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Sheriff’s office to host American Jail Association conference

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From April 22-26, 2012, approximately 1,200 jail practitioners and service providers across the country will convene in Reno, for the 31st Annual Training Conference & Jail Expo to train, network, and discuss many issues facing this country’s approximately 3,100 jails. The training conference and expo are sponsored by the American Jail Association (AJA) in cooperation with the Washoe County (Nevada) Sheriff’s Office.

It is estimated that almost 13 million people are processed through our Nation’s jails in a one-year period. On any given day these jail facilities, which range in size from a single bed in isolated rural counties to more than 3,000 beds in large metropolitan cities, have a total estimated rated capacity of almost 1 million inmates. Those incarcerated in these facilities include individuals awaiting trial, those convicted of crimes, and those awaiting transport to State or Federal prisons to serve their sentences. Among this diverse population are the mentally ill, homeless, substance abusers, and other special needs inmates.

Conference keynote speaker will be Darren A. Cruzan, an enrolled member of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma who was appointed Deputy Bureau Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Justice Services in 2010. Mr. Cruzan oversees the bureau’s law enforcement, corrections, and tribal courts functions in addition to programs serving federally recognized tribes. He will address attendees during the opening session on Sunday, April 22 at 5 p.m.

About the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Detention Facility:

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office operates the only adult detention facility for pretrial detainees within Washoe County, Nevada. The Washoe County Detention Facility currently accepts detainees from over 30 law enforcement agencies, including those at the local, State and Federal levels.

The average daily inmate population level in 2011 was 1019 inmates. The sheriff’s office continues to strive to reduce the inmate population with innovative and proactive inmate release programs. These programs include court-sponsored pretrial releases and community-based work programs, which are coordinated through the Sheriff’s Office.

The facility includes housing units for inmates with special needs, providing treatment for these inmates, who cannot, or should not be, housed in the general population. These units are staffed with mental health workers and sheriff’s deputies who receive specialized crisis intervention training to manage the special needs inmate.

Designed as one of the first direct-supervision detention facilities in the Nation, the Washoe County Detention Facility has become a model facility for jails in the United States. The detention facility is routinely used as an example for other governmental agencies that are planning to construct new jails. Additionally, due to the proximity of the National Judicial College on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno, the facility functions as a stop for judges throughout the world. The facility has also served as host to governmental and social dignitaries from around the world.

About the American Jail Association:

AJA is a professional, membership-based, nonprofit organization that provides support, information, and training to those involved with the operation of jails and detention facilities. AJA is the only national association that focuses on issues specific to the operations of local correctional facilities.

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