Corrections professionals from across the country attended the American Correctional Association's 2003 Winter Conference in Charlotte, N.C., Jan. 11-15, where many discussed how to address the challenging issues that face the corrections field, such as the work force shortage and constrained state budgets. In addition, attendees had the opportunity to network at several events, participate in more than 60 workshops, discover the latest advances in correctional technology and services in the exhibit hall, including ACA's Online Corrections Academy, bid on items at the silent auction and tour area correctional facilities. In addition, speakers Sarah Hart, director of the National Institute of Justice, Bob Danzig, former CEO of Hearst Newspapers, and motivational speaker Michael Broome gave engaging keynote addresses.
Throughout the week, conference participants attended a variety of workshops featuring topics such as balancing priorities in the face of budget reductions, the nursing shortage, developing emergency response teams, technological applications in corrections, mentally ill offenders, drug courts and the impact of changes in sentencing and release policies on U.S. correctional populations. (For workshop coverage, visit www.aca.org.)
Attendees were able to receive continuing education units, and continuing medical education credits, and health care continuing education credits for their participation. In addition, ACA's strategic work force initiative was launched during the conference. The project will explore ways to tackle the looming work force shortage facing corrections during the early part of the 21st century.