National Jail Leadership Command Academy

by Danny Downes

Sunday March 1, 2009, marked the beginning of the National Jail Leadership Command Academy (NJLCA), Class #1. Thirtyeight mid-level supervisors representing 13 states and 25 jurisdictions attended the academy held at the George G. Beto Criminal Justice Center. For the next five days the participants were exposed to a curriculum specifically designed to help prepare them for successful transition into leadership roles in our nation's jails.

Monday morning Susan McCampbell opened the program with "Understanding Yourself-MBTI." All participants were tested on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) prior to arrival at the academy. Gaining a better understanding of themselves helped participants to personally apply concepts throughout the rest of the week. The remainder of the curriculum, delivered by Susan McCampbell, Dr. Randy Garner, Dr. Phillip Lyons, and Dr. Gary Christensen, concentrated on the skills and tools needed to hone leadership and management abilities.

Participants were engaged daily from the time they sat down for an early breakfast until they worked on their problem-solving projects at the end of the day. The networking opportunities continued into the evening with dinner and discussion groups to talk about required reading materials.

Throughout the week, it was evident the class as a whole recognized the value and significance of this long needed academic opportunity for tomorrow's leaders. One attendee said in a class evaluation, "I, too, attended the Police Supervision class many years ago. [I]t was very good, but so far I have already picked up more [here] in 1 1/2 days than four weeks [there]..."

The National Jail Leadership Command Academy (NJLCA) is a joint initiative of the Correctional Management Institute of Texas, the American Jail Association, and the National Association of Counties. The National Institute of Corrections also supports the academy by providing funds for travel to planning, curriculum review, and debriefing meetings. The purpose of the National Jail Leadership Command Academy is succession preparation for mid-level managers currently working in or supporting America's jails.

Applications are currently being accepted for the National Jail Leadership Command Academy, Class #2, October 25-30, 2009. You may complete the application and fax it to (936) 294-1671. Once your application is received, it will be reviewed for processing. Applications for the second class will be accepted until August 31, 2009.

Member of The Texas State University System