Through the Suicide Prevention Resource Guide, the National Commission on Correctional Health Care and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention have joined forces to work toward reducing the incidence of suicide in jails and prisons. The guide focuses on three areas key to suicide prevention in corrections: assessment, intervention and treatment, and training. The aim is to educate the field on how to better identify and help inmates at risk for suicide, safely manage those identified as at high risk, and provide consistent, comprehensive training to all involved personnel.
Jails and prisons may find this checklist useful for guiding reentry planning and helping to ensure the safety of employees and people who are returning to their communities.
Unreasonable workloads, perceptions of insufficient staff, role problems, less control or autonomy, a lack of support at work or home, and exposure to violence were associated with greater stress among jail officers. Jails with characteristics that threatened order and security—having more inmates per officer and greater levels of inmate violence—had higher levels of stress among officer workforces.
The purpose of this article is to review systems-level factors that impact implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs) in corrections which are often less understood in the research.
Correctional officers work in dangerous environments that increase their risk of injury. Their rates of nonfatal injuries are among the highest across all occupations (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016). In recent decades, technology in correctional settings has advanced significantly, and new equipment and devices to improve correctional officer safety have become increasingly prevalent. However, equipment deployment across facilities varies. In addition, little is known about the specific equipment modalities used in different facilities, the effectiveness of this technology, or how correctional officers and other facility personnel perceive safety equipment.
Wherever you interact with criminal offenders, there is a real danger of assault, attempted escape and the necessity to control offenders by force. This is true whether you work inside a juvenile facility, an adult prison or a local jail or you are a probation or parole officer. Most correctional officers want things to run smoothly, and do not look for trouble. They do not abuse offenders or throw their weight around. They want to get through a 25-year (or more) career and retire in good health. The key to doing that is staying safe, and the key to safety is a cautious mindset.
The idea that offenders respond to the costs and benefits of crime dates to the eighteenth century, following Beccaria and Bentham. Becker  provided the first modern and mathematical treatment of the subject, giving a new impetus to the school of thoughts initiated in the 18th century. The main levers of criminal law are the probability of being caught and the severity of the sanction. It is widely accepted that the probability has an influence on crime level (Garoupa ; Polinsky and Shavell ). In this context, an increase in police forces has a negative influence on crime level (Marvell and Moody ; Levitt ). The impact of the severity of the sanction appears to be more undermined.
With a community-based, participatory approach guided by the TWH paradigm, it was feasible to implement a multilevel needs assessment to identify jail workplace characteristics that inform health promotion and protection interventions. Parsing these data to describe unique characteristics of rural and urban jails and how to tailor interventions based on their needs is critical. In future studies, researchers using CBPR methods may reveal unique worker characteristics and workplace stressors for evidence-informed occupational therapy interventions to address workplace health.
As telehealth expands, communities across the country are looking for information on how best to facilitate connections to care for people with serious mental illnesses being discharged from jail. This webinar hosted by the Stepping Up partners focuses on increasing connections to care in a changing world, featuring tips and strategies directly from counties.
In 2017, the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) partnered in advocating for policy makers to consider what it would take to look “Beyond Beds” in state hospitals as a single solution to all the challenges and instead develop a path toward a robust continuum of accessible, effective psychiatric care. Now, three years later, NASMHPD and SAMHSA highlight the first point of entry into that continuum of care- to prevent and manage crises in a way that offers an immediately accessible, interconnected, effective and just continuum of crisis behavioral health services. By enhancing crisis response, community needs can be met, and lives can be saved with services that reduce suicides and opioid-related deaths, divert individuals from incarceration and unnecessary hospitalization and accurately assess and stabilize and refer individuals with mental health, substance use and other behavioral health challenges. This paper, Crisis Services: Meeting Needs, Saving Lives, furthers the Beyond Beds strategy by describing this vision. By knitting together several bodies of work on crisis services, it sets the stage for the next iteration of a national dialogue for developing and expanding that much needed continuum of quality mental health and substance use care for all who need it, when they need it.