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Identifying At-Risk Officers: Can It Be Done in Corrections?

NCJ Number
NIJ Journal Issue: 278 Dated: February 2017
Jack Harne
Date Published
February 2017
3 pages

After reviewing some police agencies' use of a performance management information system (PMIS) to identify officers at risk for poor performance or misconduct, this article reports on research that is testing a similar use of a PMIS to identify at-risk corrections officers.


A PMIS as used by police agencies has three functions. First, it identifies any officers who may be at risk for poor performance or misconduct. Second, it provides the opportunity for at-risk officers to receive counseling, targeted training, or other corrective interventions. Third, it monitors identified officers' post-intervention behavior and performance to determine the effectiveness of the intervention. The U.S. Justice Department's National Institute of Justice (NIJ) sponsored research intended to determine whether such uses for a PMIS with corrections officers is feasible. The research team partnered with a Florida sheriff's office to examine the application of a PMIS with jail corrections officers. Since the sheriff's office supervises both law enforcement and corrections officers, this will enable researchers to compare and apply what is already known about the use of PMISs with law enforcement to their use with corrections officers. This article reports on the implementation of the research methodology and findings to date, and the steps that remain before the research is to be completed by early 2017. Data collection and interpretation challenges to date are discussed, along with the results thus far in identifying potential indicators for the identification of corrections officers at risk for poor performance and misconduct. Research in progress is focusing on the predictive accuracy of the prototype PMIS in identifying at-risk officers while avoiding flagging officers who do not need intervention.