“A Proposed National Corrections College”
In 1971, Chief Justice Warren E. Burger proposed the establishment of a “National Corrections Academy.” Chief Justice Burger explained that “the management and operation of penal institutions have desperately needed such a nationally coordinated program to train every level of prison personnel . . . as the Department of Justice has done with police administrators.”
Burger also noted that “at present, there is no single, central facility for the training of prison and correctional personnel . . . . In all too many state penal institutions the personnel . . . are poorly trained and some are not trained at all for the sensitive role they should perform . . . . The time is ripe to extend [the correctional training enterprise to include] a National Academy of Corrections to train correctional personnel much as the F.B.I. has trained State and local police.”
Part I of this article explains the need for a National Corrections College. Part II demonstrates why our current educational infrastructure for high-level corrections administrators is inadequate. Part III contrasts our national investment in correctional-leadership development with leadership-development investments in private corporations, the military, and police. Part IV sketches what a national college of corrections might look like, how it would run, who would staff it, whom it would serve, and how it would fit into the nation’s existing correctional-training infrastructure.