Training and development
There is no better protection against the effects of prison and probation work than a sound knowledge base, a keen sense of professionalism and the confidence to accurately deal with the offenders, hence the importance of training and development activities.
“Neither is there a better guarantee against the treatment of a person deprived of his/her liberty than a properly trained prison officer“ (Council of Europe Recommendation 12/97).
Managing people in correctional contexts is a demanding and highly complex task, with the organization of the prison system depending on many actors that compel a continuous balance of apparently conflicting needs.
Offenders are often the most troubled, vulnerable and damaged members of society, and, as such, they present significant emotional, physical and psychological challenges to prison management and staff.
The job of a prison officer is therefore highly challenging and inherently stressful (Crawley, 2004), and those who do it need a range of skills and competencies if they are to carry out their role in an effective and professional manner.
There is no better protection against the negative effects of prison work than a sound knowledge base, a keen sense of professionalism and the confidence to accurately deal with the inmate population.
Fostering optimal and innovative conditions to motivate people is a core factor in the development of prison and probation services
Innovation holds a primary role on human motivation at work. In an environment increasingly characterized by turbulence and constant change, organisations – namely those working in corrections – need to be constantly looking for new solutions to increase effectiveness.
Bringing innovation to traditional, hierarchical, and complex organisations is not an easy achievement. With different corporate cultures, complex organisations – that often desire to be managed as a systems – only accomplish to be run as articulated archipelagos of different organisational structures.
Innovation is induced by changes in society perceptions of the mission and role of correctional services; changes in the legal frameworks; the introduction of new technology and processes; or the integration of external services and the cooperation with civil society organizations.
It should involves technological transformation and management restructuring.
At IPS, we conceptualize and deploy criminal justice innovation initiatives, processes, procedures and tools aiming at exploiting new ideas leading to the creation of a new services and processes that add value and/or improve quality.
INNOPRIS: an example of innovation in corrections using new learning methods
INNOPRIS is a unique game storming tool that we have developed to help prison and probation services’ staff make accurate assessment and planning.
Fostering constructive prison and probation environments and operations
In corrections, this topic is crucial, as well-run organizations are brought into being by intelligent and competent leadership.
In the current context of correctional systems – just as it happens with other organizations – leadership plays a key role in their management and sustainability.
Many contemporary leadership theories seek to explain how leaders should proceed in order to achieve high levels of commitment and what roles they must play in order to achieve this.
Within this framework of thought, the development of key managerial skills-oriented for potential leaders in specific prison and probation management settings, along with other training scopes, can be very important.
Our leadership development training courses (using both traditional face-to-face methods and/or e-learning and gamification approaches) are developed with the broad aims of:
Additionally, the following are an excerpt of training courses that we have developed from scratch and that we’re experienced providing:
The staff’s professional skills of any penal or probation service are key-elements of its quality and success
Education and continuous training are of utmost importance. Managing people in prison and probation settings is a demanding and highly complex task, as it depends on many individuals who compel a continuous balance of apparently conflicting needs.
In this respect, the Council of Europe has issued the following recommendation: “Neither is there a better guarantee against the treatment of a person deprived of his/her liberty than a properly trained prison officer“ (Council of Europe, Recommendation 12/97).
Offenders are often the most troubled and damaged members of society, and, as such, they present significant emotional, physical and psychological challenges to prison management and staff.
The jobs of prison and probation officers are, therefore, highly challenging and inherently stressful, and, in order to be carried out in an effective and professional way, those who do it need a range of differentiated skills.
We have extensive experience in the design and deployment of:
Prison education programs need qualified educators who must be dedicated teachers
It takes a lot of resiliency on the part of teachers to overcome the obstacles presented by correctional environments, with these educators requiring special training and orientation to the peculiarities of teaching in scenarios where security tends to be the top priority.
Given the specific nature of teaching imprisoned individuals (youngsters or adults), teachers’ training is crucial for the success of learning initiatives within corrections.
An accurate and assertive training of teachers that work in prison settings surely increases the quality of prison teaching, the interest of teachers in prison education, and helps in the quality assurance of learning.
Our experience with the training and development of teachers has been attained through our participation in several transnational projects, namely EIGEP, EISALP and DIACEN.
At IPS, we’re highly qualified to develop prison education and education in juvenile justice contexts, by means of providing tailored resources through common initiatives and collaboration.
Thereby, in this area of expertise we develop:
Developing a most trained, capable and modern police sector
Many law enforcement units are facing challenging settings when it comes to moving towards the achievement of a modern strategic vision. In order to achieve this, it is necessary to create an organizational development and change intervention that targets all levels (Strategic, Governance, Operational and Enablers) thoroughly with sufficient level of linkage and correlation. Plus, education and training activities are of utmost importance within this sector.
Our projects concerning the police sector are related to the provision of support for modernization requirements, whilst delivering additional capacity building:
We provide consultation and integrated training solutions to communities by leveraging their professionals’ skills and their intervention power
In this scope, we aim to strengthen the capacity of individuals and organisations to understand, identify and respond to the needs of the community members and their targeted vulnerable audiences.
We work collaboratively with individuals and organisations in order to identify gaps in the community and provide proper responses to these needs, such as: training, specialist consultation, access to resources, identifying referral pathways, and to support, develop and implement strategies that will improve community safety and the psychosocial reintegration of offenders and audiences at risk.
It’s important to foster stability in the communities by upgrading and developing the competences of their practioners in several fields.
An example of an ongoing transnational project in which we take part is Frame Gang. This project is addressing the leveraging of community professionals’ skills, and puts forward a work plan to develop pilot tools, materials and a training methodology that identify competences needed for engaging within local communities affected by gang activity, to harness their local knowledge and meaningfully increase their understanding and capacity to act in gang environments.
The role and value of volunteers working with offenders (or former ones), their families and victims of crime is undisputed
And that’s why their collaboration highly depends on their training.
We’ve developed and we supply a best practice guide on volunteer recruitment, training and support, and volunteer training programme.
This toolkit outlines the step-by-step to deliver tailor-made training for volunteers in the criminal justice system, aiming at assisting organisations in identifying training needs and arranging the most suitable training, focusing on specific themes to address those needs.
Regarding volunteer training and development activities, we can work with volunteering promoting organisations, with volunteering beneficiary organisations or with volunteers themselves (or volunteer associations).
Each module of the training, which is run in a b-learning method (blended learning) has a presentation and activities to be performed by volunteers in order to achieve the learning outcomes.
These activities can be written
assignments, group assignments, debates, quizzes or role-plays.
The contents of this training programme are as follow:
Build up your correctional skills anytime, anywhere, at your own pace
We develop tailor-made, face-to-face and online training programs using new methodologies, and we’ve already trained more than 1500 prison staff members in different countries over the last years, designing courses to meet the specific needs of each jurisdiction and function.
These courses can be found at the Corrections Learning Academy — an online educational platform for Correctional professionals, created by IPS, with a growing course library, from flexible self-paced programmes to instructor-led training courses.