In keeping with the mission of the organization, IACTP seeks to enhance public safety and fair and humane treatment of offenders by promoting organizational and individual excellence in the profession of correctional training.  The IACTP's Awards of Excellence Program strives to identify and celebrate the accomplishments of outstanding individuals and programs in the field of criminal justice training but to achieve this goal we need your help!  Truly exceptional training programs are difficult to accomplish and as a training professional you know what should or should not be recognized and rewarded.

Submit your nomination for the International Association of Correctional Training Personnel's Awards of Excellence.  IACTP would like to recognize excellence in correctional training in the following categories at the next IACTP Annual Trainers' Conference.

Specialized Topics Award - given for high quality training in a particular course, program or subject.

Innovation Approaches Award - given for high quality training which advances the state of the art in correctional training.

Training System Award - given for high quality training throughout an entire system or training department.

Commercial Program Award - given for a high quality training offered by a commercial vendor.

2018 Award Winners are...

Training System Award 
Given for high quality training throughout an entire system or training department.
2018 Recipient: 
National Corrections Academy / National Institute of Corrections
The Management and Specialty Training Center (MSTC) and the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) comprise the National Corrections Academy (NCA). Each is a component of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). Fifty-one staff address critical issues and identified needs in law enforcement, inmate management, staff training, wellness, and leadership development for federal, state, local, county, and tribal agencies in the United States. Last year the MSTC hosted several trainings free of charge for the Colorado Federal Executive Board’s Mile High Dice, the United States Marshals Service, and the National Sheriff’s Association. 

The primary purpose of the NCA is to leverage our state-of the-art training facility by using innovative learning technologies and developing distance learning content. We provide national participants with the best instructors and virtual led facilitation, e-learning courses, national conferences, and symposiums. Responding to the needs of the field, the NCA uses Human Performance Improvement models to identify and address competency gaps for up to 10,000 students per year. 

In addition, the NCA houses the NIC’s library, which contains over 5,000 cataloged documents, journals, professional publications, e-books, and databases. This free resource provides training and services to aid corrections professionals identify solutions for critical issues and staff development. In FY2017, the library staff processed 8,000 requests for research assistance and correctional resources. Combined, the MSTC and NIC work to advance effective correctional practices and public policy, produce future leaders while reducing costs from training.

Lastly, the NCA is home of the BOP’s museum that boasts hundreds of historical items highlighting the agency’s history of exemplary law enforcement practices and public service. The museum is also a professional development tool to educate new and existing staff about accomplishments and lessons learned in corrections. Four years ago the museum initially moved to the NCA and really took shape this year.

Through innovative learning delivery systems and dedicated, talented staff, the NCA has demonstrated a long history of accomplishing its mission. We provide timely training to BOP staff based on organizational and job specific needs through systematic designs and unique delivery methods enhancing job performance; and we contribute to a just and humane society. In 2017, the MSTC earned the highest possible score, a Superior Program Review rating, in regards to administration, management, training, and academy operations. Superior ratings are granted when programs comply with all applicable laws, regulations, policies, and procedures and that demonstrate strong internal controls and initiative. The American Correctional Association (ACA) simultaneously conducted their audit. The MSTC earned 100% compliance in 105 standards. The MSTC was noted for its leadership, hard work, team atmosphere, and pride of ownership. 

Finally, the NIC’s Learning Center provides free online learning to over 750,000 correctional staff across the United States. In 2017, the center recorded over 88,892 e-course completions, 826 webinar completions, and 9,136 completions in “Your Role Responding to Sexual Abuse” e-course.

The NCA’s primary clients are approximately 37,000 BOP staff and thousands of state, local, county, and tribal correctional professionals. We are the sole training academy for BOP staff after successful completion of the initial mandatory residential course of instruction. From chaplains to captains, finance to food service, if they work in corrections they get their training at the NCA. 

In a fully funded year the NCA hosts over 10,000 state, local, tribal and federal corrections professionals for residential training and reaches thousands more via the multitude of distance learning modules developed by both MSTC and NIC.

The NCA found innovative solutions to overcome challenges affecting its mission those being financial, hiring freeze, and workforce reorganization. With a spree of continuing resolutions and significant budget cuts, leadership made several critical operational decisions such as prioritized training classes based on mandatory needs, while others were postponed or canceled. Product developers were pushed to complete more on-line courses. Also, Training for Trainers (T4T) models were used, where appropriate, to build capacity and no cost training programs were created (i.e. e-learning and micro-learning courses). These tough decisions and creative solutions resulted in mission success without jeopardizing quality.

Another initiative is the use of blended learning programs as an alternative to the traditional in person. This allows participants to complete the majority of their course work via a live WebEx virtual classroom or through web based, interactive courseware. Last year the MSTC produced five e-learning training products eliminating travel costs. These allow for more flexibility, reduced scheduling conflicts, lowered academy training costs, and is less disruptive to institution operations.

Contact Person: Office of the Director, MSTC, 303-338-6512

Innovative Approaches Award
Given for high quality training which advances the state of the art in correctional training.
2018 Recipient: 
Pre-service Academy Utilization of Tablets / Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction 
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction’s 160 hour new employee orientation program transitioned from a lecture based model to a facilitation based model in January 2017. The new hires bring a vast array of knowledge and experience to the job. The academy staff build on the knowledge base of the students and make it relatable it to corrections. Tablets were
introduced. This innovative approach to orientating new staff has produced more confident and prepared employees. Based on level 3 evaluation results with new hires and supervisors,
the level of confidence and decision making ability has increased significantly. Additional evaluations will be occurring over the next 6 months.

The direct beneficiaries of the program are the 1800-2000 new hires we cycle through our academy annually. We conduct a minimum of 26 new employee orientation classes per year. Our average class size is 75. We provide services to all of our 26 facilities and 6 adult parole regions. The facilities receive better prepared, more confident staff.

The biggest challenge of this program was academy staff resistance. Supervisors conducted a two week train the trainer of the new curricula. To gain buy in, supervisors facilitated the first several classes to demonstrate how activities were to be conducted as well as engaged the new hires in thorough debrief sessions. 

Contact Person:Beth Kreger,

Specialized Topics Award
Given for high quality training in a particular course, program or subject.
2018 Recipient: 
CR/2: Creating Regulation & Resilience Program / Maine Department of Corrections 
CR/2 is a communication model that was specifically designed to help staff navigate professional and personal responsibilities and challenges in a safe and effective way. This model is grounded in evidence-based correctional practices, brain research, self-care and cutting-edge research on
trauma and resiliency.

Skills learned are:
• assessing and in terpreting client behavior
• managing the range of client behaviors, in cluding those that are unsafe
• motivating and reinforcing productive client behaviors
• creating opportunities for client growth and behavior c hange
• personal and professional selfcare

Everyone benefits; clients benefit from improved communication and learning to regulate and manage themselves. Staff benefit by learning regulation skills for themselves and teaching the clients to think and process issues on their own, communities benefit by getting clients who are able to think and process through challenges.

The program was funded with federal grant money. Results show a decrease in staff injuries and less use of sick time, which can be considered as a cost savings.

Contact Person:Angie Newhouse,

Commercial Program Award
Given for a high quality training offered by a commercial vendor.
2018 Recipient
Team-Building Attitude Conflict Transformation (TACT) / North Carolina Department of Corrections
The Teambuilding Attitude Conflict Transformation [TACT] training is an innovative staff development training methodology. This immersive experiential methodology moves beyond purely experiential design to give staff the actual experience of the desired positive work culture.  It begins by building a foundation of trust and safety from which communication and cooperation skills are taught which results in participants feeling empowered to take personal responsibility leading to attitude change and transformation.  This change is at the limbic system of the brain, so is not temporary.

This methodology has proven to consistently have a positive impact on staff retention, morale, safety and security. It can transform the training experience for both trainers and trainees.  It is fun, engaging and empowering.  The TACT training can be 2 or 3 days and the Effective Supervisor Skills training is 3 days.

It has already been used in several other prisons systems.  In the Philadelphia Prison System, documented use of force was reduced 94% in their intake unit and over 80% of staff stated they continued to use the skills learned six months after the training, both on and off the job.  At the New Jersey DOC Training Academy, one orientation class specifically requested to be given the TACT training when they observed the positive impact the training had on another orientation class.  Also, the Defensive Tactics instructor changed his teaching approach as a result of the TACT training, which improved his pass rate from 50% to 80%.  The academy director stated, “Words cannot express the value of the training you have conducted at the Academy.  There is actually a paradigm shift from the rigidity and inflexibility ingrained in Corrections, to the understanding and acceptance of the value of community and teamwork.”  Also, the warden at Marion [Ohio] Correctional Institution stated, “It is generally thought to be the best training program that staff has participated in. Attendees particularly identify being able to develop personal relationships with others as very impactful. The labor unions are strong supporters of TACT. Employee grievances have dropped to an all-time low.”

TACT training is appropriate for all staff, including administration.  The more departments [security, medical, social services, maintenance] are included in the training, the greater the benefit to the institution.  The training not only improves staff relationships, but also inter-department cooperation. Each two or three day training can have up to 20 participants and can be repeated until all staff have been trained. Seventy percent of the Philadelphia Prison System staff experienced the training resulting in a noticeable positive change in the working culture along with a reduction in documented use of force in the institutions. 

A unique attribute of this training methodology is that it is easily taught to any staff who have experienced its transformational impact.  Normally, training academy staff provide the training.  However, line staff can also become TACT trainers.  The challenge with line staff is getting their supervisors to give them time away from their post to lead the trainings.  Initially, staff may be negative about “conflict resolution” training, but within a few hours the negativity is gone and they are fully engaged and quite surprised that they are not bored.  Several DOCs have incorporated TACT in the orientation of new staff.

The training is best led by a team of two trainers, who have been trained in the 4-day Train the Trainer.  The cost of the program is primarily staff time for participants and trainers. Although not documented, the reduction in staff turnover and absenteeism most certainly is a cost savings.  

Contact Person: John A. Shuford, 302-222-1996;

President's Award
2018 Recipient
Terry Satterfield
Ms. Satterfield was recognized for her commitment to IACTP both as an active board member for many years and as the Conference Coordinator for 20+ years. Her efforts have been instrumental to the growth and sustainability of IACTP. 

For more information on the criteria for eligibility for the Awards of Excellence, contact Robert Nelsen at:  

Award nominations received by May 31st each year will be considered for that year's award program. 
Awards are presented at the annual IACTP National Conference.  
To submit your nomination online, please click below:
Online Awards of Excellence Nomination Form

If you are unable to access the online awards form, then please use the following link to a Word doc to provide the same information. Once complete, you can submit the Word doc by email and the information will be entered into the award review process.  Award Nomination Form (Word doc)*
*when the file appears on your screen, click the "Open" box in the upper right side of your screen & select the option "Open in Microsoft Word". This will enable you to be able to write your information directly into the document.