ACA Winter Conference Recap 2017

Scott Moore, one of K2M Design’s Correctional Practice Group Leaders, attended the 2017 American Correctional Association (ACA) Winter Conference in San Antonio, TX and upon his return the entire Correctional Practice group was excited to share the  latest news and insight in the corrections industry.

The conference incorporates various business segments such as owners, both public and private, national and regional contractors, detention equipment contractors, security integrators, and manufacturers, along with industry design architects and engineers.

Take-aways from each segment are highlighted below:

  • Public Owners, commonly from the Department of Corrections of each state, have been focusing their attention on green and sustainable initiatives with special attention paid to water reduction, energy reduction, and recycling efforts which allow for tremendous cost savings for the state. There are also many new manufacturers and products geared toward sustainable products that have entered the correctional market recently.
  • The Private Owners (like a CCA and The GEO Group) were discussing the recent election and the impacts the new administration could have on the future of private sector corrections. The immigration crack down proposed by President Trump would require the construction of 1000’s of additional Immigration and Customs Enforcement beds for immigrants that will be detained.  The Private Sector has provided these beds in the past because it is a much quicker solution than a government option.
  • Most alarming was the fact that national and regional Contractors are very busy with hefty backlogs and many potential future projects. They are actively seeking staff to keep up with the current and anticipated future demands.  They are concerned with the contraction of the corrections industry manufacturers, and how that contraction will impact future projects.  Over the past 10 years we have seen greatly reduced detention equipment contractors and manufacturers who supply to the products required in the industry.  With fewer manufactures to supply products coupled with the increased future demand, there will come a point when demand will surpass supply.
  • The industry design architects and engineers are seeing a break away from solitary confinement with an increased emphasis on Mental Health issues and the impacts of these issues to the design of facilities.

Overall, the 2017 Winter ACA Conference left the majority feeling positive about future growth with the correctional industry and the potential for change in sustainable techniques and design that impact both the bottom line and inmate comfort.