AJA President's Initiative

Gender Equity in Jails Across the Country

In this new and dynamic session at conference, participants and experts dive in deep on a contemporary challenge in the corrections profession.

This year, AJA’s 2019-2020 President Elias Diggins and a panel of experts discuss how his agency—the Denver Sheriff Department—confronted and addressed issues of gender equity for employees, inmates, and members of the public and implemented solutions.

After an incident in 2014, Chief Diggins' agency established the Gender Equity Commission as part of an effort to create a more gender-responsive environment within Denver’s jails. This Commission identified solutions that made gains in staffing the women’s housing unit, implemented department policy that allows pregnant deputies to work modified duties, provided gender-responsive and trauma-informed training for staff. It also developed a lactation support policy for inmates and updated policies on interacting with visitors. The agency has committed to making this a continuous process that, with effort and dedication, can become part of the fabric of the organization.

Will your jail be prepared or caught off guard? During this session, participants gain insight into different perspectives on approaching gender equity for staff, inmates, and the public. Participants also learn how to overcome barriers and implement solutions to make incremental and ongoing improvements to ensure jail operations are equitable.