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Volume 2, Issue 1 (2018)

JEPCH vol 2/1 Evidence-based practice in correctional settings

By Deborah Shelton, PhD, RN, NE-BC, CCHP, FAAN, Editor in Chief Professor Emeritus, University of Connecticut Nurse Consultant, Shelton Consulting Services

There is a growing body of evidence generated from within correctional settings, or that can be applied to correctional settings. This new issue provides you with new and exciting evidence that is practice-based. Evidence-based practice (EBP), as described by this Journal, is the body of knowledge derived from research and clinical studies that describes the best contemporary practices in correctional health. It still holds today, that EBPs provide guidelines for the efficient management of correctional and community supervision agencies to meet our expectations for quality (Serin, 2005). In holding this true, two primary outcomes that have held over time to which we apply these efforts are public safety and reduction of recidivism. How we achieve these outcomes varies in the pathways different states implement their systems. Given the different settings, populations and goals, and different points along the continuum of criminal justice involvement, we have learned that these components are interconnected, success in one area leads to success in another.

Key issues that impact implementation of EBPs in correctional settings include organizational culture and priorities, staff recruitment and training, and the role of staff. Organizationally, this calls for continuity between incarceration and transition to the community. Rigid silos among services and personnel are not functional considering what is known about EBPs in corrections. Recruitment need aim for staff with education and certifications that indicate competency in correctional care. Leaders at a minimum should have skill to determine what constitutes an EBP. Lastly, staff must remain competent and current in their knowledge and practices. Keeping eyes toward standards of excellence are the only way to meet our stated outcomes.

With these thoughts in mind, we hope you enjoy this next issue of JEPCH.

Articles

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Correctional Nurse Competency and Quality Care Outcomes
Deborah Shelton, Bill Barta, and louise A. reagan