Amanda "Mandy" Lambert, CJM, is a major with the Prince William-Manassas Regional Adult Detention Center (ADC) in Manassas, VA, where she has worked for 36 years.
On April 11, 2021, the American Jail Association (AJA), a 40-year old 3,000+ member organization composed of professionals who operate the Nation's jails, will swear in Major Lambert as its president. She will serve a one-year term that will focus on correctional employee health and wellness.
Major Lambert states, "The statistics for our profession are dire, and that must change. My focus will be to bring awareness to the various types of stress that are encountered working in the jail setting. We have to talk about managing it, and we must address the response to that stress; otherwise, our industry retention rates will continue to fall, correctional staff will continue to turn to suicide, and mortality rates will remain status quo. It's simply unacceptable, and it's time to admit that it's okay not to be okay."
Major Lambert has worked on and chaired over a dozen committees as a member of the AJA since 2014. This is her sixth elected position with the organization. She served on the AJA board of directors from 2014 – 2017, third vice president from 2017 – 2018, second vice president from 2018 – 2019, first vice president from 2019 – 2020 and president-elect from 2020 – 2021.
She is the first woman in the Commonwealth elected AJA president.
Over her nearly 40-year career as a corrections professional, Major Lambert has served in numerous key roles with criminal justice organizations and as an expert on several jail-related subjects. She is the director of Support Services and co-coordinator for the Evidence-Based Decision Making Policy and Stakeholders Committees with Prince William County and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park, studying the criminal justice system and facilitating and guiding system-wide collaboration.
Major Lambert is a national expert in objective jail classification and has provided expert legal opinions for the Commonwealth of Virginia and the State of Ohio. She provides technical assistance and training on behalf of the National Institute of Corrections and the AJA and leadership, operations, objective jail classification, inmate housing and behavior management consulting to jail professionals across the country.
Major Lambert has successfully implemented crisis intervention in jails, early identification and intervention of opioid users, and naloxone administration. She served on the Virginia's Standards Committee for Building and Design for newly built or expanded jail facilities and Virginia's Mental and Behavioral Health Standards Committee.
Major Lambert is currently overseeing the implementation of medication-assisted treatment in the ADC, as well as a 110,000 sq. foot expansion of the facility that will include a mental health wing, classification unit, general housing and a warehouse.
She is a member of the Fraternal Order of Police and the Virginia Association of Regional Jails. She is a Certified Jail Manager and a Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) coordinator.
Major Lambert looks forward to retiring from the ADC at the end of 2021 and spending time with her husband, three adult children and two granddaughters.