Working with difficult forensic involved consumers ultimately rests at the county level. FSS, utilizing state-wide and nationally recognized practices, provides consultation, training and hands-on support to county governments to improve and coordinate services in the forensic arena.
FSS provides consultation for the development of urban, rural and regionalized CIT programs focusing on the Core CIT Principles of Partnerships (problem solving task forces), Training (from three hour training modules to 40 hour CIT Certification Classes) and Data Collection (essential for grant-writing and research). FSS provides consultation in developing a county or regional Forensic Interagency Task Force to create a One System approach rather than fighting turf wars and overcoming individual silos.
The primary goal of training is to promote officer, staff and inmate safety when interacting with inmates in crisis.
Training Modules for Corrections include:
Mental Illness: Recognizing Signs and Appropriate Interventions;
Crisis Communications / De-escalation;
and Assessing the Risk of Violence and Impairment.
Each course assists county prisons in meeting nationally recommended training standards for suicide prevention and intervention instruction, as well as those of the Pa DOC. An additional training module can focus on communications between corrections and police, in-house treatment staff, county behavioral health/crisis, and persons in recovery and families. Mental Health First Aid for Corrections is also available. System Review FSS can conduct a review of county prison suicide prevention policies and procedures with recommendations referencing current national standards.
FSS Law Enforcement Training promotes officer and citizen safety when interacting with individuals in crisis and/or suffering from symptoms of a serious mental illness.
Utilizing a “street cop” approach, training focuses on the questions: How do I recognize the signs of mental illness? And what do I do with it once I recognize it?
Other training modules include:
De-escalation and Crisis Communications;
Assessing the Risk of Violence and Impairment;
and Managing Officer and Family Stress.
Although six hour introductory classes and 40 hour certification classes are the core of the training, specialized and focused trainings are also available. Issue focused training (such as hoarding, bath salts, overdose prevention, etc.) keep officers aware of the most up-to-date information. Joint training with 911 operators, probation, forensic case managers as well as school or hospital security personnel helps to foster better communications and problem solving within the community. Mental Health First Aid for Law Enforcement is also available.
FTAC’s staff experience in leading collaborative cross-system innovative programs to improve the administration of justice for individuals with a serious mental illness dates to the 1990’s. FSS can assist in creating a Specialty Court such as Mental Health Courts. Training for Court staff on both the Common Pleas and Magisterial level can also be provided.