Many have reached out to the UCCI team about how to continue delivering quality services during the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing requirements. In this way, we offer these general guidelines and resources to support your continued efforts through these extraordinary times.
Thank you for your dedication and continued efforts during this period of uncertainty. While public safety continues to be our number one priority, sometimes the best way to reduce reoffending is to remove barriers. In these times, remember that it is acceptable to focus on a person’s basic needs. The economic impact of COVID-19 will likely affect many people under supervision, so providing education around government responses and resources may be necessary. While some sessions may involve practicing emotion regulation skills, others will focus on crisis intervention rather than criminogenic needs; this is okay.
Many will use alternate methods such as phone or video to maintain contact with individuals on their caseloads. If you plan to remotely deliver group interventions, preferably choose options with video so that you are able to monitor role plays and other practice opportunities and provide constructive feedback. Please see below for additional resources.
Thank you to those individuals who continue to maintain safety, security, and programming in jails, prisons, and residential facilities. As we adjust to this “new normal”, please consider the following CDC recommendations around social distancing and group activities from
- Limit the size of group activities
- Increase space between individuals during group activities
- Suspend group programs where participants are likely to be in closer contact than they are in their housing environment
- Consider alternatives to existing group activities, in outdoor areas or other areas where individuals can spread out
- Note that if group activities are discontinued, it will be important to identify alternative forms of activity to support the mental health of incarcerated/detained persons.
There are many online COVID-19 resources to support the correctional community. Please find a few of those resources below.
- American Probation and Parole Association COVID-19 Community Corrections Resources
- CDC Interim Guidance on Management of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Correctional and Detention Facilities
- The Council of State Governments COVID-19 Resources for State Leaders
- National Council on Crime and Delinquency COVID-19 Resources for Child Welfare and Justice Agencies
- National Institute of Corrections Coronavirus Information
- Remote Best Practices for Community Supervision
- SAMHSA Training and Technical Assistance Related to COVID-19
- Crime and Justice Institute - Listing by state of policy updates in institutional settings
The UCCI is here to support you. Please let us know if you have more specific questions with which we can help.