Wolf Administration Wins Federal Grant for Corrections and Parole Crisis Intervention Training

November 08, 2017

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC), in partnership with the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, has been awarded a federal grant totaling almost $280,000 to implement crisis intervention training (CIT) for staff members in community corrections centers, mental health contracted providers and parole supervision.

The funding, provided by the U.S. Department of Justice through the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program, will allow more than 180 DOC and parole staff to work with county first-responders and mental health providers already trained in CIT.

“The Department of Corrections and Parole professionals currently serve more than 1,200 people living in community corrections facilities, including an estimated 300 individuals with mental health diagnoses,” Governor Wolf said. “This grant will help these professionals learn how to best handle a crisis to ensure the safety of those living in facilities, as well as the residents and communities in these areas.”

Of the more than 46,000 inmates currently in Pennsylvania state prisons, 31 percent have a mental health diagnosis, a figure that has increased significantly in the past decade.

“The DOC has been actively developing new policies and treatment programs to address the growing population of those with mental illness with the understanding that more than 95 percent of them will return to the community one day,” said Wetzel. “This grant will allow us to build upon the work already being done and provide potentially life-saving training to staff helping individuals prepare to reenter the community.”

“This intervention training grant will provide our parole officers a better understanding of the various types of mental health distresses a person might have and when someone may be experiencing a mental crisis,” said PBPP Chairman Leo Dunn. “We are proud that these grants will offer the assistance, skills and resources to our agents to identify those in need of mental health care and to seek out appropriate treatment services.”

The training will be piloted in Allegheny, Berks, and Mercer counties and focus on centers located in Pittsburgh, Reading, and Sharon.

In addition to CIT training in the three identified counties, DOC will conduct an evaluation on the impact of CIT in Community Corrections settings. If the evaluation is positive, CIT could be instituted for community corrections staff across Pennsylvania.

The DOC has so far provided Crisis Intervention Training to 1,508 staff members, of whom 1,002 are correction officers.

SHARE Email Facebook Twitter