Resources for Correctional Officers
The following list of resources was compiled by a corrections officer, for correctional officers. The list covers a range of topics that include trends in corrections, professional development, professional organizations, moral support for corrections employees and their families, best practices, and safety concerns. The resources span different types of media, including podcasts and chat forums as well as books, articles, and trade publications.
Resources on Corrections Trends
- Trends in U.S. Corrections | The Sentencing Project: A monthly publication from The Sentencing Project that shows the major developments within the correctional justice system over the past several decades. You can access publications on topics like sentencing policy, incarceration, drug policy, and juvenile justice.
- Future trends | National Institute of Corrections: The National Institute of Corrections, or NIC, offers yearly “environmental scans” that you can download from their website. The environmental scans presents data and discusses trends on a huge range of topics, like the population of public vs. private prisons, technology in correctional facilities, demographics, healthcare, and recidivism.
- National Criminal Justice Reference Service : The NCJRS is a federally-funded program whose website includes a list of Office of Justice Programs (OJP) publications, a library, QAs, and more. You can access the site’s complete list of Corrections information simply by clicking on “Corrections” from their menu of topics. Here, you will find a wealth of information on current issues in prisons and jails.
- Corrections Today – ACA: Corrections Today is an international publication released six times per year that covers a range of trending topics in the criminal justice field.
- Corrections News: This online news site dedicated to all-things Corrections identifies important training events based on developments in the corrections field, and has become a popular site for correctional officers who want to stay abreast of the most current correction news.
- com Podcast: A podcast for top news, trends, and the future of corrections, including technological advancements and current trends in corrections. Although the most recent episode is from 2014, they boast an impressive back catalogue of episodes on a range of topics that remain relevant today.
- The CorrectionsOne.com Mobile App: This app, available for both iPhones and Androids, provides one of the best ways for Corrections professionals to keep informed and stay up-to-date on breaking Corrections news, view relevant videos, and read expert columnist articles, useful tips and other relevant information.
Best Practice’s Resources for Correctional Officers
- National Commission on Correctional Health Care – Standards and Resources: The NCCHC’s mission is to improve the quality of health care in American correctional facilities. As part of their mission, they maintain a list of standards for jails, prisons, juvenile facilities, mental health services, and opioid treatment. They provide additional guides and whitepapers on topics like dental health, ADHD, therapeutic diet guidelines, and much more.
- Gary Cornelius’ Column for CorrectionsOne: Correctional officers can listen in as correctional professional, author, and instructor Gary Cornelius writes about best practices in corrections on topics that include training, liability, safety and operations, and core competencies for correctional officers.
- A New Way of Life: Storytelling for Change is a multimedia initiative from A New Way of Life Re-Entry Project that aims to educate correctional officers in what works and what doesn’t work in prison.
- Correctional Officers on the Front Lines in Evidence-Based Programs: YouTube video on how evidence-based practices improved the relationship between an inmate and a correctional officer.
- Correction One: A facebook group committed to providing resources and cutting-edge information to help correctional professionals stay safer and become better informed.
- AFSCME | Corrections: The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is a union that includes corrections officers. The 83,000 corrections officers and employees who belong to the AFSCME fight for “better pay and benefits, safe workplaces, and to uphold the standard of professionalism in our field.”
- Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) : The BJS’s monthly publication features articles written by seasoned criminal justice experts on “Best Practices” within the corrections field.
Professional Corrections Organizations
- ACA: The American Correctional Association a professional organization for Correctional Officers. The benefits of membership include networking with other correctional officers, staying informed about the newest technology, access to publications, and a 20% discount on items like training videos.
- AJA: The American Jail Association is a national organization that supports correctional officers who work in jails, and focuses primarily on issues that affect the nation’s jails.
- American Correctional Association: This leadership development program allows correctional professionals to access materials that help them with the challenging aspects of their job.
- National Institute of Corrections: The Department of Justice’s National Institute of Corrections (NIC) provides information and support programs for federal, state, and local correctional facilities.
Resources on Prison Safety Concerns for Correctional Officers
- Personal Safety inside Prison – Corrections.com: This news article written by Former Deputy Warden Carl ToersBijns explains why no correctional staff should ever be at risk, and no prison administrator should just expect that danger is an “usual and/or accepted concept to go with the job in a prison.” Though the article is a few years old, the principles raised in the article remain relevant.
- NIJ Article on Correctional Officer Safety and Wellness: a National Institute of Justice paper that identifies risks correctional officers confront and recommends policies designed to enhance officer’s safety and wellbeing. A must read for all correctional officers and administrators.
- CBS News Report Video: This video features an interview with the Corrections Commissioner following the death of a corrections employee at Minnesota Correctional Facility. In the interview, the Commissioner explains why staff safety must be of the highest priority when it comes to issues the corrections field faces.
- 19 Tips to Survive Corrections: In this YouTube video by Anthony Gangi, host of Tier Talk podcast, explains 19 safety tips for correctional officers working within prisons. Gangi’s tips are a cumulation of ideas taken by experienced correction’s staff.
Supportive Service Resources for Correctional Officers and their Families
- How Corrections Officers can Balance Home and Work Life: This great article is written by a police psychologist who offers advice on how corrections officers can balance their home life and their work life.
- How to Deal with Stress in the Workplace: Tier host and columnist Anthony Gangi brings in an experienced professional to deal with stress in the workplace in this podcast episode.
- Health and Wellness for Corrections Professionals: This useful resource from the National Institute of Corrections discusses everything from sources of stress for corrections professionals to programs designed to help alleviate their stress.