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Safety & Health in Corrections

HITEC III: Health improvement for correctional officers

Principal Investigator: Martin Cherniack

Correctional officers (CO's) are a relatively understudied working population, but an important segment of the public safety workforce. Their job tasks, while usually sedentary, are psychologically stressful and interspersed with emergency responses that often produce injuries. Working third shift and frequent mandatory overtime are also common requirements, especially for new officers.

The HITEC I and HITEC II studies of CPH-NEW (2006-2016) have helped to establish national recognition of these issues and their health risks. There is an urgent need for evidence-based interventions to improve CO safety, health, and well-being. HITEC III will take the promising interventions from HITEC II, and will study why the programs appear to be effective, which elements are essential for success, and how best to scale the programs from pilot to full implementation in all CT Department of Corrections facilities to achieve the maximum health impact.

The study will attempt to learn why some facilities and mentoring relationships are more successful than others; and if the resilience demonstrated in mentored cadets will persist. New cadets will be monitored for health and fitness throughout the program. Process evaluations will assess mentoring effectiveness at the facility level, including quality of training, mentoring, and mentor-mentee interactions.

Read more about the history of HITEC I and II studies.