Overview of Coaching in Community Corrections

As corrections agencies continue to adopt evidence-based practices, there is becoming a clear divide between the tools we are using and the context in which they are delivered. To truly address the needs of the people on supervision, we must bring our system and agency structures in line with the delivery of change-oriented approaches. We must rethink our organizations, specifically the infrastructure designed to carry surveillance and monitoring interventions and replace them with organizations built from the ground up for behavioral change. This is not easy work. Systems were built to maintain status quo–designed to withstand day-to-day variations.

We need to restructure our agencies to be invested in the players, to empower staff to do great work, and to be designed to win. Nurturing an organizational culture that supports behavior change, learning, and growth of staff helps staff create an environment that supports change in those they supervise. Fundamental to this coaching model approach is the belief in people’s capacity for change.

There are two key components that are critical to becoming successful coaching organizations:

  • Empowering supervisors and administration to create a culture of learning and a coaching environment in which staff can deliver change-oriented interventions successfully, AND
  • Supporting staff’s learning and delivery of change-oriented interventions.

JSP Principal Dr. Brian Lovins provides details on this coaching model in his article “Probation Officer as a Coach: Building a New Professional Identity”. 


“A coaching organization is one that creates an environment in which staff can do their best work, and people being served by the agency can be successful.” – Dr. Brian Lovins

Coaching Network for Change Virtual Community

The Coaching Network for Change (CNC), powered by a partnership between Justice System Partners (JSP) and the University of Cincinnati (UC) School of Criminal Justice, serves as an interactive virtual network for community corrections organizations to participate in a continuous, collaborative learning environment while sharing experiences and innovative ideas. Whether your organization has adopted a coaching model yet or not, the CNC has resources to meet you where you’re at and support you throughout the transformational process.


CNC annual membership includes:

  • 24 hours of topic specific virtual trainings/webinars with on-demand access;
  • 24 hours of design studio sessions to develop localized content based on the most up-to-date practices in community corrections;
  • Support for implementation of evidence-based practices and Core Correctional Practices that go beyond checking the box to centering the client and ensuring that staff are focused on outcomes;
  • Curated collection of resources including videos, podcasts, research, tools and templates;
  • Specific guidance for supervisors, mid-management, and line staff;
  • Agency learning team and team captains support, including how to be a coach, and how to be a coaching organization;
  • Peer-to-peer learning through access to a cross-agency network of correctional professionals around the country working towards more improved community corrections system;
  • Communities of learning for subjects such as trauma-informed care and cultural competency; and

Eligibility for unlocking advanced materials through All-Star network use.

Click here to receive more information about CNC membership

Coaching Training

JSP coaching experts provide virtual and onsite support for agencies to become coaching organizations. Training length and topics can be tailored to your agency’s needs based on research and best practices centered around the implementation of evidence-based practices within a learning environment.

Training topics for management might include: How to be a Coaching Organization 101; Creating a Learning Environment; Developing your Staff into Coaches; Supporting Coaching through Policies and Procedures.

Training topics for direct services staff training might include: How to be a Coach 101; Building a Client-Centered Success Plan; Responding to Violations; Providing Positive Reinforcement as a Coach.

Training packages will be customized to your organization, including topics and length.

Let’s chat about what your organization may need!

Coaching Consultation

JSP offers individualized technical assistance for agencies looking to align their policies and procedures, forms and templates, and/or continuous quality improvement with the coaching model.  Consultation can be provided on an ad hoc basis, and can support areas such as the creation and implementation of learning teams for the uptake of evidence-based practices and the coaching model, coaching for supervisors, and direct line staff coaching. Consultation can be provided as one-time support, and hourly packages are also available.

Let us know what you need!

Organizational Coaching Assessment

JSP has developed the Organizational Coaching Assessment for Evidence-based Practices (OCA-EBP) to measure organizational aspects, inform change efforts, and improve organizations’ outcomes. While many current organizational needs assessments are designed to measure “best practices” of agencies, the OCA-EBP is centered around aligning purpose with practice—examining all aspects of an organization in order to create an agency that is supportive of the coaching model.

The OCA-EBP assesses nine domain areas in which an organization may align organizational beliefs and attitudes with policies, practices, and infrastructure to support behavioral change. The assessment process includes a series of information gathering activities, including interviews, document review, survey, and observation. JSP provides a report and a debriefing meeting on organizational strengths and challenges and recommendations for next steps based on the OCA-EBP.

Click here to submit your interest in the OCA-EBP

Coaching Redesign

Once an agency undergoes the Organizational Coaching Assessment for Evidence-based Practices (OCA-EBP)* and receives a report and recommendations on strengths and areas of growth, JSP can provide Tactical Planning facilitation and support to implement recommendations based on the OCA-EBP.

This can include individualized technical assistance for supervisors and staff, training, and materials to support the core components of organizational change and to develop/refine a centered-out approach and coaching model through four core areas:

  • Supervisor redesign
  • Creation and implementation of learning teams
  • Physical environment/organizational infrastructure and data system redesign
  • Direct line coaching

*Please note: redesign services require the OCA-EBP first

All redesign packages are customizable- let’s build one that responds to your organization’s needs!

Get in Touch

If interested in coaching support, fill out this inquiry form and a member of the JSP team will contact you to customize a package tailored to your coaching needs:

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