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 2014-2015, the Academy recorded the following attendance:
ONLINE FIRST AID/CPR
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 100 hours of Academy training. Support employees with direct inmate contact receive a total of 156 hours of Academy training. Unit Caseworkers attend 172 hours of Academy training and Correctional Officers receive 196 hours of Academy instruction. The Academy also offers basic Jail Officer training that ranges from 75 hours to 109 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.
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 (4 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 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.
DIVERSITY & 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.
ORIENTATION TO NDCS (4 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. Important aspects of security are discussed, including key and tool control, counts, and searches.
BASICS OF CORRECTIONAL REPORT WRITING/EVIDENCE (4 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. Evidence and crime scene basics as well as proper completion of an evidence tag are also included.
ORIENTATION TO SAFETY AND SANITATION (2 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.
COMMUNICABLE DISEASES (2 Hours)
This course explains which body fluids carry pathogens, how to protect yourself from them and what to do if exposed.
CORRECTIONAL COMMUNICATION (2 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-agressive inmates. Proper communication etiquette with staff is also reviewed.
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.
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.
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.
SEXUAL ASSAULT/ABUSE AWARENESS (2 Hours)
This course will provide participants information regarding the Prison Rape Elimination Act and the zero-tolerance policy of NDCS; preventing, detecting and responding to all forms of sexual abuse in confinement; and maintaining professional boundaries with inmates. This course will meet all training requirements outlined by the Federal PREA standards.
LEGAL ISSUES (1.5 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.
INMATE RULES AND REGULATIONS (3.5 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.
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.
RESTRAINTS AND TRANSPORTING INMATES (6 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.
COMPUTER LOG-ON BLOCK (2 Hours)
This block is used for assisting students with their initial sign-on to the NDCS computer network, the Nebraska Inmate Case Management System, the Payroll and Financial Center, and the Employee Work Center.
SEARCHES (6 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.
USE OF FORCE (4 Hours)
This course will familiarize participants with the NDCS Use of Force policy as outlined by Administrative Regulation 116.02. This course will provide guidance and direction on the use of force and security equipment by the employeees of NDCS.
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. Students will demonstrate principles learned by participating in a tabletop exercise.
INMATE CLASSIFICATION (1 Hour)
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.
SOCIAL WORK (.5 Hours)
This course is designed to give participants introductory information about the role of Social Work Services within NDCS and to give guidance on when to make referrals to social work and how to do so.
PAROLE ADMINISTRATION (1 Hour)
This course is a brief overview of the Parole Administration of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. Participants will learn the difference between the Parole Board and the Parole Administration, the purpose of parole, the reentry process and the components of Parole Supervision.
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.
SECURITY THREAT GROUPS (1 Hour)
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.
BASIC LIFE SUPPORT/BASIC FIRST AID (8 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.
FIREARMS (24 Hours)
Thise 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 is a basic level course on defensive tactics that includes tactics from the PPCT Management Systems, Inc. Escape and Evasion and Spontaneous Knife Defense programs. The tactics included are intended to be simple self-defense tactics and are not intended for subject control. This course also includes discussion regarding the NDCS Use of Force policy.
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.
INCARCERATION: IMPACT & INTERVENTION PRINCIPLES (2 Hours)
This course is designed to enhance the participants' 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.
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.
CHEMICAL AGENT OVERVIEW (2 Hours)
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.
CRISIS INTERVENTION/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 facilitiate 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 patients.
OC CERTIFICATION (6 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 and the health and safety risks, as well as the decontamination criteria.
LEVEL III - SUBJECT CONOTROL TACTICS (26 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.
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 control shields, use of restraints, and forced cell moves will be done to emphasize proper conduct and teamwork.
INTRODUCTION TO CERT/SORT/CNT (2 Hours)
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.
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.
BASIC SECURITY REVIEW (2.5 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. The students will become familiar with the fact that it is the policy of NDCS that security and control of inmates be maintained consistent with its mission to maintain a safe, secure and humane environment for inmates, staff and public.
LEVEL III REVIEW (1.5 Hours)
This class will discuss cognitive components of pre-event tactical considerations and of PPCT Inmate Control Tactics. It covers Use of Force Human Factors, Control Principles, Escort Position and Joint Lock Control, Pressure Point Control Tactics, Defensive Counterstrikes, and the Shoulder Pin Restraint System. PPCT Level III Review and PPCT Level III Subject Control Tactics are required per A.R. 114.05 for all regular full-time Custody positions and Professional Specialist employees that have daily or regular contact with inmates. For a complete breakdown see attachment A of A.R. 114.05.
USE OF FORCE POLICY REVIEW (2 Hours)
This course will provide a review of Administrative Regulation 116.02, Use of Force, by utilizing a pre-test and discussion evaluating student knowledge of legal, Amendment based court decisions relative to the evaluation of excessive force claims which assist in the forming of NDCS Use of Force guidelines. Group discussion based on embedded videos evaluating actual Use of Force incidents in regards to NDCS U.O.F. policy. Group discussion and lecture regarding the guidelines and directions of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services based on the most current policies.
OC RECERTIFICATION (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 and the health and safety risks, as well as the decontamination criteria.
PPCT LEVEL III - SUBJECT CONTROL/KNIFE DEFENSE (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, and Defensive Counterstrikes, and Shoulder Pin Knife Defense includes basic angles of attack, knife fighter positions, rules for facing an edged weapon, strikes, and takedowns. A written test is administered at the end of the day.
ONLINE CURRICULUM (8 Hours)
Workplace Harassment Policy
Computer Usage Policy
Driving State Vehicles
Call the Academy for In-Service start dates.
EXCELLING AS A FIRST TIME SUPERVISOR
This course covers survival techniques necessary for the smooth transition from line staff to supervision. This course includes policy review, forms completion, coaching, performance feedback, goal setting, and other pertinent issues.
7 HABITS FOR HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE
Personnel Leadership course that was developed by Stephen Covey. This course examines the 7 habits ahnd how they can lead individuals to a rewarding and fulfilled life. This course is a required companion course to Excelling as a First Time Supervisor.
LEADERSHIP: GREAT LEADERS, GREAT TEAMS, GREAT RESULTS
Leadership development for middle and upper management that concentrates on what it means to be a great leader, understanding that it takes a radical new paradigm for leading in the Knowledge Age, framework for solving chronic leadership problems, practical leadership skills and how to unleash your employees' talent.
This is a year-long leadership program that is available to Department employees that have at least 3 years of tenure. The program explores various leadership principles, including what are important correctional leadership qualities. The course requires specific reading, participation in group projects and attendance. This program is part of the Department succession planning curriculum.
Please contact Brad Hansen for more information.
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 Escape & Evasion, 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 ESCAPE & EVASION (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, Control Principles, Principles of Avoidance, Pressure Points, 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