Nampa Observation and Assessment Center Named Finalist for the 2017 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award

Posted by Patricia Rafferty
September 11, 2017

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is pleased to announce Nampa Observation and Assessment Center (O&A) as one of the finalists for the 2017 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award in the detention and assessment category. The facility was selected as a finalist for addressing use of restraints and room confinement.

Concerned their PbS data about restraints and room confinement showed rates about five times greater than the field average, the PbS team and new leadership at O&A developed a Facility Improvement Plan (FIP) to address the issue. Staff from all areas of the facility formed a team to work on the plan.

The team based their model on the Six Core Strategies to Reduce Restraints and Room Confinement by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). They surveyed staff and youth to gather more information on the perceptions of restraint and room confinement use, completed a gap analysis to identify specific needs and developed three primary initiatives for future incidents.

The new initiatives included: debriefing for youths following every incident, a debriefing process for staff following each use of restraints or room confinement and an upper management review of youths involved in multiple incidents. Prior to this initiative, youths had not been debriefed following incidents and the new process gave them a chance to talk with staff and rejoin their group in a timelier manner. Staff started to use debriefing cards for incidents that may have led to a restraint or room confinement to describe the situation, youth and staff safety, escalation of the incident, measures taken and what could be improved on in a similar situation in the future. The upper management review implemented by O&A evaluates circumstances and implements individual strategies for youths involved in multiple incidents.

The team has worked diligently to ensure the sustainability of these efforts. The staff training curriculum was updated to include effective de-escalation and appropriate use of force trainings on a regular basis. Supervisors continue to monitor debriefs and room confinement timing, review videos of incidents and utilize PbS data each April and October to track improvements. Data consistently shows the reduction in restraint use, room confinement and also in staff injuries. The team is confident that these changes will move O&A in a direction focused on treatment for the youths in their care.

The PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award was established in 2007 to honor Barbara Allen-Hagen and her retirement from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Her dedication to improving the quality of life in facilities for young offenders has helped drive PbS to its current success. The award is given to a correction, detention/assessment and community program who best exemplify PbS’ commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own by developing and implementing strategic plans to change practices that results in positive outcomes for youths, staff and families.

Winners of the award will be announced the night of the ceremony on Oct. 26, 2017. Stay tuned for more blogs about the finalists.

Nampa-Staff
Staff at Nampa O&A

Nampa-gymclass
Youths playing ball in the gymnasium

Nampa-mathclassMath class at O&A