National Institute of Corrections
You are not signed in! To post comments and participate in discussions you need to sign in or create a free account.
Building a New Jail? Four Ways NIC can Help!
NIC News & Updates


Spotlight.on. NIC Jails Division

The National Institute of Corrections offers a series of services to jurisdictions embarking upon developing a new institution. These services are provided at no cost to the requesting agency. For information on obtaining these services, please see “How to get New Facility Development Assistance from NIC” below.

Take the Time to Do it Right

“A new jail is probably the most expensive and complicated capital improvement project a local jurisdiction will undertake. It makes sense to put the time and resources in to it for the best possible outcome.” says Mike Jackson, NIC Correctional Program Specialist and manager of the NIC new facility development initiative. “Everyone needs to plan.”  NIC can help by providing the following  services.

Jail and Justice System Assessment

The first service available from NIC is the Jail and Justice System Assessment which is a 2 day event conducted at the local jurisdiction. While this is not a formal needs assessment, it does involve collecting data, holding a “town hall” community meeting, and educating local officials and the public about the new facility planning process. The last activity is a presentation of recommendations and observations followed by a written report.

Planning of New Institutions

Once a decision to build is made by a jurisdiction, the second phase is a one week training program called Planning of New Institutions (PONI). This is for a team from a jurisdiction and covers new facility development in detail with an emphasis on active involvement in the planning and design process. This training focuses on the critical elements of planning a new facility, including collecting and utilizing data, pre-architectural programming, site evaluation, project management, and determining staffing needs.

Managing Jail Design and Construction

The next phase in assistance is Managing Jail Design and Construction training for agencies that are in the early stages of designing a new jail. It focuses on the knowledge and skills required for a jurisdiction to take control of the jail design and construction process. This program teaches a jurisdiction to analyze their unique operational needs and translate them into the final design and construction of the facility, and manage design and construction through effective project management. A primary goal of the training is for a jurisdiction to take an active role in managing the day-to-day activities, resolving problems, and making decisions related to the design and construction process.

How to Open a New Institution

The final phase, called How to Open a New Institution (HONI), addresses the importance of the transition process and covers activities leading up to the successful opening a new facility. The HONI process should begin approximately eighteen months before the projected completion of construction. Transition to a new facility is a complex process involving determining all the steps involved in operating the new jail before it is built. The initial step is to develop a formal transition plan by designating, empowering, and funding a transition team. The team’s activities include developing and field testing operational scenarios, and drafting the resulting policies, procedures, post orders, and master operations schedule. Other activities include developing the staffing plan, determining furnishings, equipment, and fixtures as well as planning staff training for the new facility. One of the final activities is planning and organizing the logistics of the actual move to the new facility.

How to get New Facility Development Assistance from NIC

Jail and Justice Assessment, Managing Jail Design and Construction, and How to Open a New Institution are all provided by technical assistance. This means the agency CEO needs to request these services in writing to the NIC Jails Division Technical Assistance Manager.

Planning of New Institutions is a training program presented by the NIC Jails Division. To participate, the agency team needs to apply to attend by using the NIC Learning Center.

For further information, please go to NIC New Jail Planning or contact Mike Jackson, NIC Jails Division, 800 995-6423 x 69565.

Posted Tue, Jul 24 2012 1:47 PM by Anonymous


Be the first to comment on this article!
You must sign in or create an account to comment.
Brought to you by:
National Institute of Corrections
U.S. Dept. of Justice | 320 First Street | Washington, DC 20534 | 800.995.6423

This blog is funded by a contract from the National Institute of Corrections, U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view or opinions stated in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.