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Demonstrating Agency Value Using Online Social Media - "You've Got Jail"
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This article was published in the November-December 2010 issue of American Jails magazine. Included here by permission of the American Jail Association and the author, Connie Clem (on Twitter at @ConnieInfo). 

Because the public cares how tax dollars are spent, today, more than ever, it is important for jails to share information with funders, justice system decision-makers, and the public. Sharing data on real-life public safety costs can build support for a jail’s funding priorities. To help officials and community residents understand the role and value of the jail, jail leaders need to use all available tools to explain what jail funding buys. One excellent, low-cost tool for making your agency’s case is online communications.

When voters and taxpayers want to know more, they need to find that information from the most authoritative source—your agency. It is your responsibility to give your community the right impression: that your facility is a forward-thinking, safe, valuable community resource, and a good steward of public funds.

Creating a strong online presence, however, is more than just posting information on the agency’s website (though this is also important). The growing use of social media is moving information in new and faster ways, whereas print and broadcast media continue to lose ground. When correctional agencies adopt these social media tools, they can move accurate, insightful content quickly into the public stream. This information will not only flow from agency to constituents, but it will then flow to a network of constituents who share similar concerns.

Posted Mon, Jan 31 2011 9:24 AM by Connie Clem


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