Performance-based Standards (PbS) is very pleased to announce Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex- West Female (KJCC) in Topeka, KS as one of the finalists for the 2018 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award in the correction category. KJCC was selected as a finalist for their comprehensive Facility Improvement Plan (FIP) to develop a more effective, responsive and attentive suicide precaution program.
The administrative team at Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex has long understood the importance of suicide assessment, detection, and prevention. However, it wasn’t until 2012 that serious efforts were made to improve all aspects involved in this process. After significant consideration and planning, the team narrowed its focus down to six (6) critical points. The team found deficiencies in several areas and decided to focus on these areas to improve suicide prevention precautions.
1. Implementation of a proactive and creative approach to managing crises to include daily Behavioral Health living unit rounds and offering every youth the opportunity to talk to a behavioral health professional every weekday. This implementation has been very successful in deflecting crisis level behavior before it occurs.
2. The provision of dedicated resources on the living unit to include an on-unit Behavioral Health Professional, along with a full-time Activity Therapist. The specific focus of the increased Behavioral Health Professional’s presence is to provide a more timely and accurate response to any sort of potential self-harming or suicidal behavior.
3. The implementation of evidence-based curriculums focusing on gender-specific topics and trauma.
4. The administration adopted a plan for culture change that included the notion that limiting the use of room confinement, isolation and restricted housing would decrease the frequency and volume of self-harming and suicidal behavior.
5. Improvement of overall awareness in the facility by requiring all staff to participate in an eight hour Mental Health and Juvenile Justice training with a serious focus on youth suffering from issues related to mental health, suicidal behavior and trauma.
6. An increased emphasis and utilization of multidisciplinary teams to better understand each and every youth on an individual basis.
The team at KJCC has been working diligently on this improvement plan for over five years and continues to see positive results in their data.
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 Aug. 3, 2018. Stay tuned for more blogs about the 2018 finalists.