Mission and Vision

In 2008, ten years after the Association was formed, ICPA restated its mission and vision and began to base its activities in a new ICPA strategic direction. Since then, there have been ongoing changes in the correctional world, as well as the further growth of the Association. The ICPA is faced with new challenges today, which include, amongst others, increases in membership and attendance at annual conferences, greater diversity of member countries, the need for further regionalization, and the political pressure to impose more and longer prison sentences in many countries in a most difficult economic situation. These challenges can also be viewed as opportunities for the Association – opportunities for learning more from each other, for originating smart solutions and, for being a channel to promote cost-effective corrections.

The Board of ICPA in 2011 was inspired to reassess its mission and vision again. In doing so, we kept the basic principles, reshaped if applicable, and specified actions that people may expect ICPA to actually undertake for the advancement of professional corrections. Why do we exist?  What can the global correctional community expect from ICPA? What became clear was that the ICPA’s mission has served very well as our guideline for many years. It has led us to where we are now. For the Board members of ICPA there was no doubt that this mission statement should remain unchanged: To promote and share ethical and effective correctional practices to enhance public safety and healthier communities worldwide.

It is important to stress that while the Association has grown considerably, and has begun to develop a regionalized structure, fundamentally very little has changed in the core values on which ICPA was founded. In light of this, we are fully convinced that the mission statement will keep its meaning during the years ahead. In concert with its mission, ICPA developed a refined vision statement to help bring a common focus among those individuals who participate in ICPA - Why do we do the things the way we do? What is the rationale? The new vision and a clearly defined set of practical objectives were presented at the Annual Conference in Singapore in September 2011.

ICPA’s re-stated vision is as follows: To be the recognized leader for the advancement of professional and humane corrections and prisons world-wide. We see this as the nucleus of our work. It comprehends what we should do, and keeps out what we should leave out, and also communicates to those involved in, or interested in, ICPA that we believe in what we stand for and will be accountable for our actions.

The sharpening of the vision has led the Board to the following strategic framework for the ICPA work program.



v To be the recognized leader for the advancement of professional and humane corrections and prisons world-wide



v To maintain ICPA as an innovative, learning organization, promoting and disseminating good practice.

v To enhance co-operation between regions, countries, public, private and voluntary sectors involved in corrections and prisons.

v To develop and promote policies and standards for professional and humane corrections and prisons.

v To influence governments, policy-makers and the public to adopt humane and effective correctional policies and practices and assist in their implementation.



v Effective community corrections and the use of imprisonment only as a last resort.

v Integrity and professionalism.

v The sharing of ideas, knowledge, values and experience and working in partnership.

v The capacity of individuals to change for the better and the need to support them.

v The dignity of all individuals and the duty to protect their rights.


At the Singapore Conference, the new ICPA President, Peter van der Sande, together with Board members shared the mission and vision of ICPA with the attendees; and also discussed possibilities of how to realize the objectives of the Association more broadly.  For that purpose, we have embarked on a tactical approach to translate each of our strategic objectives into practical initiatives.

ICPA has always been a membership organisation. Its strength and distinguishing characteristics continue to be the sharing of ideas, knowledge, values, and experiences and the innovative contributions to the advancement of professional corrections from different cultures around the globe.  As such, it should be a membership-driven organisation.  Taking forward the strategic objectives and initiatives in the Association cannot simply be a ‘top-down’ Board-driven exercise, but requires systems to be in place which allow the initiatives to be developed ‘bottom-up’ involving and engaging both Board and non-Board members.  Against this background, the Board established four Strategic Groups.  These groups will be a mechanism of translating each of the strategic objectives into initiatives, and at the same time engaging more ICPA members in the core activities.  The groups will be a principal means by which members can become actively involved in helping to shape the work and strategic direction of ICPA.  They open opportunities for future leaders of the Association to emerge.

In addition to the Strategic Groups, the Board decided to also refine the structure of the Business Groups and Special Interest Groups that were already part of the existing organizational structure.

The general organisational structure of ICPA is illustrated below.

ICPA Structure 2011

The Strategic Groups began their active work in January 2012.  The conditions and requirements of group membership, roles and responsibilities, and the ‘fit’ within the Association’s agenda will be communicated with eventual new group members by the group chairs.  At this stage, membership is not being restricted (apart from being a member of ICPA).

The Chairs of the Strategic Groups are all ICPA Board members. They are:



Peter Severin

Chief Executive, Department of Correctional Services Australia


Staff member: TBC


Community Corrections

Dan Lombardo

CEO, Volunteers of America


Staff member: TBC


Training and Development

Gary Hill

President, CEGA Services America


Staff member: Sarah Maere: sarahmaere@icpa.ca


Regional Development

Diane Williams

President and CEO, Safer Foundation America


Staff member: Koert Swierstra: koertswierstra@icpa.ca


On the practical side, the ‘virtual’ environment and conference calls will be the most regular means of communication.  The Staff members of ICPA will support the groups with their work, including the development of a monitoring and reporting instrument to the Board and the Annual Conferences.

In conclusion:

In the view of the Board, the importance of engaging more members of ICPA to participate in the Strategic Groups - from the various regions within the Association - cannot be overstated. Interested members are invited and encouraged to contact one of the group chairs or staff members mentioned above to get involved.


ICPA Secretariat

January 2012