BJA 2023 Spotlight, North Dakota
Lyle Mee serves as a Staff Development Coordinator at the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, James River Correctional Center.
Brandon Stoddart serves as a Staff Development Officer at the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, James River Correctional Center.
The staffing shortages at the James River Correctional Center are similar to those of most facilities across the country. With anywhere from zero to two new hires a month, Lyle and Brandon needed to become flexible and creative in implementing training for new hires. While classroom instruction does not need more people, physical training typically does. Lyle and Brandon worked to provide the training to the new hires as soon as they came in, meaning one-on-one sessions in some cases. They coordinate with the Field Training Officers (FTO) to ensure new hires are given a comprehensive experience with training. For example, the new hires receive instruction and are then given an opportunity to learn those skills “on the floor” with the FTO.
With so many extremely small classes, Brandon and Lyle opted to bring the new employees back in groups periodically throughout the following year to provide refresher training. With more participants, the new staff are able to find additional support on the job.
In addition, Lyle has assisted in bringing mindfulness practice to the training arena for existing staff as part of a wellness initiative. He is always looking for new ways to support staff better and improve training.
We congratulate Lyle Mee, Brandon Stoddart, and the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on their successful innovative training initiatives to better prepare and support staff long-term.