The Staff Training Academy is responsible for training all new employees hired to work for the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. The Academy also provides annual In-Service training, Contract Staff/Volunteer training, Office Professional training, Jail Officer training, Instructor courses, and provides support for a variety of Quality/Leadership courses.
The mission of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services Staff Training Academy is to create and maintain a solid foundation of knowledge, skills and confidence by providing quality training and development opportunities for corrections professionals.
To Provide High-Quality, Meaningful Training
Value the Individual
The Academy is located in northeast Lincoln on the grounds of the Whitehall Campus. Many visitors from outside the Lincoln area will travel via Interstate 80. From Interstate 80, take the 27th Street exit south to Cornhusker Hwy. Turn east (left) on Cornhusker and move into the far right lane. Continue east in the right lane and that lane will become Adams Street after a few blocks. Continue east on Adams to 56th Street. Turn south (right) on 56th Street and proceed six (6) blocks to Walker Avenue. Turn east (left) on Walker and proceed 1 1/2 blocks. The Academy is located in the "Whitehall School" building with a parking lot provided on the east side of the building.
For those not coming in from Interstate 80, there are many ways to get to the Academy site depending on the direction you are coming into Lincoln. The closest main intersection to the Academy is 56th and Leighton Avenue. Once you are at 56th and Leighton Avenue, you will travel one block north and one and one-half blocks east to the parking lot. We also have a street map available for printing.
During fiscal year 2012 - 2013, the Academy recorded the following attendance:
MID-MANAGER CHEMICAL AGENT
The Pre-Service program is designed to provide new employees with the basic knowledge and skills needed to begin their career in corrections. Everyone hired to work as an employee for the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services, or as a contract provider, attends at least 102 hours of Academy training. Support employees with direct inmate contact receive a total of 124 hours of Academy training. Unit Caseworkers attend 140 hours of Academy training and Correctional Officers receive 164 hours of Academy instruction. The Academy also offers basic Jail Officer training that ranges from 63.5 hours to 93 hours.
The purpose of the Academy is to provide students with the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitude to start their career in Corrections. Working in Corrections requires a certain type of individual that can learn procedures, follow directions, perform essential skills, and maintain a professional demeanor during times of high stress. Not all individuals are suited for work in this environment. It is the responsibility of the Academy staff to recognize inadequacies and attempt to correct them. If correction is not possible or the individual refuses the correction, termination of employment will occur.
The Department of Correctional Services provides motel accommodations for staff attending training if they are assigned to the Work Ethic Camp in McCook. (Motel accommodations require approval by the Warden/designee.) Students will normally check-in on Sunday and check-out before classes begin on the final training day of each week. Approval by the Warden/designee is required for any special motel arrival or departure arrangements that may be requested.
PRE-SERVICE CLASS DESCRIPTIONS/HOURS
The following courses are designed to prepare new, full-time, and part-time employees for work in a correctional environment by giving them the basic knowledge, skills, and attitude necessary to assume their new positions.
DAY 1 (8 Hours)
The first day of Pre-Service is an orientation day for completion of personnel forms, IDs, uniform fitting, blood draw for a TB check, fingerprinting, and an overview of the Academy and the Pre-Service program. New employees will also complete an online defensive driving course that will prepare them for driving state vehicles.
INTRODUCTION TO STA (1 Hour)
This is the first hour of the first day at the Academy. Class members are given a tour of the facility, a review of the Academy rules, and introductions are made.
PERSONNEL ISSUES (3 Hours)
This course is an introduction to the Department’s expectations regarding Administrative Regulation 112.31, Code of Ethics and Conduct. The class will also examine the Department’s discipline and grievance procedures and introduce the class to the types of leave available and state observed holidays. The last 20 minutes of this class is set aside for a Union Representative to speak to the class.
DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT (2.5 Hours)
This course examines some of the historical aspects of discrimination and harassment in the United States, gives legal as well as ethical reasons prohibiting the practice of discrimination and harassment, and outlines the Department’s policy and practices in handling discrimination and harassment issues. This course is designed to encourage and promote a positive and productive work environment by sensitizing all NDCS employees to the effects of discrimination and harassment practices.
COMMUNICABLE DISEASES (1.5 Hours)
This course explains which bodily fluids carry pathogens, how to protect yourself from them, and what to do if exposed.
ORIENTATION TO CORRECTIONS (3 Hours)
An orientation to the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services that includes a brief overview of the Criminal Justice System, followed by more specific information about NDCS regarding history, mission, structure, and clientele.
REPORT WRITING (8 Hours)
This course introduces the participants to correctional reports and correctional report writing. It also includes the purpose of reports and the components necessary for an acceptable report. The participants will learn how to write reports based on the five (5) elements of successful report writing. Participants will also learn how to complete Misconduct Reports and Incident Reports based on scenarios.
CRIME SCENE AND EVIDENCE (1.5 Hours)
An orientation to crime scene procedures, including evidence collection and preservation.
ORIENTATION TO SAFETY AND SANITATION (1.5 Hours)
An overview of the Department’s procedures with regard to the safety and sanitation of the facilities, staff, and inmates. The instructor also discusses how the policies of the Department are applied/measured to ensure the goals of the Department are met and maintained.
SUICIDE ISSUES/HOOK KNIFE (4 Hours)
This course contains essential information regarding the identification and management of suicidal inmates within the NDCS. This course also discusses the myths associated with suicide, most commonly used methods, management of pharmaceuticals, and emergency response kits. Use of the hook knife is also explained.
USE OF FORCE (4 Hours)
This course will familiarize participants with the NDCS Use of Force policy as outlined by Administrative Regulation 116.2. This course will provide guidance and direction on the use of force and security equipment required by the employeees of NDCS.
CORRECTIONAL COMMUNICATION (2.5 Hours)
This course is an introduction to communication in the correctional setting. The content reviews basic communication concepts and how they relate to working with aggressive and non-aggressive inmates. Proper communication etiquette with staff is also reviewed.
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION (2 Hours)
To fully appreciate cultural differences, individuals must recognize the influence of their own culture on how they think and act. This course will explore these issues, as well as diversity and the dynamics of difference in the workplace.
BASIC LIFE SUPPORT/BASIC FIRST AID (7 Hours)
This course is designed to prepare employees for what to do in a medical emergency before medical help arrives, including how to recognize an emergency and how to respond. The instructor will also discuss ways to prevent injury and/or illness. Employees taking these courses will be certified in American Safety & Health Institute Adult CPR/AED and First Aid.
INTRODUCTION TO SECURITY (1 Hour)
This course introduces participants to the role of security in correctional operations. Discussion includes the importance of key control, tool control, searches, counts, and passes and their relationship to individual employee responsibility.
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS (4 Hours)
This course is an overview of the Department’s policies and procedures concerning emergencies that may occur in the institutions. The five step tactical plan, organizational structure, support functions, and hostage management will be discussed in detail. Participants will practice principles learned by conducting an emergency exercise.
RESTRAINTS AND TRANSPORTING INMATES (4 Hours)
The purpose of this course is to familiarize the students with NDCS security restraints, and to teach the students the skills and techniques necessary to properly apply restraints. The students will be familiarized with the policies and procedures regarding transporting inmates outside of our facilities.
SEXUAL ABUSE/ASSAULT AWARENESS (2 Hours)
This course provides an overview of the Prison Rape Elimination Act, Nebraska Statutes, and a review of NDCS policy prohibiting sexual activity with inmates, offenders, or parolees. NDCS Medical Protocol, Mental Health Procedures, and the Inmate Orientation information will be reviewed.
INMATE RULES AND REGULATIONS (3 Hours)
This course is intended to be a brief introduction to the rules and regulations that govern inmate behavior. The course will brief the students on the code of offenses, internal disciplinary process, and the possible disciplinary sanctions available to them. This course will also review the grievance, mail, and visitation procedures relevant to inmate control.
SUBSTANCE ABUSE (1 Hour)
This course explores the various aspects of substance abuse in the correctional setting, including how drugs enter facilities and their impact on the inmate population. The different categories of drugs, examples of both drugs and intoxicants, methods of ingestion, and the resulting physiological effects are discussed.
SEARCHES (7 Hours)
An introduction to contraband in a correctional facility and the utilization of various searches to control it. Key elements of the pat, strip, room, area, and vehicle searches are taught, including a practical application of the pat and room search. Professional conduct during searches and possible consequences of inappropriate actions are also discussed.
INMATE CON GAMES (3 Hours)
This course provides the student with an understanding of the manipulative offender personality, as well as the susceptible traits that manipulative inmates will look for in targeted staff members. The course will then discuss the methods of manipulation and the techniques staff can utilize to avoid manipulation through professional behavior and communication skills. Lastly, the students will apply what they learn to a Case Study involving staff manipulation followed by a large group discussion.
INTRODUCTION TO LEGAL ISSUES (3 Hours)
This course covers the legal basis for the NDCS policies and procedures. Course content includes inmate rights, employee rights, employee responsibility, employee and departmental liability, legal terminology, and courtroom behavior.
VICTIMS AWARENESS (1 Hour)
This course identifies basic victim issues that may occur in the public and correctional setting, as well as community resources available for assistance. The characteristics and awareness of the impact of victimization will be addressed in accordance with the criminal justice continuum. Protocol for staff victimization in the workplace will be covered to ensure that all staff understand their roles, responsibilities, and procedures in the event of a victim incident.
NDCS DRIVER REGULATIONS (1.5 Hours)
A review of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services policy regarding the use of state-owned vehicles and personal vehicles used for state business. A review of safe vehicle operation and driver performance is also conducted.
RELIGIOUS PRACTICES (2 Hours)
This is an introductory course on religious practices in the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. During this course, we will explore some myths about the practice of religion in NDCS, outline the legal framework governing religious practices, discuss the role of the religious coordinator, highlight department policy and procedure, and describe the religions presently accommodated by NDCS.
INMATE CLASSIFICATION (2 Hours)
This course provides an introduction to the inmate classification system. It covers Initial Classification, Reclassification, the Rating Factors, Central Monitoring, Overrides, Custody levels, and Administrative Segregation.
INCARCERATION: IMPACT & INTERVENTION PRINCIPLES (2 Hours)
This course is designed to enhance the participant’s understanding of inmates and some of the reasons for their behavior in the prison setting. There is an emphasis on the concept of prisonization and the specific psychological impacts of incarceration. In addition, this training provides information for staff about ways to interact effectively with inmates and ways to address manipulation. The three R’s of inmate accountability will be presented and the principles will be discussed.
CHEMICAL AGENT OVERVIEW (1 Hour)
This course is designed to introduce the participants to the chemical agents available to the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS). This course will include modern uses, types of chemical agents, and methods of deployment.
STRESS MANAGEMENT (2 Hours)
This course is designed to provide students with information about the different types and stages of stress, recognizing the emotional and physical effects of stress, and developing positive coping skills and prevention techniques to reduce the negative effects. Students will participate in an opening exercise that will identify their current personal stressors and their anticipated professional stressors. At the end of the course, students will then list positive coping skills tailored for them and their types of stress.
ADA ISSUES (1 Hour)
This course provides the student with an understanding of the NDCS policy regarding ADA/ADAAA. Definitions of common terms, such as 1) reasonable/unreasonable accommodation, 2) qualified individual, 3) disability, and 4) discrimination on the basis of disability, are explained.
FIREARMS (24 Hours)
This course provides instruction in the basic operation, safe handling, loading, unloading, and firing of the rifle and the shotgun.
LEVEL II – DEFENSIVE TACTICS (8 Hours)
This course teaches tactics from the PPCT S.H.A.R.P. (Sexual Harassment, Assault, and Rape Prevention) and Spontaneous Knife Defense courses. The tactics are simple self-defense tactics and are not intended for subject control. A review of applicable areas of AR 116.2 – Use of Force is included.
MANAGEMENT BRIEFING (1 Hour)
A welcome by the Director or designee and a briefing regarding current topics within the Department. A question and answer period is incorporated into the discussion.
NDCS QUALITY INITIATIVE (1 Hour)
This course is an overview of the Department’s quality efforts. Identification of customers, organizational culture, history of quality, what is quality, why quality, and staff’s role in quality is discussed.
LEVEL III – SUBJECT CONTROL TACTICS (22.5 Hours)
This course is designed to instill in participants a thorough knowledge of the PPCT Inmate Control program and the Department’s Use of Force policy as it relates to physical force/control. Participants are expected to know the levels of resistance and control, proper positioning, the principles and methods of control, and several types of restraint techniques. The second part of this course deals with PPCT Spontaneous Knife Defense techniques.
OC CERTIFICATION (4 Hours)
This course will introduce the integration of chemical agents to the Use of Force Policy. The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services goal is to minimize the potential injury to staff and inmates. This course contains the essential philosophy of the use of chemical agents, the responsibilities of the Staff, and the protocol in which to deploy chemicals. This course will describe the physiological and psychological effects of chemical use, the health and safety risks, as well as the decontamination criteria.
FORCED CELL MOVES (8 Hours)
A review of the Department’s Use of Force policy and how it applies to forced cell move situations. This course also provides an introduction to the Department’s procedure for conducting forced cell moves and the equipment necessary for the procedure. Practical application exercises in pinning, using riot shields, use of restraints, and forced cell moves will be done to emphasize conduct and teamwork. A mild chemical agent exposure is included in this class.
INTRODUCTION TO CERT/SORT/CNT (1 Hour)
This course is an introduction to the Department’s Correctional Emergency Response Team (CERT), the Special Operations Response Team (SORT), and the Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT). The purpose, structure, training, member qualification, equipment, and selection process are explained.
SECURITY THREAT GROUPS (2 Hours)
This course defines the term “Security Threat Group” and identifies the groups that are designated as Security Threat Groups with the NDCS. Each specific group is defined and examples/explanations are given for each. Reasons why individuals affiliate with a Security Threat Group and variables that encourage growth of Security Threat Groups within a prison are discussed. Why Security Threat Groups are detrimental to the Department and pertinent legal issues are presented. The responsibilities of an Intelligence Officer are explained and the names of the staff currently assigned these responsibilities are relayed to the participants.
Call the Academy for Pre-Service start dates.
The In-Service program provides annual recertifications and updates for all employees, contractors, and volunteers. While Security and Unit Staff account for the majority of the attendees, Food Service, Maintenance, Recreation, and numerous other job classifications attend this training annually. This program is updated at the beginning of each fiscal year based on an annual needs survey, student evaluations, and current correctional trends.
In-Service training for FY 13/14 will take on a different look compared to years past. The In-Service curriculum produced by the Academy will be 12 hours in duration. The 12-hour block will cover the basic recertifications required for the year and other mandatory topics (see schedule below). There will also be a mandatory 8-hour block of instruction online. The subjects covered in this online block will be mandatory for all employees. The majority of the employees will also be required to attend a 32-hour course of Crisis Intervention and Conflict Resolution.
LEVEL III – SUBJECT CONTROL (8 Hours)
This course begins with a lecture covering the cognitive material for the course, after which the PPCT Inmate Control and PPCT Spontaneous Knife Defense programs are reviewed. Inmate Control includes Pressure Points and Nerve Motor Points, Joint Locks, Defensive Counterstrikes, and Shoulder Pin. Knife Defense includes basic angles of attack, knife fighter profiles, rules for facing an edged weapon, strikes, and takedowns. A written test is administered at the end of the day
USE OF FORCE POLICY REVIEW (1 Hour)
This course will provide a review of Administrative Regulation 116.02, Use of Force, by utilizing a group exercise based on embedded videos. During this exercise, students will become familiar with the security equipment utilized by the employees, as well as the guidelines and directions of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services based on the most current policies.
INMATE RULES (1 Hour)
This class is designed to be an open book study lesson on the contents of the NDCS Rules and Regulations handbook. Students will research given questions and record their answers. A large group discussion will follow, covering all the questions and their correct answers, allowing the students to improve their knowledge and understanding of the NDCS Rules and Regulations for our inmate populations.
OC CERTIFICATION (2 Hours)
This course contains the essential philosophy of the use of chemical agents, the responsibilities of the Staff and protocol in which to deploy chemicals. This course will describe the physiological and psychological effects of chemical use, the health and safety risks, as well as the decontamination criteria.
ONLINE CURRICULUM (8 Hours)
Discrimination and Harassment/Workplace Harassment
Computer Usage Policy
Employee Assistance Program
Prison Rape Elimination Act
Charitable Giving Campaign
CRISIS INTERVENTION AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION (32 Hours)
This course will teach participants how to use effective defusing skills when managing conflict between two inmates in the institution. Once defused, participants will learn and practice how to conduct brief interviewing to determine the problem and will then facilitate the two inmates in a mediation process. Participants will practice how to refer inmates to the needed services within the institution and will discuss and practice how to manage suicidal or mentally ill inmates.
Call the Academy for In-Service start dates.
All Quality/Leadership programs will be put on hold for the training year 13/14 so attention can be focused on the Crisis Intervention and Conflict Resolution training.
The Academy is fortunate to have Instructor-Trainers within the Agency to provide Instructor training in the areas of American Safety & Health Institute CPR/AED/First Aid, PPCT Inmate Control, PPCT Spontaneous Knife Defense, PPCT SHARP, and Firearms. The Instructor Schools provide in-house opportunities for Agency staff to share their knowledge in specialty areas and become skilled in presentation techniques. The Academy also offers re-certification classes in the areas mentioned above
CPR/AED/FIRST AID INSTRUCTOR (24.0 Hours)
This instructor course is certified by The American Safety & Health Institute and is required for anyone teaching CPR or First Aid. This course prepares instructors to teach employees what to do in a medical emergency before medical help arrives, including how to recognize an emergency and how to respond. The instructor also learns ways to prevent injury and/or illness.
PPCT INMATE CONTROL INSTRUCTOR (40.0 Hours)
This instructor course is certified by PPCT Management Systems, Inc. and is required for anyone teaching Level III - Subject Control Tactics. The course covers Survival Learning Research, Control Principles, Reaction Time, Relative Positioning, Resistance Control Continuum, Tactical Handcuffing, Escort Position and Joint Lock Control, Pressure Point Control Tactics, Defensive Counterstrikes, Shoulder Pin, Impact Weapon/Collapsible Baton, and Weapon Retention & Disarming.
PPCT SPONTANEOUS KNIFE DEFENSE INSTRUCTOR (24.0 Hours)
This instructor course is certified by PPCT Management Systems, Inc. and is required for anyone teaching Level III - Subject Control Tactics. The course covers Survival Learning Research, Control Principles, Reaction Time, Resistance Control Continuum, Fundamentals of Knife Fighting, and Defense Techniques.
PPCT SHARP INSTRUCTOR (16.0 Hours)
This instructor course is certified by PPCT Management Systems, Inc. and is required for anyone teaching Level II - Defensive Tactics. The course covers Survival Stress, Prevention Psychology, Principles of Avoidance, Passive Releases and Escapes, Defensive Counterstrikes, and Disarming.
FIREARMS INSTRUCTOR (40.0 Hours)
This instructor course is required for anyone teaching Firearms classes for the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. The course covers Range Rules and Firearms Class Procedures, Ruger Mini-14 rifle, Remington 870 shotgun, H & K USP, and familiarization with emergency team weapons.
Call the Academy for Instructor School dates.
PO Box 94661
2320 N 57th Street
Lincoln, NE 68509-4661
Phone: (402) 471-1781