The Women Working in Corrections and Juvenile Justice national conference will be held October 14-17, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency, 1209 L Street in Sacramento.

The conference will be hosted by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation. CDCR operates the California prison and parole systems. Headquartered in Sacramento, it is the third largest law enforcement agency in the United States. The Correctional Peace Officers Foundation is a national non-profit charitable organization. Created in 1984, it supports the surviving families of correctional officers who lose their lives in pursuit of their chosen profession of protecting the public from those remanded to correctional custody and supervision in the nation’s prisons and jails.

“We are pleased to be part of this opportunity to invest in women who work in adult and juvenile corrections not only in the state of California, but at the national level as well,” CDCR Secretary Scott Kernan said. “Nearly all of what I first learned about this profession was from my mother Peggy Kernan, who worked in California corrections for 32 years. Women bring a unique dynamic to the job and I learned that very early in life,” Secretary Kernan added.

“The Correctional Peace Officers Foundations has participated in the Women Working in Corrections and Juvenile Justice national conferences for many years,” said Glenn Mueller, Chairman of the CPOF Board of Directors. “My correctional career has spanned more than 32 years and I’ve worked with many outstanding women not only here in California but nationally. I am personally looking forward to co-hosting this conference in Sacramento.”

The first WWICJJ national conference was held in 1985 and is held every even-numbered year in a different state. It has been held previously in Arkansas, Arizona, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. Each state has a theme and each conference features speakers, training and events. The theme of the 2018 WWICJJ conference is “Transcend.”

History of the conference

Women have been involved in correctional work in the United State since the 1700s. Their early efforts were primarily focused on system reform and charitable acts toward prisoners. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, women could only work in female institutions. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed discrimination based on sex and in 1972, the prohibition of sex discrimination in employment was expanded to state and local governments. The 1970s saw growing numbers of women entering the corrections workforce.

The formation of a Women’s Task Force in 1979 by American Correctional Association President Norman Carlson evolved into a Women Working in Corrections Committee. The committee provided workshops and networking opportunities to women working in the male-dominated corrections field.

As the number of women in the corrections and juvenile justice professions increased, Dr. Bruce Wolford, Department of Correctional Services, Eastern Kentucky University, recognized the need for more developmental experiences for women, and he organized a group from the Kentucky Corrections Cabinet and the Department of Social Services to develop what became known as the first National Conference for Women Working in Corrections and Juvenile Justice. The first program was held at Eastern Kentucky University in 1985.

The 2018 conference

The WWICJJ 2018 national conference is open to all women who work in the corrections and juvenile justice profession in any discipline, including peace officers, health care providers, administrators and executives, and will feature workshops, training, exhibits and opportunities for networking.

The theme of the 2018 conference is “Transcend.” Workshops will be held to address organizational transformation and how correctional and juvenile justice agencies are transcending traditional roles and evolving as society’s expectations change. Speakers will provide training to help women transcend gender-related occupational barriers and become effective leaders. And workshops will be held to discuss strategies for helping offenders transcend from a criminal to a law-abiding lifestyle.

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For more information, contact Terry Thornton at CDCR at (916) 445-4950,, or Rachel Lee at CPOF at (916) 928-0061,