Revised Position Statement on Violence in Correctional Settings is Released - National Commission on Correctional Health Care
May 16, 2023

Revised Position Statement on Violence in Correctional Settings is Released

The NCCHC Governance Board has approved a new position statement, Public Health Implications of Violence and Correctional Settings. The statement replaces Prevention of Violence in Correctional Settings, released in 2013.

Interpersonal violence is a complex phenomenon that often interplays with trauma and victimization. Correctional health programs serve individuals who have often been victims and perpetrators of interpersonal violence. These programs are well-poised to play an important role by addressing violent behavior in the correctional environment as a public health strategy. Perhaps an equally important role is to identify and treat, in a culturally responsive manner, the individuals who have lived with violence in their lives. Since most of those who are incarcerated eventually return to their communities, these interventions and treatments might help to reduce violence across settings, carceral and community alike, as well as during transitions between settings, which are high-risk periods.

There is increasing recognition of the role of trauma in violence and strategies to create environments and communities with reduced violence. Also, broader public health intervention techniques may be more effective than focusing solely on socioeconomic interventions for instrumental violence and political interventions for gang violence. Various models can interrupt violence by public health detection, prevention, and intervention strategies.

Implementing programs that foster a safe environment for people confined to and working in correctional settings should be a priority for all correctional facilities. Many health care providers and correctional officers lack the appropriate training to do assessments and interventions related to violence. Thus, it is critical that all staff in a correctional setting receive appropriate training regarding violence and violence prevention strategies and have access to appropriate resources to cope with violence they witness.

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