131st Congress of Correction -- Philadelphia, PA -- August 11-16, 2001 "Our Principles: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow".
The goals of the Philadelphia Congress are to:
* Foster a greater commitment to our guiding principles;
* Support cooperation among various disciplines in corrections;
* Foster alliances with police, courts and community resources;
* Encourage positive work environments for corrections professionals;
* Develop and enhance relationships with associations/organizations that can influence corrections; and
* Provide a forum for an exchange of ideas.
During the 2001 Winter Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, the Committee met with representatives from ACA's chapters, affiliates, committees, councils and task forces to decide the most appropriate supporting workshops for the 11 major sessions.
Based on a review and analysis of the evaluations from previous conventions, the Committee urged coordinators and speakers to make presentations in a variety of formats. Workshop speakers also were encouraged to provide practical information that participants can apply to work or personal situations, involve participants in question and answer sessions, and provide handouts and expand the use of visuals.
The Committee chose supporting workshops emphasizing successful programs that address the diverse interests of both adult and juvenile institutional staff, as well as programs for individuals under community supervision.
The key to success in any organization is dedicated and committed staff. Major Session A: Modeling Ethical Behavior will explore these principles. Presenters will focus on programs that have fostered the kinds of behavior that other staff and inmates can imitate. The speakers will stress positive action and discuss the devastating institutional and agency ramifications of sexual harassment and misconduct.
There is growing evidence of the magnitude of the increased use of longer sentences, including life without the possibility of parole. Major Session B: Managing Aging, Chronically Ill and Terminally Ill Offenders will present a number of approaches and programs demonstrating how correctional institutions and agencies are meeting the challenges of the increasing population of aging, chronically and terminally Ill offenders.
The Committee believes that the concepts of making crime victims whole again and restoring the community, while offenders make restitution or provide services to victims and/or the community, are the guiding principles of restorative justice. Major Session C: Restorative Justice -- Putting It Back Together Again will examine the philosophy, concepts and programs of the Restorative Justice Model.
Major Session D: Putting the Juvenile Back Into Justice will address public concerns about juvenile crime and whether the juvenile justice system can respond to the needs of the community and provide public safety. The supporting workshops will provide information about programs that effectively address the unique needs of juvenile offenders in residential programs and aftercare settings.
Two major sessions will deal with safety. Major Session F: Working Together for Safe Communities will examine how partnerships and teamwork can enhance the safety of the public, agency staff, and facility and community offender populations. Major Session H: Identifying and Managing Security Threat Groups will examine exemplary practices used for identifying and managing security threat groups and disruptive individuals of influence in facilities and community settings.
Major Session G: Technology - More Than Just Computers will focus on correctional technology and address its ever-increasing role in facility design and operations, offender supervision, staff development, service delivery and information management.
Major Session I: Taking the Pulse of Correctional Health Care will address correctional medical care as a public health issue. There is a disproportionate existence of both medical and mental illnesses in offender populations, thus, released offenders may pose a threat to the community-at-large. Speakers will focus on strategies that correctional agencies can use to meet the growing demands on correctional health care services.
Three other major sessions will examine issues that affect the entire community. Major Session J: What Happened to Prevention as an Option? will examine strategies aimed at both adults and juveniles to prevent behaviors that lead to crime and/or prevent further criminal behavior.
Major Session E: Sensible Sentencing -- Can We Affect It? will examine the costs of harsh sentencing laws in economic, social and human terms, and the real way in which current sentencing laws and practices impact our world.
Finally, Major Session K: From the Institution to the Street -- A Continuum of Care will present examples of transition programming, including exemplary practice and successful partnerships with community resources.
The Philadelphia Congress will offer training opportunities on Saturday and Sunday, including a number of workshops from the National Institute of Corrections (NIC), the NIC Academy and the Professional Education Council that support the theme, "Our Principles: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow."