Make this page my home page
  1. Drag the home icon in this panel and drop it onto the "house icon" in the tool bar for the browser

  2. Select "Yes" from the popup window and you're done!

Correctional Management Resources

Featured Product Categories

Featured Corrections Product

Most Popular Articles

Correctional Management Article

Cherrie Greco Corrections and public safety
with Cherrie Greco

Print Comment RSS Bookmark

Strategic planning in tough times

Available public funds are shrinking, and needs are being re-defined

Criminal justice agencies are increasingly growing to rely on an important road map, one where dotted lines are connected to mission and value statements, meaningful goals, objectives and strategies, ultimately linked to money in the bank.

Since available public funds are shrinking, and needs are being re-defined, agencies find themselves competing with other public services in new ways. Governing authorities, while holding the purse strings, are demanding to know how the spirit of a strategic planning document satisfies current need and becomes the vehicle for future planning purposes.

Gone are the days of drafting nebulous plans, submitting them to someone, somewhere, only to have those documents reside in a file cabinet until dusted off the next year. Today, accountability for all facets of an organization are under the microscope. The strategic planning process has become the required marketing tool to get the attention of decision-makers, as well as providing the living road map for navigating forward.  

Staff should have input into such a document, have the final version available and understand their roles and responsibilities, in order to meet or exceed the agency’s mission. By knowing what part they play in the big story, staff are likely to take on a level of enthusiasm about their duties, training, and more important, express appreciation to leadership for including them in the process.

When a diverse representation of line staff is asked to participate in focus and work group activities, outcomes are even more meaningful and useful. Having names and rank attached to the final version of strategic planning documents goes a long way in encouraging espirit de corps. Because inherent check and balance systems exist within the strategic planning process, staff are less likely to sing the familiar refrain, “We've heard this before.” They may actually be pleased to discover value and tangible proof in the exercise.

Not only do modern criminal justice strategic plans contain elements required for providing ongoing basic needs and services, these documents must also include an acknowledgment of new trends, patterns, or challenges in offender management and public safety environments. New laws, related rule making, standards, certifications, and current thinking lead to difficult hurdles and new problems to solve.

Strategic planning provides a natural and effective method for recognizing the newest puzzle, steps necessary to solve the problem, how to pay for implementing solutions to the challenge, and finally, how to measure the effectiveness of newly created systems.

Referencing strategic plan goals and objectives on agency documents like policies, regulations, and training materials keeps components of the plan routinely visible by all employees and reminds them how the larger process, which may seem daunting, is truly woven into everyday work functions. The resulting alignment from the planning phase, defining an agency’s mission and value statements, to routine documents like training lesson plans, all help establish continuity.

Tackling a public safety strategic plan can seem intimidating; understanding the scope and sequence of its development helps all stakeholders benefit, and the process stands a greater chance of being a successful instrument.  

About the author

Cherrie Greco is a retired correctional administrator and consultant, having provided technical assistance to a number of criminal justice agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice, and the states of Colorado, Texas, Florida, Maine, Alabama, Connecticut and Oklahoma on the topics of the Americans With Disabilities Act, Amendment Act and the Prison Rape Elimination Act. During her career with the Colorado Department of Corrections, she served as Director of Administration, Warden, Legislative Liaison, and Director of Staff Training. In recent years, Greco served as a Senior Consultant for MGT of America and was the Director of Probation for Oklahoma County. She earned a B.A., Ed. from Northwestern Oklahoma State University and an M.A., Ed. from Lesley University, Cambridge, MA. Ms. Greco resides in Oklahoma. She has been a columnist for CORRECTIONSONE since 2011.

The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of CorrectionsOne or its staff.
Most Commented Articles
1. C1 humor column: 45 signs you're a corrections officerCorrections Article Comments151
2. Fla. CO stabbed to death by inmateCorrections Article Comments76
3. Officer strangled at Wash. state prisonCorrections Article Comments62
4. Right or wrong: Supervisor doesn't write up officer for security breachCorrections Article Comments48
5. TASERs in prison: A good idea?Corrections Article Comments47
6. C1 humor column: The top prison nicknamesCorrections Article Comments44
7. Officials: Inmate kills Pa. corrections officerCorrections Article Comments42
8. Ala. inmate dies after attacking corrections officerCorrections Article Comments42
9.  Cell phone smuggling techniques: A photo database Secure - Login RequiredCorrections Article Comments42
10. Mont. prison nurse who had sex with inmate gets 25 yearsCorrections Article Comments37

Back to previous page