Bureau of Corrections to Provide Certification, Training to Staff

Wynnie Testamark, Director of the Bureau of Corrections

The Virgin Islands Bureau of Corrections (BOC) has partnered with the American Correctional Association (ACA) to provide a Correctional Behavioral Health Certification and Training Program (CBHC) to BOC staff and to other partner agencies and entities in the V.I. Government.

This is the first event of its kind to be held in the V.I. The goal of the training program is to educate correctional and allied professionals (custody, civilian and clinical) on how to identify and address the behavioral health needs of persons under their care.

The training will follow Performance Based Standards and Expected Practices established by the ACA. It will cover the following topics:
Inmate care and treatment
Special health needs and services
Medical and legal issues relative to behavioral health
Identifying signs and symptoms of mental disorders during intake screening before entry into the facility and during high risk periods of incarceration
Identifying suicidal offenders and understanding suicide assessments, observation and intervention strategies in the correctional setting
Understanding the multidisciplinary treatment team methodology
Identifying and addressing substance abuse behaviors
Understanding co-occurring mental disorders and the various treatment protocols

The training will last for a minimum of 40 hours and will be conducted by three ACA expert trainers in the areas of security, behavioral health and administration from the ACA’s Office of Correctional Health. Upon completion of the training, appropriate staff will qualify for national Correctional Behavioral Health Certification administered by the ACA.

The training will take place daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., May 13 through 17, at the Buccaneer Hotel Banquet Room on St. Croix.

For more information, contact Vernita Bicette of the Bureau of Corrections at 778-0400, ext. 6804 or via email at vcharles@boc.vi.gov