In honor of Parole Supervision Week, the directors at the Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO) released the following statement on the division’s guiding principles:
DAPO guiding principles
Over the years, DAPO has made fundamental improvements to community supervision. Once limited to sanctions, recent efforts have shifted toward identifying the risk and needs of parolees and responding accordingly. DAPO has recognized that there are areas worthy of expanding to meet the core objective of community well-being and safety.
To that end, DAPO has committed to enhancing existing services by focusing on five guiding principles:
- Family Systems
- Community Partnership
- Engaged and Informed
- Employee Wellness and Diversity.
These principles recognize that whole-person care applies to parolees, families and victims as well as staff. The delivery of substantive, thoughtful and safe access to resources is essential.
With continued integrity and honesty, DAPO staff will enhance advocacy for parolees by ensuring the responsivity to identified needs is appropriately matched.
The communities and families with which parolees reintegrate are vital components to the parolee’s success and community safety.
The guiding principles emphasize incorporating family systems theory as well as enhanced community presence and partnerships. This helps ensure smoother reintegration pathways are available. Utilization of technology and other resources are encouraged so that barriers to meeting goals and reintegrating are lessened.
DAPO’s Behavioral Health Reintegration (BHR) program has embarked on a restructure, emphasizing case management needs of parolees and their families. The new model focuses on establishing detailed and individualized assessment of needs. The team establishes short- and long-term plans to meet identified goals and objectives.
Although the emphasis is on case management needs and links to community resources, BHR clinicians will also provide brief clinical intervention as well as group and family systems support services.
Clinicians can help agents with wellness checks
BHR clinicians are also available to engage in community wellness checks with parole agents to engage high-need clients. The new BHR model blends ideally with the essence of DAPO’s guiding principles and, while working in tandem with parole agents, will be a functional support to meeting DAPO’s overarching goals.
The fifth principle, employee wellness and diversity, could arguably be the most crucial component to the success of DAPO’s efforts. The nature of DAPO is to support and care for the needs of others. Creating adequate space for staff to address their own need for support has often become secondary.
Under the new guiding principles, giving staff wellness equal importance to other departmental objectives solidifies DAPO’s commitment to changing the old narrative. DAPO recognizes the importance of addressing the mental, physical and spiritual well-being of DAPO staff. Staff-centered programs and services have been initiated, or are in development, to address DAPO staff’s unique needs.
To off-set stigmas for those seeking support, a wellness confidentiality policy is being initiated. It is the intent to also make these services easily available to staff so that seeking help does not become an additional chore.
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