Adapt and Excel in 2022
Tuesday, March 1, 2022
by: Chris D. Daniels, MPA, CAE

Section: Executive Director's Remarks

CHRIS D. DANIELS, MPA, CAE Executive Director American Jail Association

Adapt and Excel in 2022
After the past two years, most of us feel as though we have been living in survival mode. The pandemic and all that has resulted from it has brought the importance of resiliency into sharp focus. In order to remain resilient, we need also to be hopeful.

Back in May of 2021 when the American Jail Association selected “Adapt & Excel” as the theme for our 2022 Conference & Jail Expo, we were hopeful. COVID cases were decreasing dramatically, and many people had placed their masks aside. Vaccines were becoming readily available, along with the promise of finally returning to a normal life. Breakthrough cases were rare at that time, and we were stampeding toward herd immunity. We had adapted and put COVID behind us, and we were ready to use all of those hard-learned lessons to focus on excelling—or at least that was our hope.

Then winter arrived. It became painfully clear that we could not put COVID behind us. The number of cases soared once again as breakthrough cases became common with a new variant. So, where is the hope in that? Can we really aspire to excel this year or should we settle for simply surviving yet another year in the shadow of COVID?

The best predictor of the future is often found by looking at the past. Our nation—and in fact the world—has been through horrific wars, pandemics, natural disasters, and other catastrophic events. Through determination and perseverance, we’ve always managed to move through these events to emerge better and stronger.

At AJA, excelling remains the goal for 2022, and we encourage you to embrace excelling as your personal and professional goal as well. Don’t settle for another year where you were happy just to place it behind you. Be bold and excel at what you do best.

In 2022, we will be accomplishing big goals on behalf of our members and the communities that they serve. In fact, this issue of American Jails is filled with articles that can help jails to move past the effects to COVID and to excel no matter what changes occur. Our lead article was authored by J.P. McMichael. You may be familiar with J.P. as he was a speaker at our first fall summit back in October 2021. His article details how he moved past PTSD and emerged
the victor.

This issue also contains the final article in Brenda Dietzman’s series on resilience. And I encourage you to read our monthly columns, where advice and news is published from
the field.

However, our biggest goal for 2022 is to be on location for AJA’s 41st Conference & Jail Expo. Join us in sunny Long Beach, California in May and become a part of the momentum. We can rejoin as a community and learn to adapt and excel together. Information on what our conference has to offer jail professionals is in the conference section of the magazine. I invite you to visit our website at to register for the conference and find the most updated information as we approach May.

Stay well and be safe—and I encourage you to remain hopeful.

Through determination and perseverance, we’ve always managed to move through these events to emerge better and stronger.

Chris D. Daniels, MPA, CAE
Executive Director
American Jail Association
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