Getting back to in-person events and connecting with and learning from professionals from across the corrections industry made for a fulfilling and exciting week in California that we have been looking forward to after years of canceled events due to COVID-19.

Last week, Outdoor-Fit was a first-time exhibitor at the 41st American Jail Association Conference and Jail Expo. This conference brought together over 600 professionals from county jails all over the country. The conference, which spanned from Saturday to Wednesday, and the Expo from Sunday to Tuesday, provided lots of time for the attendees to visit the expo hall between workshops and seminars. 

We had the opportunity to meet existing customers for the first time. One customer shared with us that their inmate population was thoroughly enjoying the APOLLO Multigym and their maintenance team has been pleased with the minimal maintenance of it, while another customer who recently ordered our TITAN Multigym said they are excited to order many more pieces of our correctional fitness equipment in the future.

booth setup

While it was great to connect with our customers, some of our most insightful conversations came from the sergeants, lieutenants, sheriffs and jail administrators who saw our equipment for the first time. Here are the most common things we heard from the correctional professionals at the AJA Expo:

number one

Correctional fitness equipment is an excellent incentivization tool

The most common thing we heard from jail professionals was that having fitness equipment that is safe and that inmates would look forward to using would encourage good behavior, or inmates would have equipment privileges revoked. The ability to lock down the APOLLO's weight stack was also a feature that the jail administrators felt would be an extra tool to incentivize the inmates.  

number 2

Correctional fitness equipment helps tire out inmates

A consensus shared by all jail professionals was that creating tired inmates through fitness equipment decreases inmate aggression, making them easier to manage for correctional officers.  

number 3

Exercise benefits inmate mental health

The majority of jail professionals we met at the Expo did not have any correctional fitness equipment at their facility but immediately saw the rehabilitative benefits it could provide. After seeing our equipment, they would comment how this would help manage inmates' stress, anxiety, and self-confidence, thus creating a safer facility.
 

number 4

We love how sturdy and durable this equipment is

Jail professionals were very impressed with how tough our equipment looked and, most importantly, felt. Being able to see and touch the tamperproof hardware and the selectorized pop-pin in our weight stack reassured them that our equipment is designed to eliminate any potential weapons.

number 5

The instructional placards are great for the inmates that don't know how to use the equipment

Our equipment's instructional placards typically receive more comments from our parks and recreation customers than our correctional customers. However, during the Expo the jail administrators frequently commented that our instructional placards would be a valuable feature in their jail and for the segment of the inmate population who would not know the intended use of each station.