Warden, Allegheny County Jail Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania






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County of Allegheny

An invitation to Apply for the Position of

Warden, Allegheny County Jail

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Allegheny County Jail (ACJ) seeks a seasoned leader and administrator to serve as its next Warden. Reporting to the Allegheny County Oversight Board on policy issues, the Warden will also work closely with the County Executive and County Manager on operational issues. This is an exceptional opportunity to lead a jail that is at the cutting edge of reducing recidivism through its reentry and rehabilitation programs. Responsible for over 2000 men and women inmates and 35 living units spread over two eight story towers, the Warden will manage and provide leadership in three primary areas: security operations; administrative service operations and program service operations. Allegheny County Jail works closely with the Allegheny County Jail Collaborative – composed of and led by a Cabinet of leaders of the Court of Common Pleas, the Allegheny County Jail, the Allegheny County Department of Health, and the Allegheny County Department of Human Services –on its reentry, rehabilitation and alternative housing programs. With an operating budget of $55 million, the Jail supports 654 employees and operates under the Direct Supervision Philosophy.

The Collaborative aims to reduce recidivism in the sentenced population by at least 10% per year through the use of the following strategies: coordinating ex-offenders’ successful return home using evidence-based programs (reentry); making systems more effective; and developing alternatives to jail for non-violent offenders. A recent evaluation of the Collaborative showed that Allegheny County saved more than $5million per year on 300 inmates who participated in the Jail Collaborative programs.

The ACJ seeks an experienced Corrections manager and administrator to join a jail system that is at the forefront of security, public safety and rehabilitation. The successful candidate will be a senior manager within a large, urban correctional system or jail and will have a broad understanding of labor relations, community development and legislative relations in a complex environment. S/he will have experience with large budgets and personnel systems, media relations, information technology/systems management and providing comprehensive recommendations for inmate population reduction options. A Bachelors degree is preferred.


For more information about ACJ please visit: http://www.alleghenycounty.us/jail/index.aspx. Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, has been retained to conduct this key recruitment. All inquiries should be directed to the firm as noted at the end of this document.


The mission of the Allegheny County Bureau of Corrections is to protect the citizens of Allegheny County from criminal offenders through a collaborative system of incarceration which securely segregates offenders from society, assures offenders of their constitutional rights, and maintains diagnostic rehabilitative treatment programs to enhance the success of offenders' reintegration into society.

The County struggled throughout the 1980's to comply with a wide-ranging Federal Court Order that addressed crowding problems, space limitations and other issues. In 1990, the Court ordered the County to accept no more prisoners at the old jail because the facility could not meet constitutional standards and ordered the County to submit plans for construction of secure detention facilities. Ultimately, the County embarked on the construction of a new facility to consolidate the population in a building of adequate size, and designed in accordance with modern correctional philosophy. The new jail, built in a podular design, opened in May 1995, launching a new corrections era in Allegheny County.

Built to accommodate up to 2,850 inmates, the new jail opened with a capacity of 1,850 and currently houses over 2,000 men and women. There are 35 living units or pods on two eightstory towers. The standard pod has 56 cells on two levels, surrounding a central Day Area where meals are served and leisure time is spent. Medical services are provided within the institution, including hospital and clinic services. The Jail is clean, well lit, and has a modern climate and air quality control system. There are safety and emergency communications systems to increase the safety of employees and inmates.

The ACJ is a detention/incarceration facility for persons who are committed to it by a legal authority. It also provides "lock‐up" for between 80 and 100 persons who are arrested per day, and who are held pending formal identification by the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Criminal Identification, for Pittsburgh Municipal Court and Magisterial District Judge's Court hearings. The arraignments and preliminary hearings are held by the minor judiciary who are composed of Magisterial District Judges. Magisterial District Judges determine if there is probable cause for the arrest and set bail. Arrested persons have an opportunity to pay bail and be released at this time or be committed to the Jail in lieu of bail.

Most cells accommodate two prisoners, but double‐celling is based upon classification. All prisoners are classified according to their security and program support needs and are assigned to pods based on classification within 48 hours of admission. Classification status is reviewed periodically. As population growth has become a problem, the Jail is preparing for increased double‐celling. These areas were designed according to the minimum correctional standards required for unconvicted prisoners since a majority of the Jail's prisoners are unconvicted.

The Jail handles over 350 temporary and permanent movements in and out of the institution everyday. On an average day, some 100 individuals who have been arrested come through the Intake department. After their arraignment, arrested persons who do not make bond are committed to the ACJ in lieu of bond. These average around 60 individuals. Additionally, each day the Jail receives prisoners who are brought in by Constables, Federal authorities and Sheriff's Deputies. These persons may be apprehended fugitives, persons who have had bonds revoked, persons who have been sentenced to Jail at Court, Parole or Probation Violators. These numbers vary. Overall, commitments to the Jail range between 50 and 70 per day. The


number of permanent releases runs slightly fewer than admissions. Thus, the Jail's population has been growing. Depending upon Court activity, each weekday, well over 100 persons move out and back from Criminal Court hearings or trials. This heavy movement on a daily basis requires devotion of considerable administrative services, and security resources in order to run properly.

The volume of movement is one factor that distinguishes a county jail from a prison facility that houses sentenced prisoners. There is much less movement in and out of a prison facility. Another distinguishing factor is length of stay. In prisons, length of stay is predicable and usually longer than in jails. In jails, the length of stay is usually unpredictable and shorter. Shorter lengths of stay (30‐31 days at ACJ) result in a transient population that may be volatile. This has implications for programs and services and for management and standard operating procedures. In 2009, 18,141 offenders were committed to the Jail either to serve sentences or to await trials.

In 2008 the Jail received American Correctional Association (ACA) accreditation and successfully underwent reaccreditation in 2012. The Jail is funded primarily by real estate tax dollars. The County derives revenue from per diem payments for the housing of federal prisoners. In addition, since 1997, the Jail has charged nominal fees to inmates’ for certain voluntary, non-essential services, including non-emergency dental and medical services and copying services.

The Jail’s main divisions include: Intake, Classification, Inmate Records, Inmate Housing, Training and Internal Affairs.


The ACJ’s Intake subdivision receives newly arrested prisoners 24 hours per day. Once prisoners are medically cleared and identified, a magistrate arraigns the prisoner and a bond is set at that time. If the prisoner is unable to post bond, they are then processed into the Jail.


The Jail utilizes an objective classification system to determine on which pod an inmate will be housed. Some of the factors in determining an inmate’s initial classification destination include the inmate’s current offense, prior arrests, prior convictions and prior institutional behavior. Correctional officers, caseworkers and data entry operators staff the classification sub‐division. Central files are maintained in the classification sub‐division on all inmates in the ACJ.


The Jail operates under the direct supervision philosophy, which means that the correctional officers are stationed directly on the housing pods with the prisoners with no barriers. Each housing pod contains an officer’s workstation, which consists of a control panel, storage space and computer. Information such as visiting lists, court dates and the amount of bond can be accessed through the computer by the correctional officer.


The ACJ’s Training sub‐division received its training academy certification from the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections in 2000. Pre‐service and in‐service training for correctional personnel is


conducted on-site. Ongoing training is also provided to civilian employees, consisting of classroom and video training. Uniformed correctional personnel receive annual weapons familiarization and qualification at the Allegheny County Police Academy. This training is mandatory because the correctional officers transport prisoners to outside locations.


The Allegheny County Jail Internal Affairs department conducts investigations on all prisoners and/or employees in the jail involved in administrative violations or criminal activity.


Established in 2000, the Allegheny County Jail Collaborative aims to improve public safety, restrain the growth in Jail costs and prevent the disintegration of communities and families impacted by crime and incarceration. Its primary measure of success is the reduction in recidivism that confirms that strategies of punishment and rehabilitation, working together, can save money and improve public safety. In addition to the Cabinet the Collaborative includes members of a Civic Advisory Committee which consists of community leaders who provide guidance, ask challenging questions and form a bridge to the community. The early results of the three-year plan for reducing recidivism are positive and significant improvements have been noted in the following areas:

• Release from the Jail is now more predictable and gives far greater attention to preparing inmates for their return to the community;

• Families’ telephone calls to the Jail for information are now being answered after hours;

• Twice as many people are now in rehabilitation programs in the Jail and in the community;

• A new Reentry Program, with a family support component, has begun to make a difference in the lives of ex-offenders and their families. Inmates who participate in treatment and programs while they are in jail – and the housing, employment and treatment available to them when they get out of jail – are beginning to turn their lives around.

The Collaborative has begun to document and evaluate its work, starting with a report of the case review process that identities systems issues and that has led to changes in how criminal cases are scheduled and a major initiative in sharing information; and with the surveys of men and women as they exit the Jail.

In support of these efforts, the Jail has built a set of new classrooms and meeting rooms to accommodate increased programming by adding 6,000 sq. ft. of space to the existing classrooms on Level One of the Jail. In addition to this, the Jail has also relocated most of the participating male inmates onto one housing unit (Pod) on Level One, which in turn has improved the ease of movement of individuals to classes. This Pod is one of the locations of the structured living environment that will be developed this year. Women inmates in the Jail who participate in the reentry program will also live in a structured living environment.

The Collaborative will also link jobs in the Jail with the reentry program so that work is a privilege earned after completion of educational or treatment goals. This will require changing the process for selecting and scheduling inmates for work as well as expanding the number of work opportunities so that more people


develop skills that are useful in employment after release. The Jail took the first step in this direction by taking an inventory of the current jobs and by establishing a work-housing unit, also on Level One, as the pod for males who are working. The Jail is currently working to establish a female work-housing unit. Working with government and non-profit organizations, volunteers and other members of the community, the Collaboratives’ initiatives include the following:

The Reentry Program

Treatment Pods – Housing units that are focused on reentry and treatment. Sentenced inmates who

participate in the Reentry Program live on a reentry housing unit with rules and rewards, specifically-trained staff, and smoother access to work and services;

Work – Job opportunities in the Jail;

Services – Matched to risk and need. After undergoing an assessment of risks, needs and strengths, staff

match inmates with programs in the Jail and community that include the following: Second Chance; Education; Family Support; Employment and Training; Drug and Alcohol Treatment; Cognitive Behavioral Treatment; Housing Assistance; and Mentoring.

Changing Systems

The Collaborative also works to increase accountability and overcome the obstacles to successful reintegration that are found in the discharge, booking and visiting processes:

Increasing Accountability – The Collaborative contracts for surveys of ex-offenders, family members and

other stakeholders; conducting case reviews; and contracting for an information and referral service for in and outside the Jail;

Discharge from the Jail – The Collaborative is building and establishing a new Discharge Center which will

ensure that release times are predictable and no one leaves without medications, seasonal clothing and other information they need for successful reentry;

Booking into the Jail – The Collaborative will address the problems with booking to ensure that people are

able to notify their families and that, where feasible, people arrested for non-violent crimes are diverted from the Jail;

Visits – The Collaborative is improving the process and conditions of visits to inmates who are incarcerated,

to make it orderly, respectful to visitors, inmates and staff alike and to support the positive connections among families.

Developing Alternatives

The Collaborative is working to expand alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders. These currently include diversion of individuals with serious mental illness and/or substance use disorders through the CIT, Mental Health Court, and Drug Court programs and Day Reporting Centers. They are also in the process of designing additional options for facilities that will include housing, work release and treatment.


The Collaborative is funded by several local foundations and is managed by the Pittsburgh Foundation. Foundation support includes contributions from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Heinz Endowments, the U.S. Department of Justice Second Chance Act grant and the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.


The ACJ Warden oversees all offender/inmate systems; employee personnel systems; budget allocations; contracts and volunteers; security operations; maintenance operations; treatment and educational programs; courts, other agencies and community coordination; and public safety systems.

Reporting to the Warden is a deputy warden, the internal affairs inspector and the administration department officer. The administrative unit includes two majors, 12 captains, 10 case managers and other administrative staff.

The Warden works closely with the Allegheny County Oversight Board, the County Executive and the County Manager and is also a participant in the County Executive’s board meetings. This is a unique opportunity to work within a correctional facility that has a solid infrastructure for rehabilitation and reentry programs.


The key objectives or areas of focus for the Warden are as follows:

Administration and operations

The warden will have managerial oversight for administrative and operational functions of all the divisions within the Jail. These include managing the operational budget; personnel systems; security operations; maintenance operations; and public systems of the Jail.

Working within a unionized environment, the Warden will use management best practices in dealing with personnel and disciplinary issues while being sensitive to the overall morale of the staff. S/he therefore will be an experienced leader of people who can bring staff together with the skills necessary to support the Jail’s operations.

Maintain and build a strong administrative team

The ACJ currently employs 489 officers of whom 7-10% are expected to retire over the next several years. Given the expected attrition in staff, the Warden will be expected to support and oversee the recruitment and training of new staff. Ensuring that all recruitment efforts focus on building diversity within the custodial, administrative and treatment ranks, will be a priority for the next warden. In addition to this, s/he will have oversight for the training, retention, promotion, performance evaluation, discipline, termination and professional development of all staff.

Build a collaborative culture and maintain links with external constituents

To advance the mission of the Jail and the Collaborative, the new Warden will be a collaborative leader with the ability to build consensus both internally and externally. S/he will play an important role working with


the County Executive’s office, the Collaborative and other stakeholders on the various rehabilitation and reentry programs with which the Jail is involved. To this end, the Warden will be expected to maintain and foster strong ties with these constituents and take a leadership role within the Collaborative.

With the recent election of a new County Executive, the new Warden will also work to build and maintain a strong and positive relationship with the County Executive and the County Manager and strengthen the communication between the two offices.

Commitment to rehabilitation and community development programs

The new Warden will have experience with reentry programs and have an understanding of best practices, particularly evidence based programs. S/he will be committed to reducing recidivism and able to build consensus both within and outside of the Jail in support of such programs.

Working within a resource rich and supportive community environment where security and public safety are at the forefront of program development, the Warden will have the ability to participate in cutting edge programs that receive local foundation, judicial and community support in addition to national support and recognition.


The professional experience and personal attributes of an ideal candidate include:

• A Bachelors degree is preferred;

• Proven experience in Corrections and in particular within an urban environment;

• Commitment to operating a facility that provides care, custody and control, but also acknowledges the advantage of community based programs that will lead to a lower rate of recidivism;

• A demonstrated capacity to collaborate, build consensus, and to motivate and inspire others to realize the Jail’s overarching vision and carry out its mission;

• Ability and skills to negotiate with labor unions;

• The openness to solicit input from a wide variety of internal and external stakeholders, coupled with the ability to make difficult and sometimes unpopular decisions;

• Outstanding communication and team-building skills, as well as business and political savvy. A management style that is collaborative, inclusive and empowers others to succeed;

• Ability to communicate with external constituent’s including members of the media, the legislative body and community organizations;


• A strong sense of confidence and the wisdom and courage to make difficult choices when needs are abundant and resources are not;

• Absolute integrity, strong listening skills, patience, high energy, and a sense of humor. TO APPLY

All inquiries, nominations/referrals and applications (resumes with 1-2 page cover letters) may be directed in confidence to:

David A. Haley, Vice President & Director and

Matthew Tzuker, Senior Associate ISAACSON,MILLER

263 Summer Street, 7th Floor Boston, Massachusetts 02210 e-mail: 4481@imsearch.com

Electronic submission of materials is preferred.

Isaacson, Miller will continue to accept applications until the position is filled.