AJA President's Initiative

For those who work in corrections, stress has long been accepted as part of the job. But only recently have the effects of that stress been recognized as a critical issue in the field.

Heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and other physical ailments are prevalent among corrections professionals. And studies have indicated high rates of PTSD, depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders among staff.

In 2021, AJA President Amanda Lambert announced Staff Wellness as her President's Initative. She pledges that during her tenure, AJA will focus its efforts on finding solid and innovative solutions to managing correctional staff stress. 

AJA hopes this page will serve as a resource for those addressing Staff Wellness in their agencies. If you have something to contribute to this page, please send it to Director of Communications Joel Huffer.

American Jails magazine: Correctional Employee Wellness

American Jails, the bimonthly magazine of the American Jail Association, dedicated its May/June 2020 issue to Correctional Employee Wellness. Read the issue.

NIC: Health and Wellness for Corrections Professionals

The corrections profession is a tough business. While the work can be immensely rewarding, individuals entering this profession should be aware of both the tremendous opportunities that exist as well as the risks. Whether working in an institutional or community corrections environment, corrections professionals are faced with a myriad of challenges daily, from the populations we work with, responsibility to peers and leaders, queries from the media and public, and demands from friends and family. Read more.


DOJ: Correctional Officer Wellness and Safety Literature Review

Health and wellness among those who work in correctional agencies is an issue that has always existed, but is just starting to get the increasing attention that it deserves. One of the greatest threats to correctional officer (CO) wellness involves the stress they encounter as a result of their occupation. This document reviews the body of literature on the causes and effects of stress for COs, and describes the available research on CO wellness programs and their effectiveness.
 Read more.

NIJ: What We Learned From the Research Literature

Correctional officers play a pivotal role within the prison system. Yet, working as a correctional officer brings with it stressful and dangerous conditions that are unique to this line of work. Research has shown that correctional officers experience high stress levels, burnout, and a variety of other mental health-related consequences as a result of their jobs. Read more.