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AJA Awards

Nominations for 2014 are now closed. They will reopen for 2015 following our upcoming Conference & Jail Expo this April. Please stop back then for an updated nomination form.

The American Jail Association is committed to the professional growth of our Nation’s jails. Ways this goal can best be accomplished include promoting meaningful training programs, exchanging technical information, developing and implementing jail standards, encouraging sound management practices, and adopting practices that improve the efficiency of corrections.

There are dedicated people in every organization who work long and hard to accomplish these goals so that their organizations continue to grow professionally. Out of all these professionals, however, there are some whose performance is exceptional. The Awards Committee of the American Jail Association is asking you to identify these exceptional practitioners so they can be recognized publicly at AJA’s Annual Training Conference & Jail Expo.


Candidates must be individual AJA members in good standing for three consecutive years prior to nomination. (Agency memberships do not qualify.) They also must be government employees and have the endorsement of their sheriff or city/county manager. Factors that enter into the selection process include:

  • Ability to successfully cope with contemporary day-to-day jail problems, such as crowded conditions, personnel shortages, litigation, etc.
  • Promotion of programs that enhance the jobs of jail personnel.
  • Implementation of inmate programs that promote the efficient operation of the jail.
  • Promotion of ongoing staff training programs.
  • Promotion of a professional image of the facility and the personnel who staff it.
  • Practitioner of sound, managerial principles.


In most jails, administrators rely heavily on mid-level managers. In fact, these mid-managers often serve as the link between administrators and line staff. They coach, they lead, they guide. Without these managers, the job of an administrator would be extremely difficult. Candidates for this award must be government employees and have the endorsement of their sheriff or administrator.


This award affords jail administrators the chance to recognize that sworn employee who continually strives to elevate the level of professionalism in their facility through training. Whether coordinating an academy or conducting in-service training, this individual provides organizations with competent, educated personnel. To be eligible, the training officer must be a government employee who works in a jail as well as a certified trainer as defined by a State regulatory or individual agency. The nomination must carry the endorsement of the sheriff or system administrator of the agency in which the officer is employed.


This award provides the opportunity to recognize those uniformed employees who hold our jail facilities together. Consider submitting the name of an outstanding officer who is doing an outstanding job. To be eligible for the award the officer must be a government employee who works in the jail. In addition, the officer’s nomination form must carry the endorsement of the administrator of the system in which the officer is currently employed.


Those who have extensive experience managing jails recognize that uniformed personnel cannot accomplish everything that must be done for the proper operation of a jail facility. None could function well without the outstanding support that comes from the nonuniformed employee. How about that civilian who does the bulk of the bookings, or handles the mailroom, or does yeoman duty getting reports typed and paperwork filed? To be nominated the only basic requirement is that the individual be a nonsworn employee currently working in a government agency.


Few jails survive without the help of volunteers—those citizens in the community committed to making positive contributions to their local jail. This is an opportunity to recognize that unsung hero who may be working in religious programs, providing crisis counseling roles, or assisting in the commissary. He or she may be that senior citizen volunteer doing an exemplary job of handling telephone calls, thereby taking off some of the load of full-time staff. The only criterion for nomination is that the service provided by the individual must be to the government agency from which the volunteer is being nominated.

Nominations for 2014 are now closed. They will reopen for 2015 following our upcoming Conference & Jail Expo this April. Please stop back then for an updated nomination form.

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