Skip to Main Content

2019 National Symposium on Corrections Worker Health

The Center for the Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace (CPH-NEW) in collaboration with Suffolk University invites you to attend the 3rd National Symposium on Corrections Worker health. The symposium will bring together corrections leaders, corrections officers (COs), practitioners, university researchers and government representatives to explore current evidence and practice about the promotion of corrections worker health and well-being. The goal is to identify new research opportunities, and strengthen collaborations and evidence based policies and programs that address the critical health and safety challenges of this workforce. This meeting will occur the day preceding the American Correctional Association's (ACA) 148th Congress of Correction, also in Boston, MA. The event will take place on August 1, 2019 at Suffolk University Law School, Sargent Hall. 120 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02108.

Who should attend this National Symposium?

  • Researchers interested in corrections workers health & safety
  • Correctional health practitioners
  • Correctional leaders and officers
  • Labor representatives
  • Government agencies in corrections and occupational safety & health

Registration is closed. A Webcast option is also available. Accommodations are available for an affordable rate through Suffolk University; rooms are located adjacent to the symposium venue. See event flyer (pdf) for details.


August 1, 2019
Suffolk University Law School, Sargent Hall
120 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02108

8-8:30 a.m.Breakfast and Check-in
8:30-8:40 a.m.Welcome
Mazen El Ghaziri, Ph.D., M.P.H., RN & Lisa Jaegers, Ph.D. OTR/L
8:40-8:50 a.m.Background on National Corrections Collaborative:
Martin Cherniack, M.D., M.P.H.
8:50-9 a.m.Welcome and Remarks by Middlesex Sheriff:
Peter J. Koutoujian
9-9:10 a.m.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health:
Updates at the national level- Paula L. Grubb, Ph.D.

9:10-9:20 a.m.National Institute of Justice:
Updates at the national level-Angela Moore, Ph.D.
9:20-10:30 a.m..Panels on Intervention models for improving CO Health and well-being (Panels 1 and 2)
9:20-10 a.m.Panel 1: Correctional Officers:Health challenges of life as a CO
Connecticut Department of Correction
Middlesex Sheriff Office peer Support Program- Lieutenant Mike Kelley;
Pennsylvania Department of Correction- Wellness Initiatives- Deb Sahd, Special Assistant to the Secretary, and Lucas Malischak, DBA, Director of Psychology;
American Correctional Officer Intelligence Network (ACOIN)- Founder- Brian Dawe
10-10:30 a.m.Panel 2: Intersectionality of restorative justice and workplace health: Scott Erfe, District Administrator, Connecticut Department of Correction and Vera Institute of Justice (Restoring Promise)
Bridging reentry/ transition services with workplace health- Lisa Jeagers, Ph.D. OTR/L
10:30-10:45 a.m.Break
10:45-11:10 a.m.Presentation 1: CO Suicide in Mass. (NIJ funded study)
Natasha A. Frost Ph.D and Carlos Monteiro, Ph.D.
11:10-11:35 a.m.Presentation 2: MO Findings on PTSD, critical incidents and participatory interventions- Lisa Jaegers, Ph.D. OTR/L
11:35 a.m.- NoonPresentation 3
Noon -1 p.m.Lunch
1-2:30 p.m.Round table presentations and discussions (30- minute sessions at each table; choose 2)
Table 1: Shift work and extended hours in corrections
Table 2: Corrections and substance use
Table 3: Interventions directed to support CO family life and CO work-life balance.
Table 4: Workforce-led efforts to deal with substance misuse.
Table 5: Interventions directed to critical incidents and post-traumatic stress, mental health
Table 6: Issues around using EAPs and other services for CO stress-related and other problems
Table 7: Labor-management joint approaches to health, safety & wellness
Table 8: Other? ("wellness", assault/violence prevention, psychosocial work climate.)
2:30-3:10 p.m.Roundtable Reports: Five-minutes summaries from each discussion table
3:10-3:25 p.m.Break
3:25-4:15 p.m.Panel of Correctional Administrators: Leading change - perspectives of Corrections administration:
Cheryl Cepelak, Deputy Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Correction
Scott Lennon, Asst. Superintendent/ HR Director, Middlesex Sheriff's Office
Lisa Peterson, Ph.D., Clinical Director, North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Anne Precythe, Director of Missouri Department of Correction
Caterina Spinaris, Ph.D., LPC, Desert Waters Correctional Outreach, Inc.
4:15-4:30 p.m.Closing Remarks: 
What's next: Cheryl Cepelak, Deputy Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Correction
4:30-4:45 p.m.Evaluation
Martin Cherniak, M.D., M.P.H.Professor of Medicine
Co-director CPH-NEW
UCONN Health
Cheryl CepelakDeputy Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Correction
Brian DaweFounder- American Correctional Officer Intelligence Network (ACOIN)
Scott ErfeDistrict Administrator, CT Dept. of Corrections
Mazen El Ghaziri, Ph.D., M.P.H., RNAsst. professor,
Susan and Alan Solomont School of Nursing
Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences
University of Massachusetts Lowell
Natasha A. Frost, Ph.D.Associate Dean for Graduate Studies in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities
Associate Professor School of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Northeastern University
Paula L. Grubb, Ph.D.Acting Team Leader
Work Organization and Stress Research Team
Division of Applied Research and Technology
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Lisa Jaegers, Ph.D. OTR/LAssistant Professor
Occupational science & Occupational Therapy, Doisy College of Health Sciences
School of Social Work, College for Public Health & Social Justice
Co-Director, Health Criminology Research Consortium
Saint Louis University
Lt. Mike KelleyMidddlesex Sheriff's Office
Peter J. KoutoujianMiddlesex Sheriff
Scott LennonAsst. Superintendent/ HR Director Middlesex Sheriff Office
Lucas Malischak, DBADirector of Psychology Office
Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
Carlos Monteiro, Ph.D.Assistant Professor, Sociology
Suffolk University
Angela Moore, Ph.DDivision Director, Justice Systems Research Division
National Institute of Justice
U.S. Department of Justice
Sarah Namazi, MSPh.D. Candidate in Public Health
Graduate Research Assistant, CPH-NEW
UConn Health
Lisa Peterson, Ph.DClinical Director
North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Anne PrecytheDirector of Missouri Department of Correction
Deb SahdSpecial Assistant to the Secretary

Agency Staff Wellness/ Grievance Office/ Agency VC Coordinator
Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
Caterina G. Spinaris, Ph.D., LPCExecutive Director
Desert Waters Correctional Outreach
TBD - Speaker - Vera Institute of Justice (Restoring Promise)
TBD - Speaker- CT DOC