Support Center (JJSC) coordinates and facilitates direct delivery of innovative and industry leading services and support focusing on justice and correctional policy, operational practices, and professional development for America’s jails.
- Provide the necessary resources and information to sheriffs, jail administrators, stakeholders, and communities, enabling them to implement efficient public safety strategies, policies, trainings, and programs that align with the requirements and ideals of the U.S. Constitution.
- Ensure that these initiatives are supported by and grounded in state-of-the-art knowledge, empirical evidence, and best and promising practices.
- Enhance both organizational and individual performance to effectively address 21st century challenges, explore public safety and public health models, and strengthen public trust in the correctional system.
- Improve outcomes for all who live and work in our jails.
Provide readily accessible and practical support to jail administrators aiming to evaluate their approaches, policies, trainings, and outcomes related to constitutionally grounded perspectives on and approaches to issues of life, health, and safety.
Identify Core Topics
Drawing from research, legal requirements, and established best practices, the JJSC has identified eight core jail administration topic areas that it will address:
- Comprehensive and universal screening and assessment: Upon admitting individuals into their facilities, jails must assess the overall health and well-being of persons in their care.
- Medical and behavioral health: Jails have a responsibility to diagnose, monitor, and provide medical and mental health-related services to the people in their care.
- Use of force (response to subject behavior): Jails are responsible for using force in a constitutionally appropriate manner when there is a perceived threat to safety.
- Leadership and culture: Jail leaders must possess the tools to develop, manage, and shape positive jail culture and climate, and respond to emerging problems while collaborating with internal and external stakeholders.
- Operations: Jail operations must ensure safe, healthy, and humane conditions of confinement, providing mandatory and essential services related to care, custody, and control.
- Human capital: Jails must address the persistent, ongoing challenges in the recruitment, hiring, and retention of high-performing employees, while also prioritizing the well-being of staff.
- Programming: Comprehensive and effective jail programs must focus on improving support, opportunities, and resources for incarcerated individuals.
- Reentry: Jails have a responsibility to help individuals in their care prepare for release into a free society. The 21st century jail helps ensure the continuity of care for those released from their custody to improve health outcomes and successful reintegration back into our communities.
Identify and Fill Gaps
Identify gaps in resources, training, and services that the Department of Justice could address in its effort to aid agencies managing jails. This approach will ensure that our resources are effectively focused on supporting the needs of 21st century jails.
Offer consultation, advice, and assistance to jails and partner organizations to enhance safe, humane, and effective environments for individuals employed by, residing in, and visiting correctional facilities.
Collaborate with Leaders in the Field
Collaborate with thought leaders on matters of constitutionally sound jail operations, culture, and administration. This effort includes collaborating with jail leaders, civil rights advocacy organizations, reform specialists, and community-based organizations, as well as national and international academic research institutions and other strategic partners.
Leverage the Missions of BJA and NIC
Supplement existing services and initiatives offered by relevant components of OJP, BJA, and NIC. Notable examples of ongoing programs include the following:
- Prison Rape Elimination Act Grant Program
- Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulants, and Other Substances Program
- Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program
- NIC’s Crisis Intervention Teams training
Virtual Engagement through the Core Topics Library and Core Topic Toolkit
Direct training and technical assistance service delivery in eight core topic areas:
- Comprehensive and Universal Screening and Assessment
- Medical and Behavioral Health
- Use of Force
- Leadership and Culture
- Human Capital