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Staffing for Success: Establishing Core Competencies and Training Supports for Corrections and Community Supervision Staff

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2020
23 pages

This resource features an adaptation of a comprehensive matrix developed by the Iowa Department of Corrections (IDOC) to identify the core competencies required for positions at each job level, from front-line officers to executive leaders.


In addition to specifying competencies, the matrix indicates specific traits needed by staff to present themselves to other staff and to clients as a model for effective behavior. The matrix is a guide for hiring, performance evaluation and coaching, as well as career advancement. In addition, it is incorporated into job descriptions that enable job applicants to assess whether they are suited for various job positions. The IDOC developed this matrix during a 3-year period as part of its Second Chance Act Statewide Adult Recidivism Reduction grant from the U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). In determining the competencies and traits needed for each position, IDOC conducted a review of evidence-based practices (EBPs) for reducing recidivism and convened a workgroup of representatives from prisons, community corrections agencies, and IDOC front-line staff and supervisors. For each staff member, IDOC trains her/him in the competencies that pertain to the next level above her/his position so they will be prepared for advancement. This report advises that to use this resource, agencies should further adapt the matrix based on their own policies, resources, and priorities.

Date Published: December 1, 2020