Resources to Help Address Jail Staffing Shortages

Jail Staffing Resources

The nationwide staffing crisis in jails has created some damaging outcomes for our colleagues on the ground: low morale, mandatory overtime, and increasing safety concerns. Last month, we explored three simple steps correctional facilities can take to help mitigate some of these effects.

This month, we’re exploring additional resources that can help your facility enact those steps more effectively, from helpful articles to training and mentorship programs.

Trade Associations and Organizations

Addressing any challenge within the justice system cannot be done without first looking to the forward-thinking organizations currently paving the way.

Organizations such as the National Institute of Corrections (NIC), the American Jail Association (AJA), the National Jail Leadership Command Academy (NJLCA), the National Sheriff’s Association (NSA), and others regularly host webinars and implement training on the most pressing issues affecting the justice community. These organizations also produce and compile helpful guides and handbooks on various topics- from creating a staffing plan to analyzing and leveraging data to inform your team’s strategy to improving staffing.

Relevant Articles and Guides

Now that we’ve covered some high-level organizations leading these conversations in the industry, let’s talk about some physical materials your team can reference when crafting an effective staffing plan for your facility.

A classic resource for jails nationwide, the Jail Staffing Analysis Third Edition, developed by Community Resource Services (CRS), builds two earlier versions published by the NIC. This latest edition expands on over 20 years of expertise and serves as an in-depth handbook for implementing jail staffing techniques. The handbook explores step-by-step instructions to enhance jail operations by improving staffing practices, including how to better use inmate data and create and implement coverage plans.

The Center for Innovative Public Policies has also published a range of materials that could help inform your strategies for recruitment, retention, leadership, and training, including:

Building a High-Quality Correctional Workforce by the RAND Corporation’s Priority Criminal Justice Needs Initiative also identifies the challenges and opportunities to building and maintaining a high-quality corrections staff.

Mentoring and Networking

Successfully navigating staffing shortages – or any challenge in the justice system – depends heavily on strong leadership within your facility.

Mentoring is a key way to develop the leaders of tomorrow. Successful mentoring relationships help correctional officers feel supported and have the knowledge and tools necessary to make safe and informed decisions. The Mentoring Jail Leaders Program strengthens leadership by linking graduates of the NJLCA to mentors that can help foster their growth.

The AJA’s upcoming Recruitment and Retention Summit is also a great opportunity to learn from other professionals on the most innovative strategies for improving health and wellness, recruitment, retention, and overall leadership to maintain adequate staffing levels.

We may be a technology company, but our staff has over three decades of experience in the field. The staffing crisis is impacting jails of every size across the country, and we fully understand how challenging it can be to navigate these rough waters.

Give us a call, and we can help provide some additional insights into strategies that will work best for your team.