On June 10, 2015, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) launched a national virtual conference on staff wellness titled “New Directions in Corrections: Staff Wellness.” Session topics will include using neuroscience to reduce stress, “healing corrections,” the organizational implications of boundary violations, creating a purpose-driven corrections career, corrections personnel suicide, and staff wellness.
The objective of “New Directions in Corrections: Staff Wellness” is to: Educate corrections staff on the subject of corrections fatigue and staff wellness; Present strategies and resources for countering the effects of corrections trauma and fatigue; and Equip corrections staff with strategies they can use to move toward professional fulfillment individually and within a workplace culture.
Corrections work often takes a toll on staff’s well-being and functioning due to repeated exposure to multiple types of inherent occupational stressors—specifically, operational, organizational, and traumatic stressors. The cumulative effect of these co-occurring stressors upon corrections professionals and upon entire correctional workplace cultures is captured by the umbrella term and construct of “corrections fatigue.” Effects of corrections fatigue may be low staff morale, impaired job performance, individual health and functioning issues, problematic professional and personal relationships, and high staff turnover. Corrections fatigue includes a variety of facets, many interacting to affect staff negatively and envelop workplace culture in a self-reinforcing cycle that undermines health, functioning, and fulfillment.
This microsite provides access to the eight presentations and links to additional resources.
"This curriculum was developed to assist agencies in addressing training requirements found in PREA standards 115.31, 115.131, 115.231, and 115.331. Because each correctional setting represents distinct differences that cannot be captured easily in a one-size-fits-all training, it is anticipated that trainers will customize this training to more fully meet the specific needs of a particular facility or agency. To that end, it is essential that trainers work diligently with the agency PREA coordinator to collect appropriate policies and procedures referenced in the facilitator guides for each unit. Understanding and fulfilling agency policy requirements is a vital part of addressing requirements of the PREA standards .. Due to the sensitive topics covered in these training modules, it is recommended that the trainer identify a mental health practitioner or a local resource who can work with any staff who may be triggered when discussing or hearing about the topics covered in the trainings. It is important to identify the mental health provider prior to beginning each training unit or at the beginning of each day of training." This curriculum package includes presentation slides and lesson plans for the following units: Unit 1—PREA Overview and Your Role; Unit 2--Inmates’ Rights to be Free From Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment and Inmates’ Rights to be Free From Retaliation for Reporting; Unit 3.1--Prevention and Detection of Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment; Unit 3.2--Response and Reporting of Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment; Unit 4--Professional Boundaries; and Unit 5--Effective and Professional Communication With Inmates.
This program on justice-involved veterans, highlights the lifesaving role being played by veterans treatment courts (VTCs) across the country.
From WWII through the continuing global war on terror, there are approximately 21.5 million veterans in the U.S. today. So many of these men, and increasingly women, return home damaged mentally and physically from their time in service. These wounds often contribute to their involvement in the criminal justice system. As a result, veterans are overrepresented in our jails and prisons.
For these justice-involved vets, Veterans Treatment Courts are providing a pathway to recovery so that they can be restored to functioning and contributing members of society.
Veterans Treatment Courts, or VTCs, provide hope, restore families and save lives. The first VTC, founded in 2008 in Buffalo, New York, has inspired the creation of more than 220 courts of similar nature in jurisdictions, both large and small, across the country. Hundreds more are in various stages of planning and implementation.
These courts have the support of the communities they serve, as well as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and local service providing agencies. Critical to the success of VTCs are veterans who volunteer to be trained and serve as mentors to justice-involved veterans.
This training program will: Introduce Veterans Treatment Courts as an effective intervention and an alternative to incarceration for justice-involved veterans; Identify the unique issues which contribute to veterans’ involvement in the criminal justice system at the local, state and federal levels; Highlight the inception of Veterans Treatment Courts and the role they play in improving public safety, reducing recidivism, saving taxpayer dollars and, most importantly, restoring the lives of those who have served our country; Showcase model Veterans Treatment Court Programs, including Veterans Peer Mentor Programs; Demonstrate how to implement and sustain an effective VTC, including the vital role of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Veteran Peer Mentors; and Provide resources and next steps for jurisdictions interested in implementing a Veterans Treatment Court or looking to improve an existing program.
This training program "was designed to prepare corrections staff to develop and implement a victim services program that is both trauma-informed and victim-centered. The curriculum includes material that involves aspects of the following PREA standards: 115.16, 115.21–.22, 115.51, 115.53–.54, 115.61–.68, 115.73, 115.81–.83, and 115.86. The curriculum guides officials, step-by-step, through the process of establishing victim services programs in a variety of confinement settings; prepares staff members to carry out trauma-informed, victim-services programs, including collaboration with community advocacy agencies; helps create a corrections culture where reporting sexual abuse and sexual harassment is perceived as a viable option; and contributes to efforts to prevent, detect, and respond to sexual abuse and sexual harassment." The curriculum is made up of an Instructor’s Guide and Lesson Plans, pre- and post-tests, and presentation slides for the following seven modules: Developing a Victim-Centered Response to Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment; Understanding the PREA Standards on Victim Services; Understanding Sexual Abuse and Trauma; Reporting Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment; Sexual Assault Response Teams (SART); and Collaborating With Prosecuting Authorities.