Corrections Behavioral Health Team Provide Training for Yakima County Corrections Staff

Last month, the Corrections Behavioral Health Team provided training for Yakima County Corrections staff. Sparked by the Disability Rights of Washington’s settlement agreement, our team was able to provide in-person training to the individual squads. Every Department of Corrections (DOC) employee who has direct contact with incarcerated individuals was a part of this process. Four, four-hour blocks covered topics such as Americans with Disabilities Act, Cognitive Disabilities, Suicide Prevention, and De-escalation.

Led by Chief Bill Splawn of the Yakima County Department of Corrections, our team facilitated discussions on a variety of topics. Highlights of the training included Therapist Whitney Gregory discussing Suicide Prevention, and Behavioral Health Specialist Heather Hassing working de-escalation. “I believe the training was successful because it helped build rapport and positive working relationships. It also provided good information on each topic presented, with the goal of offering YCDOC staff new insight on previously known material,” commented Whitney Gregory.

We were offered a platform to look into how these topics impact people, and furthermore, how those people are impacted by the criminal justice system. This is an extremely challenging environment, and the environment itself impacts client’s mental health. “I think that the training encompasses the mental health and correctional roles that are collaborative and strengths-based,” said Heather Hassing.

We work alongside Corrections staff daily to ensure the wellness of those individuals. We want to thank all of the officers who help us engage with clients, help us carry out our treatment, and keep us safe so that we can continue to provide treatment to those incarcerated at the Yakima County Jail.

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