Mentor helps with career transition
Quietly working behind the scenes, a dedicated group of custody and non-custody staff are creating and piloting a peer-mentoring program at three facilities: CSP-Sacramento, Kern Valley State Prison, and California Health Care Facility. The goal is to guide new correctional officers as they transition into their careers.
Who is behind the project?
The Commission on Correctional Peace Officer Standards and Training (CPOST) is a joint labor and management body. Established through Penal Code to create and monitor training standards for entry-level correctional peace officers, and first-line and second-line supervisors.
Since its re-establishment, CPOST staff and Commissioners have worked diligently to improve new officers’ work experience during apprenticeship; draft and implement training standards; and promote staff development and programs focused on staff health and wellness.
For two years, CPOST collaborated with CPS HR, a public sector human resources consulting firm, to facilitate job validation studies. The results include updated and reevaluated essential functions for all entry-level correctional peace officer classifications.
Launching Job Shadow program
Recently, CPOST launched a job shadow program at CSP-Sacramento, bridging the transition of newly graduated officers into the correctional environment. Graduates, upon successfully completing the academy and new employee orientation, will shadow seasoned/experienced officers in a variety of post assignments.
The program helps orient and acclimate new correctional officers while they work alongside knowledgeable staff to learn job intricacies.
Other projects underway
CPOST also facilitated a Stress Resiliency Symposium featuring psychologists, chaplains, educators, and other experts. They discussed scientific research on intervention strategies, evidence-based practices on wellness training, and ways to transform correctional culture.
CPOST intends to host additional forums to foster stress resiliency and improve the health and wellness of the department’s workforce.
Meetings for CPOST are held bi-monthly and open to the public. The meetings offer a way to discuss new training initiatives and examine the on-going training needs of the workforce. Employees are invited to share ideas and attend one of the commission’s meeting.
For more information on the commission and its meeting schedules, visit cpost.ca.gov.