NSI Star

National Sheriffs’ Institute
The National Sheriffs’ Institute (NSI) is sponsored by the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) in collaboration with the Major County Sheriffs of America (MCSA). The NSI is the only executive leadership program designed specifically for first-term sheriffs. During the NSI, you will have an opportunity to consider the current state of your office and the changes or improvements you would like to see by the end of your first term./p>

How to Indicate Interest in Registering
To indicate your interest in participating in an upcoming NSI or NSI-JA course, please follow this link.

NSI Application

You will be notified when registration for the classes has opened. Registrations will be accepted on a rolling basis for future NSI sessions.


Purpose of the NSI
The Office of Sheriff is distinguished from other law enforcement agencies by having direct accountability to the citizens they serve. The Office of Sheriff is multifaceted and can include a combination of responsibilities and lines of service to include patrol services, court security, civil process, jail operations, prisoner transportation, and/or criminal investigation. Now, more than ever, sheriffs are called upon to navigate community conversations about justice, equity and accountability, to allocate resources in strategic ways, to engage and convene diverse community stakeholder groups, and provide healthcare and treatment while ensuring public safety remains paramount. The NSI is intended to prepare sheriffs for a variety of matters that impact the Office of Sheriff.

History of the NSI
The NSI was first developed and presented in the early 1970's in response to a need by sheriffs to meet the evolving demands of the office. The program was enabled by a grant from the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration and originally conducted through a partnership between the National Sheriffs’ Association and the University of Southern California's School of Public Administration. The NSI has gone through many iterations throughout its history. Since 1993, the NSI has been housed in the NIC Jails Division. Enhancements and revisions through the years created a more concise, streamlined curriculum.

The NSI Now
In 2022, NIC began offering two different NSI courses of study outlined below. Both courses are designed for the elected or appointed sheriff as the chief executive officer of their organization

National Sheriffs’ Institute - Leadership Development (NSI-LD)
Course Description: Many new sheriffs entering the Office of Sheriff have limited experience acting as a chief executive officer, operating a local correctional facility, or providing leadership across the various domains. To successfully fulfill these duties, elected sheriffs require knowledge and training of leadership principles to maximize their service to the community. The curriculum is being redesigned to include many popular topics from previous sessions, updated for the current operational environment. The NSI course is intended to prepare first-term sheriffs for success and to strengthen the leaderships skills of elected sheriffs. There are no prerequisites for attending NSI.

Among the topics to be covered in this course:

  • Developing your Executive Team
  • Building and Maintaining Professional Ethics throughout the Organization
  • Building Trust and Engaging with your Community
  • Leading Your Agency through a Crisis
  • Leading Individuals and Teams through Conflict
  • Interpersonal and Organizational Communication
  • Decision-making: Rationale and Bias
  • Models for Leading Through Change
  • Developing External Partnerships

National Sheriffs’ Institute - Jail Administration (NSI-JA)
Course Description: The National Sheriffs’ Institute-JA course is a newly developed curriculum designed to enhance the knowledge of sheriffs regarding their responsibilities in leading the operations of a correctional facility. The course is approximately five days in length.

Among the topics to be covered in this course:

  • The Sheriff as Leader in the Jail
  • The Sheriff’s Role – The Community Map
  • Legal Implications of Operating a Jail
  • Leadership for the Jail
  • Critical Aspects of Jail Operations
  • Assessing Your Jail Operation
  • Jail Improvement Planning

Criteria for Attendee Selection
To promote transparency in the selection process, various criteria will be utilized in selecting attendees for each NSI training program, including:

NSI-LD: The sheriff must be in the first term to be eligible for consideration for NSI-LD with some exceptions:

  • If a sheriff has been elected or appointed to complete a previous sheriff’s term, then that sheriff may also apply in their first fully elected term of office.
  • For those sheriffs whose term are less than 4 years in length, they may apply during their second term in office.

If the applicant is in the last year of their first term, the applicant may receive priority consideration.

NSI-JA: Sheriffs of all tenures are eligible for consideration. Sheriffs who administer the jail directly, through contract, or through a regional jail are eligible to apply.

Attendees must be the elected or appointed sheriff as the chief executive officer of their agency to attend NSI courses.

NSI-JA: Sheriffs of all tenures are eligible for consideration. Sheriffs who administer the jail directly, through contract, or through a regional jail are eligible to apply.

Attendees must be the elected or appointed sheriff as the chief executive officer of their agency to attend NSI courses.

Demographic and Geographic Diversity: The goal of the NSI is to have attendees reflect the diversity of our country, including sheriffs of all races, national origins, sex, gender identities, sexual orientations, and/or with disabilities. It is also our goal to ensure that we have attendees from communities of all sizes, including rural, suburban, and urban sheriff’s offices. As such, we encourage applications from all interested sheriffs.

Where are NSI courses conducted?

Both NSI courses are offered at the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Academy in Quantico, VA, to include lodging and meals.

Travel, Logistics, and Cost
The NSI courses are offered at no-cost to participants. Lodging and meals are provided by NIC at the FBI Academy for the entire course. Upon approval for course attendance, NIC will coordinate travel for participants in the NSI courses. Travel arrangements made outside of NIC’s approved processes are not reimbursable.

Additional Information:
In collaboration with its partners, NIC is currently developing additional NSI courses and services for the nation’s sheriffs.

What have previous attendees said about attending NSI?

“NSI was one of the best trainings I have ever attended. I attended in my third year and highly recommend that a new Sheriff should attend within his/her first two years.
- Previous NSI participant

“The best part of attending this class was the informal conversations with Sheriffs from across the nation with different perspectives from large agencies, as well as those in smaller suburban and rural communities.”
- Previous NSI participant

“It was an honor for me to have the opportunity to attend NSI in September 2017 and it was eye-opening as a self-evaluation tool and the networking was great. The discussions on civil liability and jails, media and civil service was outstanding. Thank you again for the opportunity!”
- Previous NSI participant