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Ten Steps Corrections Directors Can Take to Strengthen Performance

NCJ Number
Michael Blanding
Date Published
May 2008
20 pages
This report presents 10 management practices that can be employed by corrections directors to strengthen prison operations with an ultimate goal to cut crime and reduce spiraling prison costs.
Ten steps corrections directors can take to strengthen performance include: (1) reevaluate agency mission to include a focus on reducing recidivism; (2) develop performance measures that matter; (3) develop modern information technology systems; (4) build prisons smarter; (5) seek alternative forms of funding; (6) develop partners to cut down on medical costs; (7) hold facility managers accountable; (8) pay for security staff on the front end; (9) find non-financial ways to improve employee morale; and (10) develop new leaders. These 10 action steps are not only rooted in sound management theory, they have been proven effective by States that have used them in a real-world corrections environment. The result is better-run and more cost-efficient institutions, a more satisfied workforce, and safer communities. This report focuses on State departments of corrections, agencies that play an extremely important role in providing public safety. It is the result of collaboration between two initiatives of the Pew Center on the States. In 2008, as part of its 50-State report card on State government, Grading the States, the Government Performance Project partnered with the Public Safety Performance Project to conduct an in-depth examination of the management systems strengthening of corrections departments. Figures