Correctional leadership competencies for the 21st century.

Author:Brown, Robert M., Jr.
Position:NIC Update

The correctional environment has changed substantially in recent years. The evolution of technology and globalization, changing societal values, work force demographics and fiscal concerns are just a few of the factors influencing correctional organizations today and the individuals who manage them.

The National Institute of Correction's management and leadership programs serve organizations ranging from small, rural jails to large state correctional systems to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Some systems combine city, county and state functions, while others serve one level of government. Trained participants may all share the field of corrections; however, their professional experience may differ dramatically. For example, a deputy warden from one correctional system may have a vastly different set of responsibilities than one from another system.

Core Competency Model

Facing the complex task of creating training programs, for this very broad and diverse audience, NIC's Core Competency Project began as an attempt to answer a question: How can NIC design its curricula if staff are not sure what skills and abilities are required for success at the various levels of correctional management? Recognizing the diversity of correctional organizations and respecting that there are many ways to organize effectively, the core competency model was designed as a frame of reference for the responsibilities typically held at various levels of management. The model was not designed to mirror any one organization; rather, it was designed to include a broad range of management responsibilities found in jails, prisons and community correctional environments. The approach taken to develop the core competency model was to create profiles of the roles and responsibilities most common to the various levels of management that would represent all correctional disciplines and encompass the diverse professionals working in jails, prisons and community corrections.

The Profiles

The management profiles--supervisors, managers, senior-level leaders and executives--are designed to provide a frame of reference for responsibilities typically found at the various levels of management. While every level of leadership has responsibilities in each of the model's key areas, the nature of these responsibilities varies depending on the management level.

Each management profile addresses: positions--examples of positions found at this level of leadership; authority--the source of...

To continue reading