About Us

The American Jail Association (AJA) is a national, nonprofit organization that supports the professionals who operate our nation's jails. It is the only national association that focuses exclusively on issues specific to the operations of local correctional facilities. 

The governing body of AJA is the Board of Directors. The Board is the final authority on all matters pertaining to the management of AJA. It sets policies for AJA and relies upon elected officers, staff, and committees to implement or to develop plans to implement those policies. The Board is ultimately accountable to the membership of AJA.

The Executive Director is the Chief Operating Officer of AJA. He has the authority to manage the business affairs of the association and to carry out policy as established by the Board of Directors.

The driving force behind the phenomenal growth of AJA is its members. Their willingness to contribute articles to our award-winning magazine American Jails and to participate in training programs at our Annual  Conference & Jail Expo is unparalleled. AJA has taken a leadership role in developing the type of programs that promote the professional growth of the dedicated men and women who operate our nation's jails.

Jail staff have the responsibility for the management of people who have been charged with violating our laws and often mock the ideals on which AJA was founded. Jail personnel find themselves sorely tested each day in the jail environment when they receive scorn and derision for their loyalty and perseverance under extremely trying circumstances.

AJA takes this opportunity to salute the jail staff of the nation who, by their dedication to the difficult task of local corrections, have made a vital, positive difference to the welfare of the communities they serve. AJA will continue its steadfast support of the jail personnel who work in these community agencies by producing programs and information to further the professional growth of jail staff.

Through its publications, technical assistance, Certified Jail Manager (CJM) program, Certified Jail Officer (CJO) program, Certified Jail Supervisor (CJS) program, Certified Correctional Trainer (CCT) program, on-site and regional training seminars, and the Annual  Conference & Jail Expo, AJA lives up to its role as a leader in the field of American jails. The AJA Board of Directors and staff vow to continue to perform at the highest level in their tasks of dissemination of knowledge and information to jail personnel, the criminal justice community, and the population of all communities which operate jails.

AJA asks every individual to recognize the American jail for what it is: a vital community agency which renders superb service to the public 24 hours a day/7 days a week! Jail staff, we commend you for the job that you do!

Mission Statement

"We will lead, educate, and support American jail professionals to enhance public safety."

Vision Statement

"Our vision is a nation where every jail protects and serves our communities to improve our quality of life."

Shared Goals

The American Jail Association will provide the best training in the industry.
The American Jail Association will research and develop industry best practices.
The American Jail Association will recruit, develop, and retain high-quality employees.
The American Jail Association will foster collaborative partnerships to benefit local corrections and the community.


To see a copy of the By-Laws, click here.