CMIT to Develop NICER List of International Corrections Experts


CMIT is developing the Network of International Corrections Experts Resource to assist the Department of State with project around the world.

The Correctional Management Institute of Texas (CMIT) will serve as a resource center for the U. S. Department of State to identify correctional experts to assist with projects around the globe.

CMIT received a grant from the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) of the United States State Department to provide a database of well-qualified correctional professionals who can serve as advisors, mentors or trainers for corrections projects abroad. The INL agency is charged with fighting criminal threats across the globe, including drugs, transnational criminal organizations, cybersecurity, money laundering and trafficking of people, contraband and wildlife. It currently operates in 90 countries, and its mission includes working with foreign governmental entities to fight international crimes effectively and includes working with their correctional systems.

To aid the agency in its efforts, CMIT will develop a Network of International Corrections Experts Resource (NICER), a list of correctional professionals ready and willing to offer their expertise worldwide. This may include experts in community correction; juvenile management; adult management; emergency management and response; correctional training programs; basic level and executive level management skills; prisoner transport, care, and intelligence; correctional mental and medical health; electronic monitoring; sex offender supervision; alternatives to incarceration, and reentry and reintegration.

“The NICER program will assist correctional systems around the world towards their efforts of prison reform, and their operation of prisons that are safe, secure, humane, and transparent,” said Doug Dretke, Executive Director of CMIT. “NICER will include current and former U.S. correctional officials with specific, relevant, technical expertise to mentor, advise, train and deliver technical assistance to foreign corrections partners.”

Created in 1994, CMIT offers professional development, technical assistance, and research for adult and juvenile community and institutional correctional agencies in Texas and across the country. In addition to these ongoing programs, CMIT provides administrative and logistical support to eight professional organizations in the field, including the Association of Paroling Authorities International, the National Association of Probation Executives, the National Juvenile Court Services Association the Texas Association for Court Administrators, the Texas Association of Specialty Courts, the Texas Jail Association, the Texas Probation Association, and the Texas Corrections Association. Finally, CMIT has existing partnerships with agencies in foreign countries for exchange or research projects.

As part of the NICER Program, correctional experts will be sent on short assignments abroad from one week to three months and may provide white papers or logistical support to foreign partnerships to develop safe, sustainable, and effective correctional processes. CMIT will provide a searchable database and will assist in the selection process, including arranging travel and other logistical support for individuals selected.

CMIT delivers two longtime national programs that will assist it in identifying leaders in the field: the Wardens Peer Interaction Program (in a collaboration with the North American Association of Wardens and Superintendents) and American Jail Associations’ National Jail Leadership Command Academy. The Warden Peer Interaction Program gathers wardens from prisons across the country to discuss emerging trends and issues in the field. The National Jail Leadership Academy was created in 2009 and helps train middle and senior leadership from jails across the country. It recently graduated its 1,000th participant.

“We are honored to work with the United States State Department and excited to play a role in offering these exciting opportunities to correctional professionals from across the U.S. to provide assistance to our colleagues around the world,” Dretke said.

The NICER program also will collaborate with the Office of International Initiatives at Sam Houston State University, College of Criminal Justice, which will be involved in the administration of the program. Amanda Burris of the College of Criminal Justice will serve as coordinator of the program.

“The College of Criminal Justice is well-known as a leader in international criminal justice education,” said Jurg Gerber, director of International Initiatives. “NICER represents an addition to agreements we have had with prison systems such as Poland, the Czech Republic, and Japan in the past.

“The College of Criminal Justice has been involved with the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) of the United States State Department in a similar activity in the past,” Gerber added. “We provided the academic education in the International Law Enforcement Academy in Roswell, New Mexico, for several years.”

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