Core Competencies for Jail Leaders

(Alphabetical Order) October 2010 

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Anticipate, analyze and resolve organizational challenges and conflicts.

Use critical thinking skills, evidence-based practices, and information analysis to inform decision-making and address organizational problems. Core Competency 1


Assure organizational accountability.

Direct the process for collecting ongoing feedback and assessing long-term outcomes. Core Competency 2


Build and maintain positive relationships with external stakeholders.

Develop reciprocally-beneficial external partnerships to achieve shared goals.
Core Competency 3


Build and maintain teamwork; mentor and coach others.

Engage in written and oral communication that is clear, unambiguous, transparent and consistent with the mission, vision and values. Core Competency 4


Communicate effectively, internally and externally.

Engage in written and oral communication that is clear, unambiguous, transparent and consistent with the mission, vision and values. Core Competency 5


Comprehend, obtain and manage fiscal resources.

Understand the larger financial picture, as well as obtain the fiscal resources needed to achieve organizational goals, allocating resources in a manner that supports the vision, mission, and values. Core Competency 6


Develop and maintain a positive organizational culture that promotes respect for diverse staff.

Assess the agency’s internal culture, assure it is aligned with the mission, vision and values;  work to change culture as necessary; support culture that moves the organization toward goals. Core Competency 7


Develop and sustain organizational vision/mission.

Establish a long-range purpose for the organization and provide overall direction and guidance for achieving its mission and measuring success. Core Competency 8


Engage in strategic planning.

Proactively analyze emerging trends, anticipate related organizational needs, and develop strategies for meeting them. Core Competency 9


Enhance self-awareness; maintain proactive professional commitment.

Identify and use professional resources (e.g., technical assistance, research publications, professional organizations, grant funding, information sources, peer reviews, local and online networking, etc.). Core Competency 10


Establish organizational authority, roles, and responsibilities.

Assure that duties and responsibilities are properly distributed throughout the organization, along with the authority necessary to fulfill them, in order to promote smooth, efficient functioning, within legal parameters.  Core Competency 11


Leverage the role of the jail in the criminal justice system.

Maintain outcome-focused interaction with other components of the justice system to identify and resolve problems and advance the vision and mission of the jail.
  Core Competency 12


Make sound decisions.

Establish a decision-making style that is firm, fair, data-driven and consistent, aligned with the organization’s mission, vision, and values; appreciate the impact of decisions on those in and outside of the organization.  Core Competency 13


Manage change.

Progressively implement change through strategies that encompass relevant stakeholders.  Core Competency 14


Manage labor relations.

Work collaboratively with unions/employee organizations and effectively manage collective bargaining agreements.  Core Competency 15


Manage power and influence.

Understand the organization’s history and political climate; use the political process (internal/external and official/unofficial) to accomplish goals; understand the impact of your use of power on the organization and community. Core Competency 16


Manage time.

Set an agenda that includes realistic deadlines, defines priorities, and addresses critical or difficult  issues promptly.  Core Competency 17


Obtain and manage human resources.

Obtain the human resources needed to achieve organizational goals, allocating them in a manner that supports the jail’s vision, mission, and values; assess employee strengths/ weaknesses; properly delegate responsibilities.  Core Competency 18


Oversee inmate and facility management.

Assure that inmates are receiving proper care, custody, and control according to professional and Constitutional standards, as well as appropriate treatment programming. Core Competency 19


Oversee physical plant management

Assure that the physical plant is in proper condition to insure the safety of inmates, employees and the public.  Core Competency 20


Reduce jail-related liability risks.

Oversee risk-management initiatives to reduce vulnerability and assure compliance with state/national standards and case law.  Core Competency 21


Understand and manage emerging technology.

Remain aware of emerging technological innovations and their potential organizational applications.  Core Competency 22


The Center of Innovative Public Policies, Inc.  |  1880 Crestview Way  |  Naples, Florida 34119-3306
Phone: (239) 597-5906  |