As jails and prisons have increasingly become one the largest providers of medical services to the public sector, the need for specialized training for professionals who tend to the health care and custody of the population has grown. As the prevalence of individuals with (1) co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders, (2) HIV/AIDS, (3) juveniles, and (4) the geriatric and terminally ill has risen in correctional settings, so too has the urgency for training and educational programs for professionals who come into contact with these population risen. Not surprisingly, all state and federal, private and public agencies that set standards for clinical practice and accredit programs delivering health care services, regard specialized training as an essential element for adequate program development and implementation.
The reality, however, is that while there are some very good curricula, there are few already developed that facility managers can use or modify for use in their settings. Additionally, even in states with court orders and consent decrees in effect regarding health service delivery, there are rarely sufficient resources or knowledgeable staff to develop curricula and provide training in a systematic manner over time. The Center anticipates that the cross-training-of providers will be among the most efficient strategies for improving intra-agency policies and inter-agency collaborations and coordination regarding individuals with health care needs who come into contact with multiple agencies over the course of their involvement with the juvenile/criminal justice systems.
General Training Activities
The Center will develop model curricula for training personnel within the justice settings, and specific provider groups, about the needs of special populations who come into contact with the criminal justice system and available community service providers. The special populations include those with HIV/AIDS, juveniles, women, geriatrics, and the terminally ill, co-occurring with behavioral disorders.
Training will be provided to judges, attorneys, probation and parole officers, police, correctional officers, and correctional health care professionals.
The Center will develop an interdisciplinary seminar to be conducted for students at Maryland's Schools of Medicine, Law, Nursing, and Social Work, Pharmacy, and Dentistry. Center staff will provide didactic material and teachers for an interactive educational experience. This program will provide professionals intending to pursue public service careers the opportunity to gain focused knowledge on issues associated with the provision of these services to clients involved in the criminal justice system.
The Center will develop field placements for students in medicine, social work and nursing within community and criminal justice settings. The abundance of resources to be shared among all participating agencies will make it possible to provide students the rare opportunity to rotate through multiple training sites in Baltimore, throughout Maryland, and surrounding jurisdictions. It is the intention of the partners to seek accreditation from relevant entities once the program is established.
The Center will establish a resource library and inventory of training and educational materials, research papers, quality improvement reports, and other published and unpublished papers on programs and strategies in building integrated health care delivery systems.
Specific Training Activities
IAPSRS One-Day Training Conference - The Center, in conjunction with the National GAINS Center, will conduct a one-day training at the International Association of Psychosocial Rehabilitation Services Conference. The title of the presentation is "Transitional Issues for Person's with Mental Illness Both Before and After Serving Jail/Prison Term."
Correctional Academy Training Curriculum - The Center has applied to the "Governor Glendening's Professional Development Fund" to develop a series of training programs that would familiarize Maryland's correctional officers with knowledge and understanding in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and trauma.
Toolkit - Over the past eight years, efforts to disseminate the MCCJTP model (for program description of MCCJTP, look under the section 'Service Activities - Current Services') have culminated in the publication of a Program Focus report by the National Institute of Justice in April 1999. Following this publication, there has been a steady stream of requests for further information on how to replicate the MCCJTP model in other jurisdictions. In order to address these requests, Jack Scott, Sc.D., will be developing a 'toolkit' which will include two program manuals. The first manual will incorporate a Learning History of the MCCJTP model by describing how the program has grown over the past eight years. This first manual will provide a wealth of ideas and suggestions for how the model can be developed in other localities. The second manual will accompany a copy of the electronic database we have created for the program (for description of computerized database of MCCJTP, look under the section 'Research Activities - Current Research'). This second manual will explain how to use the database to track service use and service recipients through their own program. This 'toolkit' will allow other jurisdictions to expand this successful program model to their communities.