Magazine article American Jails

Passion and Dedication

Magazine article American Jails

Passion and Dedication

Article excerpt

At part of my immersion into my position as the Executive Director of the American Jail Association (AJA), I've had the good fortune to tour a number of jails across the country.

These facilities have ranged from several hundred beds to more than a thousand. Some were relatively new; some were relatively not so new. I toured facilities with direct supervision, and at least one with indirect supervision. Inmates wore jump suits in some; shirts and pants in others.

But as different as the look and feel of them all, they share a single mission: to provide public safety and to ensure the safety and welfare of the men and women in their care.

Although a great deal of my professional background has been in association management, and included public safety organizations, I did not have intensive exposure to America's jail community. Prior to joining AJA, I had no idea of what goes into keeping order, providing three meals a day, handling the laundry, maintaining supplies, and above all else, keeping everyone - inmates and staff - safe. It's a Herculean task repeated thousands of times a day by the thousands of correctional personnel in the more than 3,100 jails in the United States.

What strikes me even more about this industry is the passion and dedication exhibited by corrections officers. Yours is a difficult task. Patience, knowledge, training, and a deep desire to do a job well are the virtues exhibited by each and every individual I have met in this industry. There is a true desire to make a difference in the lives of the inmates under their care. I was also struck by the mutual respect exhibited by corrections officers and inmates alike. I had not expected that.

Each and every time I return to AJA's headquarters, I am reminded of the tremendous responsibility we have as an association to make absolutely certain we are here to support and assist, as best we can, the work correctional personnel do day-in and day-out. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.