Magazine article Corrections Forum

2017 AJA CONFERENCE & JAIL EXPO Draws Big Crowds in Orlando

Magazine article Corrections Forum

2017 AJA CONFERENCE & JAIL EXPO Draws Big Crowds in Orlando

Article excerpt

The American Jail Association's (AJA) 36 th Annual Conference in Orlando wrapped up last month with four days of educational workshops, product introductions and industry networking. Nearly 1,000 jail administrators and managers, correctional and training officers, county commissioners, and other industry personnel from across the country gathered at the Orlando World Center Marriott in Florida to check out innovative options for management of inmates, kick the tires on new and emerging technologies and products, and discuss the latest issues affecting the operations of jails. The conference also featured tours of the Osceola County Corrections and the Orange County Corrections facilities.

Timely Workshops

One of the top workshops during the conference was "Mental Health First Aid: Tools for Use by Staff in a Jail Environment." Speakers included George Wilson, Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, Nicole Primus, New York Department of Correction, and Patricia Guy, also New York DOC.

Participants learned how to access "free" mental health training that could be available in their jurisdictions. Having a great partnership with behavioral health providers will open the door for an assortment of hands-on training opportunities useful for interaction with those who live with mental illness and are incarcerated, it was discussed. Mental health first aid training is a critical block of instruction that can augment the skills already possessed by custody staff, they noted.

The workshop "Suicides and Critical Incident Staff Debriefings" offered another packed session. Speakers included Kevin Dickson, CPM, CJM, Passaic County Jail and Judy Couwels, MA, LMFT, Broward Sheriff's Office. This workshop introduced participants to critical incident stress management teams. Participants learned to consider jail suicides as critical incidents and how to manage the lingering stress that may be felt by responding staff. It also provided information on what a debriefing is and how it can help the responding staff (post incident). The panelists all discussed the basics of a critical incident stress management team, who should be involved, and the benefits.

200+ Exhibitors on Hand

Finally, over 200 exhibitors were on the show floor displaying the latest in high-tech for the corrections market. The exhibit hall offered a large contingent of technology and health care companies showcasing new hardware and software solutions as well as new health care programs and commissary services. Looking ahead, the next AJA conference will take place April 22-25, 2018 in Sacramento, Calif.

Here's a look back at some of the top products that were on display in Orlando:

Automated Systems

Risk is everywhere. Spartan by GUARDIAN RFID is a weapon of mass data collection that protects and empowers on every budget. Spartan is an ultra-rugged, Android-based device purpose built for corrections professionals. Equipped with RFID, Wi-Fi, Push-to-Talk, high-resolution imaging, and more, Spartan helps you gain operational dominance by running corrections most widely used mobile platform to automate security rounds, positive ID headcounts, inmate activity logging and more. Integration with a jail management system helps empower a staff to take care of business with lighting fast superiority, and command and control, the company reports., 1.855.777.RFID (7343)

Transport System

The VanCell Elite allows for up to 13 inmates to be transported at one time, with two inward-facing benches separated by a mid-wall in the rear, and a bench in the front with a segregation door for isolation. Officers can watch every move inmates make with a standard four camera monitoring system. The unit is equipped with seatbelts for both officers and inmates, two fire extinguishers, and emergency egress releases. Ample storage is provided under the benches as well as lockable storage to store weapons safely and efficiently. …

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