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JAILCON24 Western Regional Conference Summary

The National Institute for Jail Operations (NIJO) is proud to announce the successful conclusion of the JAILCON24 Western Regional Conference held at the Gila River Resort at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, AZ, from June 10-12, 2024. This marks the 8th annual corrections training conference and exhibitor showcase for the Western Region.

The conference sold out once again this year, having over 390 corrections professionals from several states including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming in attendance.

DAY 1 - June 10, 2024

The conference began with our Opening Session, starting with a flag ceremony presented by the Honor Guard from the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office (AZ), followed by the audience standing to sing the national anthem and say the Pledge of Allegiance.  NIJO Executive Director, Tate McCotter, gave some welcome remarks followed by host agency representatives: Sheriff Russ Skinner (Maricopa County, AZ); Sheriff Tracy Glover (Kane County, UT, representing Western States Sheriffs’ Association); Sheriff Mark Lamb (Pinal County, AZ); and Sheriff David Rhodes, (Yavapai County, AZ) and President of the Arizona Sheriffs’ Association.  Sadly, due to the tragic death of Gila River Officer Josh Bries, which occurred the weekend before the conference, Chief Jesse Crabtree of the Gila River PD was unable to attend. 

Following the opening session, individuals attended three 1.5 hour break-out training sessions with the option of five topics during every session. Training sessions were taught by top corrections experts from across the country, including: Dr. Karen Andersion (Grants Manager, Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office, GA); Aaron Dawson, Ph.D., BCE, M.A.C.C. (President, Shadow Ridge Counseling, Consulting and Training); (Keith Hoskins (National Training Administrator, NIJO and Ret. Jail Administrator, Boone County Sheriff’s Office, MO); Johnny Knatt, SHRM-SCP, CCATC (Chief People Whisperer, JJK Workplace, LLC); Ret. Sheriff Dave Brown (Executive Director, WSSA); Sheriff Tracy Glover (Kane County, UT); Sheriff Matt English (Hood River County, WA); Rob Yantis (Jail Commander, Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, SD); Josh Arnold (Director of Operations, NIJO); Lt. Dawn Patterson (Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office, GA); Ben Griego (President, Correctional Solutions); Glenn Ercanbrack (CEO, Glenn Ercanbrack Research and Consulting (GERC)); JaNan Arnold Thomas (RMS Litigation Counsel, Arkansas Association of Counties); and Megan Kennedy, RN, CCHP (Director – Detention Health Services, Cochise County Sheriff’s Office, AZ). Sessions throughout the conference were targeted for all levels of corrections from sheriff and jail administrator to line level staff. Following the training sessions attendees minted with our conference sponsors and exhibitors during a Welcome Reception in the Exhibit Hall. The Welcome Reception included hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, and lots of prize giveaways sponsored by our generous sponsors.

At the conclusion of the training sessions, attendees and vendors mingled together during the Welcome Reception, and enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, and lots of prize giveaways provided by our generous sponsors.

DAY 2 - June 11, 2024

The second day of JAILCON began in the Oasis Showroom as attendees gathered to hear from our keynote speaker, New York City’s 40th Police Commissioner, Bernard Kerik.  Mr. Kerik was on the scene just minutes after the first hijacked airliner slammed into Tower One of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.  He worked tirelessly with Mayor Rudy Giuliani to oversee the NYPD’s response, rescue, recovery, and investigative efforts of one of the most substantial terrorist attacks in world history.  His wealth of experience as both a Police Commissioner and First Deputy and Commissioner of New York City Department of Corrections, overseeing New York’s jail System including Rikers Island, provided a unique perspective as well as understanding of the challenges faced by conference attendees. Following Mr. Kerik’s remarks, he candidly answered attendees questions. It was an honor to have Bernard Kerik as the Keynote Speaker for the conference. 

After the Keynote Session, attendees gathered together in the Exhibit Hall for a Meet & Greet with Keynote Speaker, Bernard Kerik, and to meet and visit with 56 corrections-specific vendors in attendance. We express our deepest appreciation to all of this year’s exhibitors for supporting legal-based training for corrections professionas.  We are especially grateful to our generous sponsors for supporting our 8th Annual JAILCON Western Regional Conference.

The afternoon was spent in two more 90 minute training sessions with topics from use of force to dealing with challenging employees, policy writing, and sex trafficking behind bars.  Tuesday’s training sessions were taught by: JaNan Arnold Thomas (RMS Litigation Counsel, Arkansas Assocition of Counties); Larry Hall (Public Safety Director, City of Buckeye, AZ); Don Kester (Chief Operating Officer, National Tactical Officers Association); Jeff Selleg (Program Director, National Tactical Officers Association ); Glenn Ercanbrack (CEO, Glenn Ercanbrack Research and Consulting (GERC)); Josh Arnold (Director of Operations, NIJO); Rachel Love (Partner, Struck, Love, Bojanowksi, & Acedo PLC); Kenneth Bradshaw (Jail Commander, Cochise County Sheriff’s Office, AZ); Ariel Monge (Lieutenant, Cochise County Sheriff’s Office, AZ); Megan Kennedy, RN, CCHP (Director-Detention Health Services, Cochise County Sheriff’s Office, AZ); Tate McCotter, MCJ, NCCE (Executive Director, NIJO); Rob Yantis (Jail Commander, Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, SD); Dominique Roe-Sepowitz, MSW, Ph.D., (Founder/Director, ASU Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research); Brandon Smith (Detention Captain, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, AZ); and Chad Johns (Lieutenant, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, AZ).

To conclude the day, attendees and vendors gathered on the Event Lawn by the pool at the Wild Horse Pass Resort for our annual Corrections Appreciation Event.  Despite high temps in the 100s earlier in the day, the lawn was shaded and attendees enjoyed mingling, outdoor games, ice cream, a cash bar, and music provided by local veteran DJ, Rick Hall.  For the 8th year in a row, we also raised money for the 100 Club of Arizona through prize raffles and JAILCON Cornhole Tournament.  Congratulations to our 1st Place cornhole tournament winners, “Good Time with Hard Time”.  Thank you to all who participated in this fun event.

DAY 3 - June 12, 2024

The final day of the conference started off with three 1.25 hour training sessions each session offering four classes for attendees to choose from as well as Medical Block for correctional healthcare professionals sponsored by the Arizona Counties Insurance Pool (ACIP).  Training sessions included: “Compassion Fatigue in Corrections Settings” by Dr. Karen Anderson and Lt. Dawn Patterson; “Decision-Making for First Line Supervisors” and “Transport and Case Review of Sanchez v. Graham County” by Sean Stewart, NCCE; “Inmate Mail” by Rachel Love; “Managing Programming” by Rob Yantis; “Driving the Road to Your Leadership Legacy” by Paul Laney (President/CEO, PDL Connect Consulting, LLC) and Mary Phillippi (President/CFO, PDL Connect Consulting, LLC); “Square Dancing with Government Stakeholders” and “Don’t Be Afraid of the Big Bad Attorney” by Wanda Rahman (Attorney/In-House Counsel, Mobile County Sheriff’s Office, AL); “Calling the Shots” by Deputy Chief Matthew Hedrick (Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, AZ); and “What You Do Matters: Lessons from the Holocaust” by Chris Olson (Asst. Vice President and Chief of  Police, University of Arizona) and Jason Kalish (Bureau Chief, White Collar/Cyber Crime Bureau, Maricopa County, AZ). 

The finale for the conference was our 8th annual JAILCON Western Region Corrections Professionals Awards Ceremony and Luncheon–where corrections professionals and agencies from the Western Region are recognized for their dedication and excellence in the corrections profession throughout their careers, and especially during the past year. NIJO Executive Director Tate McCotter presented the awards and also recognized individuals who had earned NIJO Professional Certification and agencies who achieved National Accreditation through the National Institute for Jail Operations.

Read about the JAILCON Awards and the recipients here.

Once again, we’d like to thank all of the attendees, vendors, sponsors, and instructors for their contributions and participation at JAILCON this year. We are pleased to report another successful conference, and look forward to seeing you again next year!

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