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Legislative Agenda - Corrections
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With quadrupled populations over the last 25 years, offenders have multi-system issues that require release planning, evidence based programming and advocacy for:

  • Changing the correctional social work focus to include rehabilitative programming
  • Drug court
  • Advanced training relevant to addressing inmate needs in a correctional setting
  • Increased inmate access to group programming, including sufficient facilitation materials and appropriate meeting space;
  • Loan forgiveness legislation to be amended to include social workers that work in the state prison system; 
  • Salaries that are commensurate to others working in specialized and high risk areas;
  • Additional resources, (ie. screening tools, assessments by staff trained in same) are needed within Corrections for those suffering from a dual diagnosis disorder.  Many inmates are being housed within Corrections, yet are not being treated appropriately for their mental health diagnosis.  Not having appropriate individual access to Mental Health Support can result in other issues.  (ie:  one with anger management issues may cause a riot, one with a SUD who is going through withdrawal may create conflict among peers or have other undiagnosed health ailments);
  • Inmates, regardless of religious denomination, should be allowed equal access to prayer services on site within their leadership;
  • Increase in Video Conferencing (Telecommunications) for familial contact.  Many of the inmates (or juvenile residents) are placed in facilities hours away from their family and, therefore, are unable to see them during weekly visits.  Though more facilities are obtaining Videoconferencing units, many have only one or two allowing minimal use during the time allotted.  The additional videoconferencing units may aide in maintaining positive outside supports for the inmates, and may also further be utilized within family therapy sessions with the social worker; and
  • Ensure the proper security for the social workers within the facilities at all time - increase the training for the correctional social worker for both sexual harassment and assault.
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