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HAPCOA Attends the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Criminal Justice Workforce of the Future Event in Wichita, KS

May 12, 2024

HAPCOA Immediate Past National President Don Tijerina attended the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Criminal Justice Workforce of the Future Convening in Wichita, Kansas on April 16 – 17, 2024.

The convening built on previous Bureau of Justice Assistance efforts and investments to identify and support the next generation of public safety and criminal justice leaders. Chief Tijerina was among a select group of criminal justice practitioners, academics, and other stakeholders invited to discuss current workforce statistics, future needs and projections, and innovative strategies to promote greater national interest in public service. The convening will focus on policing, corrections, and prosecutors.

BJA shared the results of a recently completed landscape analysis to identify strengths, resources, and needs of current and future criminal justice workforces in response to the following questions:

  • How many people currently work in criminal justice fields?
  • To what extent are agencies understaffed right now?
  • How many more workers will likely be needed in coming years?
  • What is the state of existing career and educational pipelines, and how many future workers will they likely produce?
  • Are there foreseeable shortfalls/gaps and what can be done to address them?

The results of the analysis were presented during day one of the 2-day convening and serve as a collective starting point for further sessions and discussions to consider: (1) implications of culture on recruiting and retention, (2) rethinking talent acquisition, (3) alternatives to traditional service delivery models, (4) responsiveness to changing public expectations, and (5) access to justice, etc.

The landscape analysis and insights from the convening will be used to produce a valuable report for the field depicting existing workforces and career pipelines, along with recommendations on where additional investments are needed to expand recruiting and retention efforts, and to create new, or bolster existing, career pipelines to meet projected workforce needs.

About BJA

BJA strengthens the Nation’s criminal justice system and helps America’s state, local, and tribal jurisdictions reduce and prevent crime, reduce recidivism, and promote a fair and safe criminal justice system. BJA focuses its programmatic and policy efforts on providing a wide range of resources, including training and technical assistance, to law enforcement, courts, corrections, treatment, reentry, justice information sharing, and community-based partners to address chronic and emerging criminal justice challenges nationwide.

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