By James M Katz, BA
Crisis intervention in the correctional system is an important and necessary component of providing effective support to individuals going through difficult times. With the current population of inmates coming from a wide variety of backgrounds, it is essential for correctional facilities to have a plan in place that can provide immediate help to those struggling with mental health issues. This post will provide an overview of how crisis intervention works, its importance in maintaining a secure and healthy environment for inmates, as well as the different types of interventions available.
In the modern criminal justice system, corrections officers are responsible for providing a safe and humane environment for inmates. This task can be particularly challenging when faced with individuals in crisis. Crisis intervention team involves using specific strategies to de-escalate a situation, rather than relying solely on physical force. It is important that corrections officers understand the principles of crisis intervention and have the skills to respond appropriately and effectively in any given situation. The field of corrections is highly complex and carries with it a wide range of challenges. With the introduction of crisis intervention practices, correctional facilities have been able to better equip their staff in responding to difficult situations. Crisis intervention training has emerged as an essential tool for managing inmates and disrupting violent behaviors before they escalate out of control. This article below examines how better mental health resources is not only reducing the costs of corrections but improving the lives of potential suspects even before incarceration.
“There’s no doubt that among the ways Cuyahoga County could reduce costs and crises at a crowded, inefficient County Jail sorely in need of expensive renovation or replacement is by reducing the jail population. That can be accomplished through bail reform and more efficient, fairer management of cases. But it also could be achieved by making sure that suspects in need of treatment for mental health or addiction are diverted for appropriate treatment first.
That’s what the Cuyahoga County Diversion Center that opened to great fanfare more than 1 1/2 years ago was for. The center on East 55th Street is operated by Oriana House in conjunction with the Alcohol, Drug & Mental Health Services Board of Cuyahoga County.
More needs to be done to divert those in distress to treatment and not just straight to jail: editorial By Editorial Board, Cleveland.com Nov 27, 2022
What is Crisis intervention?
Crisis Intervention is a form of psychological support or counseling that helps individuals who are in the midst of a crisis. This type of therapy focuses on providing immediate and practical assistance to help individuals restore balance and cope with their current situation. Frequently a crisis intervention team will be deployed in situations such as national emergencies to assist in providing interventions.
The main goal of crisis intervention training is to reduce the level of distress experienced by an individual in order to prevent further psychological harm. A qualified mental health professional works with the individual to identify feelings and behaviors, assess needs, provide resources, develop strategies for coping and problem solving, and assist them in making positive changes. The therapist also provides emotional support and encourages healthy communication between family members or friends if needed.
Crisis intervention can be used for those experiencing any type of traumatic event such as natural disasters, physical or sexual abuse, bereavement or loss, illness or injury.
Benefits of Crisis Intervention Counseling
Crisis counseling is a type of therapy that helps individuals and families manage their responses to difficult life events. It typically takes the form of brief interventions aimed at helping those in crisis regain control, reduce stress, and develop coping strategies for more effective problem-solving. Crisis counselors are trained to identify the signs of an impending crisis, assess its severity, and provide immediate assistance.
The benefits of crisis intervention include improved communication skills, increased self-awareness, enhanced understanding of personal strengths and weaknesses, improved decision making skills in high-stress situations, better problem-solving abilities, increased emotional regulation skills such as anger management or impulse control strategies. In addition to these short term benefits, crisis counseling can also lead to long term positive changes such as decreased anxiety levels and stronger overall mental health.
Challenges of Crisis Intervention
Crisis intervention is an important part of mental health care, and it has its own unique set of challenges. It involves responding to a person who is in crisis – they may be feeling overwhelmed, confused, and out of control. Crisis intervention requires professional expertise to help the individual address their immediate needs and develop a plan for long-term recovery.
The goal of crisis intervention is to quickly assess the situation, identify any underlying causes or triggers, develop coping strategies and problem-solving skills, and ultimately provide support for an individual’s recovery. It can be emotionally challenging for both the counselor and the person in crisis as emotions are often running high. Therefore it is essential that counselors provide compassionate yet professional support during this difficult time. Additionally, counselors must take into account factors such as cultural background or language barriers when determining how best to approach a situation.
Strategies for Effective Crisis Intervention
Crisis intervention can be a difficult task, especially during times of intense emotional distress. Therefore, it is important to know the strategies for effective crisis intervention so that individuals in crisis can receive the help they need. Learning the fundamentals of crisis intervention helps create an environment where individuals are more likely to receive assistance and support.
One effective strategy for crisis intervention is active listening. Active listening involves responding thoughtfully and respectfully to what someone in a state of crisis is saying. It also requires giving them your full attention while they speak and avoiding distractions or passing judgment on their situation. Additionally, it’s important to remain present with them throughout their expression of emotions and feelings without attempting to provide solutions right away. This basic skill of active listening can go a long way towards helping someone who is facing a learning crisis feel heard, understood and accepted in order to begin healing from their experience.
Impact on Corrections System
Crisis intervention has been a key asset to the corrections system in recent years. It has allowed inmates and corrections officers to learn how to better handle crisis situations within the prison environment, while also providing inmates with an outlet for their emotions. Crisis intervention can help inmates better manage their feelings and reactions when faced with difficult situations, instead of resorting to violence or aggression.
Studies have shown that those who receive crisis intervention training are more likely to be successful in navigating learning crises than those who do not receive the training. This is especially true for those who have experienced trauma in their lives prior to being incarcerated. Through crisis intervention training, these individuals can learn strategies for managing difficult emotions and developing constructive ways of responding in high-stakes situations.
In conclusion, a crisis intervention team in the correctional system is an essential element of providing quality healthcare to incarcerated individuals. Crisis intervention has been proven to reduce recidivism, increase mental health stability, and improve overall wellbeing. Correctional systems can benefit from a comprehensive approach which includes both preventive and reactive strategies. It is important that the correctional staff and health professionals work together to ensure that all inmates have access to the resources they need during times of crisis.
Crisis Intervention not only has a huge impact on the criminal justice world but other areas of mental health care as well. If you are a licensed counselor, a mental health professional or perhaps work in a field that deals with crisis every day then maybe you would be interested in our Crisis Intervention Certification program? All of the crisis intervention courses are available online and are on open enrollment. For more information please visit our certification page.
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Improving Mental Health for Inmates. Heather Stringer /www.apa.org/ March 2019, Vol 50, No. 3
Mental Health of Prisoners: Prevalence, Adverse Outcomes, and Interventions. Seena Fazel, et al. The Lancet Psychiatry, Volume 3, Issue 9, 2016, Pages 871-881, ISSN 2215-0366.
Utilizing Crisis Intervention Teams in Prison to Improve Officer Knowledge, Stigmatizing Attitudes, and Perception of Response Options. Canada, K. E., Watson, A. C., & O’kelley, S. (2021). Criminal Justice and Behavior, 48(1), 10–31.