Be Proud of What You Do
Thursday, September 1, 2022
by: Chris D. Daniels, MPA, CAE

Section: Executive Director's Remarks

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

Labor shortages in corrections are nothing new. However, the problem has become particularly acute over the past couple of years, which is true across the public safety sector. A variety of factors have contributed to the current shortages, including stresses brought on by the COVID pandemic, rapidly rising compensation at competing jobs, and shifting attitudes regarding commitment to a job, aka, the Great Resignation. As is often the case, positive changes often result from reaching a certain pain point. Compensation for corrections officers is going up. Hiring bonuses are becoming more common. That’s a direct result of policymakers and the public gaining a better awareness of the value that jails contribute to improving our communities. Regardless, lack of awareness continues to be one of the biggest contributing factors to workforce shortages in corrections.

When people are considering career paths, corrections does not come to mind for most. Even if it does, misperceptions and a lack of awareness likely contribute to few people taking enough of an interest to investigate what a career in corrections entails. So who owns that and how do we make it right? The answer is that we all do. Certainly, the American Jail Association plays a leadership role in raising awareness about jails and the dedicated professionals who operate them. But so do you. Be proud of who you are and what you do. You contribute a lot to your community! Share that fact with others and talk about why you find it rewarding to work in local corrections.

AJA is all in when it comes to increasing the workforce in local corrections. The focus of our Fall Summit will be recruitment and retention. Join us in Columbus, OH, Oct. 12–14, and discover what other jails are doing to improve their workforce challenges. Learn practical strategies for enhancing the health and wellness of your staff, hear about out-of-the box recruitment strategies, find out how to train your staff to be better supervisors and leaders. All of the factors that contribute to acquiring and retaining staff will be covered.

Check out our website at for registration information, and I hope to meet you in Columbus.
Post a Comment