County Correctional Managers Corral Leadership Skills


County correctional leaders participated in an annual leadership training at CMIT

Every year, county correctional managers from probation, courts, prisons, jails and community-based facilities gather at the Mayan Dude Ranch in Bandera to build leadership skills to address common issues they face in the criminal justice system.

The Criminal Justice Leadership Program, which is sponsored by the Correctional Management Institute of Texas (CMIT), invites mid to upper level correctional managers to take a step back from their hectic schedules and reflect on ways to enhance their skills and strengthen their county criminal justice systems. Among the topics addressed during the four day session are organizational harmony, cultural diversity in the workplace, time management, ethics, leadership skills and human resources issues.

Thirteen counties were represented in this year's training.
Thirteen counties were represented in this year's training.
“The Criminal Justice Leadership Program gives you access to nearly one hundred years of leadership experience in criminal justice,” said Jason Schwarz, a staff associate from CMIT. “The Mayan Ranch provides participants with a relaxed, family-like setting that makes for a training they will not soon forget.”
This year’s program included 27 participants from 13 counties across Texas, including Atascosca, Bell, Brazos, Grayson, Gregg, Guadalupe, Johnson, Kerr, Lamb, Palo Pinto, San Patricio, Tarrant and Travis. Among the instructors were leaders from the Texas Association of Counties, Sheriff’s Office, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the Windham School District, Probation Offices, CMIT and Sam Houston State University.

CMIT's Craig Corder provided a session on time management.
CMIT's Craig Corder provided a session on time management.
One of the key sessions was how to develop harmony in the workplace and channel organizational energy.

“A key challenge today is balancing the old and the new ways, the tight and the loose styles, the closed and the open methods, the participative and the hierarchical business structure and in creating an environment that encourages and facilitates the fullest appropriate expression of human energy,” said Mark Warren of the Texas Association of Counties. “This presentation – Organizational Energy – focuses specifically on the process of relationship from the organization perspective with specific emphasis on the supervisor and one of their supreme obligations: communication, coordination and cooperation.”

Among the other presentations were:

    The program included networking opportunities over dinner. The program included networking opportunities over dinner.
  • A discussion on understanding and managing people with Carmella Jones, Retired Armstrong County Sheriff
  • How to eat an elephant – a primer on time management – with Craig Corder of CMIT
  • Cultural diversity in the workplace with Mario Cotton of the Windham School District
  • Elementary leadership with Diana Kukua of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice
  • Ethical legacy with Barry Gilbert of the Randall County Juvenile Probation Department
  • Legacy leadership with Dr. Randy Gardner of Sam Houston State University, College of Criminal Justice

In addition to classes, participants got to experience the cowboy way of life at the ranch, including traditional foods, music, dance, games and activities.

Member of The Texas State University System