On October 13-14, 2017, the Illinois Correctional Association (ICA) hosted its fall 2017 Conference: "Corrections: The Key to Unlocking the Door for Collaboration." It was held on the campus of Northern Illinois University (NIU) in DeKalb, Illinois in the Holmes Student Center. The conference was co-hosted by the Northern Illinois University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
The Illinois Correctional Association is in the process of rebuilding and becoming a foundation of corrections professionals throughout Illinois. With approximately 200 members, it continues to remain dedicated to facilitating professional development, expanding public awareness, supporting individual and agency standards for the corrections industry and engaging the future of correctional development through student outreach.
Through redevelopment comes growth and the effort to engage all sectors of the correctional system at every level: local, state, federal, private, non-profit, treatment and program providers, institutional, community corrections including probation, parole and the courts, but the list goes on and on. In doing this, the ICA feels it is essential to create an atmosphere of learning and networking that re-establishes relationships and generates new collaborative efforts for the future. Thus, the theme of "Corrections: The Key to Unlocking the Door for Collaboration" focuses on creating these collaborations on all levels and from all directions: probation, institutions, parole, treatment and services and everywhere in between.
There were two days of activities including general sessions for all, break-out sessions for specific interest areas, networking and other activities for everyone who attended. Several of the topics offered to attendees included:
- Mental Health Issues and Trauma in the Workplace
- The 21st Century Workforce
- Correctional Officer Wellness
- Community Corrections & Resources
- Career Pathways
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement
- Inmate Behavior & the Hiring Process
The opening ceremony was conducted by Joanne Kurt-Hilditch, ICA President; Chief Tom Phillips, NIU Police & Public Safety; The NIU Police & Public Safety Honor Guard; Sheriff Roger Scott, DeKalb County Sheriff's Office; Jack King, NIU Director of Student Professional Development; Major Edward Tutewiler, Salvation Army; and Sgt. Steve Laudick, McHenry County Sheriff's Office.
Following the opening ceremony, the opening keynote speaker was Charles "Chuck"...