Academy Blog | Train Better. Stay Safe.
Online learning is becoming a popular training and organizational tool for correctional facilities. Learn why online learning should be your facility’s next investment.
Many people associate online learning with college courses but are unfamiliar with its applications outside of attaining a college degree. While online learning is a fast-growing training and organizational tool for a variety of businesses, it is particularly well-suited for corrections officers given the nature of the job – which includes a heavy training requirement, regular policy updates and officers working varied schedules around the clock.
Online learning management systems are highly flexible, accessible anywhere, offer a wide variety of content, and can streamline processes for the entire facility.
Here are six reasons why you should consider implementing an online learning platform at your facility.
1. REDUCE TRAINING COSTS
Online learning can replace or reduce in-person training costs by allowing training coordinators to assign pre-course work before a classroom session. Correctional officers can read policies or memos, as well as watch lecture videos before arriving to class lectures which can help improve the effectiveness of hands-on training.
For example, before bringing officers into a training simulation, have them watch a video, assigned to them for completion in the learning management system, that introduces how the simulator works and read a training bulletin about the learning objectives for the simulation session. When personnel arrive, they can immediately receive the scenario briefing and begin the hands-on training experience, foregoing a lengthy lecture
Further, online training is ideal for annual training updates, such as a bloodborne pathogens refresher, that often require hiring an outside trainer or assigning an employee to deliver bloodborne pathogens training throughout the organization. Either route is time and budget consuming. A bloodborne pathogens course, loaded into the online training system, can be used for several annual training cycles and completed by corrections officers without bringing them to a classroom or an instructor to them.
Additionally, by decreasing the amount of off-site training required, facilities can cut down
overtime costs as well as costs for travel and shift coverage during off-site training.
2. ACCESS COURSES WITH EASE AND FLEXIBILITY
For most facilities, training is a burden because it’s not always accessible; Correctional officers need to travel to training, or a facility needs to coordinate with an in-person trainer. And apart from expenses, it’s often inconvenient.
With online learning, training is available anytime, anywhere on the following devices:
- iPhone and Android powered smartphones
- Desktop computers
- iPads, Kindle Fires, and Android powered tablets
This 24/7 accessibility means that corrections officers can access the online training system – a knowledge base of courses, policies, and resources – to complete training while on shift, during downtime or even during their off time if allowed by their facility. Off-duty training is especially well-suited to part-time officers, volunteers or personnel who work at more than one facility.
Online learning also opens the doors to a newer concept called microlearning. Training doesn’t need to happen in only 1-hour, 4-hour or 8-hour increments. Fifteen minutes during briefings might be enough time to quickly update officers on a policy revision or to view a short video on a feature update to the tracking software.
Unlike in-person training, online learning can be broken into smaller sessions that can be paused and restarted over multiple sittings.
3. PROVIDE THE LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES MILLENNIALS EXPECT
According to Pew research, millennials are the largest cohort in the U.S. labor force. If your facility’s ratio of young officers to veteran personnel hasn’t shifted yet, it soon will.
And millennials have different expectations from their employees than generations past.
Harvard Business Review released a study in 2017 about what millennials want in a work environment. The study spanned multiple industries, but the results were strongly focused on generation versus occupation. One of the primary outcomes was the millennials look for the opportunity to learn and grow within their occupation more than any previous generation.
Appealing to millennials’ desire for educational opportunities, through cutting-edge technology, is a great tool for recruitment and retention.
In addition to assigned courses, leverage the learning management system (LMS) vendor’s course library to offer optional or elective courses to all officers. Promote the availability of these courses, especially to millennials, who want to continue learning on the job and broadening their skill set.
4. IMPROVE TRACKING OF TRAINING
A combination of online training features like ease of use and high volumes of courses helps corrections officers with retraining and recertification.
Correctional officers have access to accredited courses that can be utilized more frequently than off-site or in-person training schedules allow. Digital time tracking means more training hours are counted, too. An online training system makes it easy to earn and document training hours for:
- Attending shift briefings
- Completing pre-course work before a hands-on training event
- Documenting participation in an inter-facility training exercise like an active shooter response drill
How does your facility currently track these hours and apply it toward annual requirements?
Can you make the process stronger? When facilities starting tracking their training with more efficiency and increased their volume of content through online learning, they noticed a better streamlined process for tracking training and credentials.
5. INCREASE ACCOUNTABILITY FOR REQUIRED CERTIFICATION
With online learning, training is tracked and progress is easily monitored by administrators, which means credentials are less likely to expire and compliance requirements are more easily adhered to.
In the event that a lawsuit arises, training records are subpoenaed or a regulatory audit occurs a training management system provides tracked, centralized documentation to report first responder facility-required credentials. This ability to track and grant credentials reduces liability.
6. ELEVATE OFFICER SAFETY
As any training coordinator knows, training is a sound foundation for a correctional officer’s career, but continuing education beyond minimum requirements for these topics — and addressing a wider-breadth of issues — is imperative for an officer’s overall effectiveness and on-the-job safety.
Finding an online solution provides your officers access to these critical training topics, as well as topics more specifically related to your community.
For example, if the opioid epidemic is currently plaguing your jail, online learning tools can provide your facility continuous access and up-to-date education to help keep your officers safe and effectively responding to overdoses and investigating narcotics trafficking.
When facilities implemented a better training program, it not only helped retain their officers because they felt more equipped to handle their job, but their training coordinator described how improved training about safer response saved their lives.
Learn how CorrectionsOne Academy can help your facility.
Most departments kick off a shift like they did on “Hill Street Blues” with roll call. It’s also the case that many departments haven’t fundamentally changed the way they conduct roll call since well before the TV show first aired in 1981.
The speed and scope of technological evolution have opened new doors for traditional procedures like roll call. Online learning is one way to leverage technology and make roll call more effective for everyone in the corrections facility. Here are five examples:
1. ADDRESS TIMELY TOPICS AFFECTING YOUR COMMUNITY OR AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT FOR YOUR OFFICERS
Learning management systems provide a large library of approved training resources, courses and videos that cover a wide-variety of subjects. This means it’s easy to access topics that your facility needs to cover quickly, such as situations involving a recent high-liability event in your area.
For instance, if a area in your community recently received a bomb threat, it’s likely the training lieutenant will go over the proper protocol for bomb threats during roll call. Rather than reading a general order word-for-word, training lieutenants can use an approved online course for a comprehensive, well-laid out training experience.
Administrators who use lesson plans, such as those provided by CorrectionsOne Academy, can ensure consistency and timeliness in messaging. No matter what shift you’re on, the online course will provide immediate access to the exact same information for every CO.
Additionally, follow up modules can be assigned for continued education and reading. This opportunity for additional training is especially useful for rookies who don’t have as much on-the-job experience as veteran officers, or for officers who want to dive deeper into a subject.
2. MEET ANNUAL TRAINING HOUR REQUIREMENTS USING DAILY BRIEFINGS
Often times, roll call training isn’t tracked the same as scheduled annual training, which doesn’t make sense. Roll call is valuable time that should be accounted for. By using a learning management platform, roll call training is conducted with accredited content and can be documented easily. For instance, if you’re using a CorrectionsOne Academy video during roll call the following next steps can help record participation:
- Select the personnel who completed the training.
- Add the date and time the training was completed.
- Submit the record for the credit completed into the LMS.
- Once the other videos on a similar topic are completed and equate to one hour of training, a certificate will be awarded to those who successfully completed the full course.
Online learning platforms make it easy for administrators to run and automate training reports so training progress, and roll call hours, can be easily monitored. And, by finding innovative ways to track training time, you can decrease the time officers are off the street participating in training.
3. LEVERAGE MICROLEARNING TO MAXIMIZE TRAINING
Online learning technology facilitates microlearning, which is a way of breaking up training into shorter “bursts”. Today’s modern LMS platforms should offer courses and videos in this format and provide a way for training captains to break courses up into smaller segments that are ideal for adult learners who may have short attention spans or limited time available for training.
This format of flexible learning aligns with the 5 to 15-minute window most corrections facilities have available for roll call training. Microlearning is increasingly critical for the challenging corrections schedule, and it allows personnel to fit small bits of learning into their hectic work and life schedules.
For instance, CorrectionsOne’s Active Shooter is a one-hour course comprised of 6 shorter videos:
- Shooting Tactic for Multiple Officers in Close Quarters
- Reality Training: Sparrow Firearms Training
- Active Shooter Update
- Equipment to Carry on an Active Shooter Response
- Multiple Active Shooters
- Responsibilities of the First Officer in an Active Shooter Incident
Officers can take each of these videos, individually and in short bursts. Once they’ve all been completed, the training videos equal an hour of approved credit in 5 states. Training can be completed in conjunction with other segments, too. Like, the Defensive Tactics and Leadership courses offered by CorrectionsOne Academy.
Additionally, microlearning has proven to be a better way to communicate important information. Learning from content accessed in short bursts, and content which is relevant to the individual, ensures retention and builds conceptual understanding. Not to mention, shorter content can make learning seem less intimidating.
4. SAVE TRAINING OFFICERS TIME WITH DEVELOPED ROLL CALL AGENDAS
Leading roll call can be a time-consuming process. Normally, at least one supervisor comes in early to gather materials and information to be presented during roll call. Searching for training tips or videos consumes valuable time, and if a training officer is rushed, the content during roll call can be less meaningful than it should be.
Online learning provides vetted and approved content that can quickly be identified and used in roll call.
5. EASILY COMMUNICATE BETWEEN SHIFTS
All agencies have policies and procedures that are introduced, revised or rescinded. Most times these changes need clarification, which tends to occur during roll call. But an offline version of roll call can create message variation between different shifts.
By centralizing roll call information within one online system, you can control the message to ensure your officers are all being told the same thing. You can also collect frequently asked questions from your officers to document standardized answers related to the policy change for future reference.
Technology has immensely improved the way agencies can conduct roll call. To learn more about how online learning can improve your department’s procedures – from roll call to credential tracking – read more on CorrectionsOne Academy.
CorrectionsOne Academy recently released new courses, expanding our training library of quality, high-liability topics that address today’s corrections related incidents. With a subscription to CorrectionsOne Academy, we offer exclusive access to some of the best training online.
With nearly 300 corrections courses, officers have access to training 24/7, in multiple formats, to meet compliance and credential requirements. Along with new and updated courses released regularly, our training solution offers features that simplify facility training, like course tracking, policy management, custom course creation, and more.
New/Updated Courses Released
- Introduction to Probation
As a Correctional Officer, you are part of the Criminal Justice system, which is made up of three parts: Law Enforcement, Courts, and Corrections. This course will explore the history and current applications of Probation and how they affect your job as well as the criminal justice system. We will walk through evidence-based practices, their benefits, and why they are imperative for everyday use by the probation officer.
- Safety First: A Refresher in Facility Security
This course will provide insight and understanding about the importance of reading the climate of the inmate population, enhancing observation skills, communicating with staff and inmates and maintaining good thinking skills to keeps tensions down in the facility while at the same time maintaining a high level of safety. The CO will learn how to recognize the possibility of inmate violence better, how to read signs of tension in the inmates and how to take proactive action to decrease, rather than escalate violence. The basis of this course is knowledge and awareness about inmate violence and how to prevent it as much as possible.
- Maintaining Boundaries for Corrections Staff
This course is designed to inform anyone that deals with or has contact with incarcerated inmates about manipulation. Inmates will go to great lengths to convince staff to abandon professionalism, common sense and their better judgment in order to violate professional boundaries. This course will discuss these main topics: knowing where you are, knowing who you are dealing with, knowing how inmates target and manipulate staff and learning safeguards and methods to resist the inmate manipulator.
- Building Financial Strength in First Responder Families
You have a great career as a first responder and you are making good money. How do you ensure you can retire with what you need? Many of us do not know the answer to that question. We often plan our budgets and spending, but how many first responder personnel sit down and plan for retirement? It is imperative to start planning for retirement early in your career. This course will provide a basic understanding of financial tools and requirements so that you can achieve economic health. Having a plan is critical to help reduce stress, alleviate ethical issues, maintain security clearances, and stop living paycheck to paycheck.
- CIT for Correctional Facilities
Corrections Officers are confronted daily with incarcerated individuals that suffer from mental illness. Handling incidents that involve those that are diagnosed with mental illness demand an urgency of response, services, and care. This one hour course is designed to increase correctional officers’ ability to recognize and respond to a mental health crisis in jail, prison, or another correctional facility.
In this video, experts Kerry Avery and PoliceOne Editor in Chief Doug Wylie discuss the new trend of blended learning to optimize comprehension of training in law enforcement.
Microlearning, also known as “modular learning”, has proven beneficial to law enforcement and corrections training because it delivers information in smaller, bite-sized chunks. Training in this format is more easily accessible and retained, improving learning outcomes. It’s frequently designed and available in a video-based format, making it ideal for adult learners and simple to consume.
Grow your skills as a correctional officer to help maintain safety and security at your facility with more than 100 courses and 300 videos from CorrectionsOne Academy. Easily manage and assign training, upload agency policies, and more in a robust online training platform.
With budget cuts and staffing issues plaguing many correctional facilities, finding the bandwidth to meet, manage and document mandated training or required professional certifications can be an uphill battle. As a response, facilities have begun to turn to online learning as an ideal training solution.
Training online offers inherent advantages. It’s cost-effective, it’s always available and it’s easy to track and manage. Online learning can also reduce risk.
Here are a few ways your online learning provider should help your facility meet its annual training requirements and decrease liability.
- ONLINE TRAINING CATERS TO STATE REQUIREMENTS
Online learning is customizable. So, whether your facility needs to adhere to state certification or internal requirements, you can ensure your program is compliant.
Your online learning provider should work with you to help you meet requirements in your state or region, regardless of how quickly mandates change. For example, our CorrectionsOne Academy platform is an approved online education provider, and continually adds and updates new courses to be in line with the latest industry standards.
Additionally, many modern online training solutions can deliver content on smartphones, tablets, or desktop computers, making them available anywhere, at any time. Tracking time, even if it’s short bursts during the day— like roll call training —can help your officers reach annual re-training requirements.
For many states, correctional officers must complete annual continuing education to maintain their certification. It can be difficult to accommodate coverage for each C.O. when you have an understaffed facility. Thanks to the accessibility of online learning, facilities can increase the number of training hours while reducing the number of hours an officer is absent.
- ONLINE COURSES CAN HELP FILL TRAINING GAPS AND DECREASE LIABILITY
It’s likely your facility needs to meet a number of specialized training requirements or mandates. You may currently be on the hook for identifying—and paying for—a range of instructors to conduct multiple, in-person training sessions. Online learning can greatly ease if not eliminate this burden.
An online learning provider with a comprehensive course library can efficiently deliver training for a large number of specialized topics that might prove costly to provide in a classroom setting.
In addition, by offering increased training opportunities, you are reducing liability costs at your facility, which can take a huge bite out of the budget. For example, in the U.S., approximately half a million correctional officers are responsible for supervising more than two million inmates, exposing them to unique workplace hazards within a controlled environment. According to Corrections Today, of all U.S. workers, correctional officers have one of the highest rates of non-fatal, work-related injuries. In 2011, correctional officers experienced 544 work-related injuries or illnesses per 10,000 full-time employees (FTE).
High-liability categories, which are all offered on the CorrectionsOne Academy platform, include:
- Use of Force
- Escorting Inmates
- Defensive Tactics
- Contraband Contol
- Mental Health in Jails
- Officer Safety
Having access to a broad library of online training courses is a viable solution to help improve officer safety, productivity and performance and decrease risk while staying within budget.
- REPORTING AND TRACKING PROGRESS MINIMIZES RISK
Maintaining accurate training records is as important as actually taking the required courses. Without proof of course completion and training compliance, one audit or legal issue can completely disrupt your facility.
One of the benefits of online learning is the streamlined electronic record of your facility’s training activity. A learning management system (LMS) enables correctional facilities to eliminate any makeshift or paper processes currently in use. This improved workflow benefits everyone, from personnel to the administration and leadership divisions.
For instance, if a correctional officer is unable to complete training in one sitting, courses can be bookmarked and completed at a later time. Training administrators and leaders can easily monitor the progress and the completion of assigned tasks. Then, anyone within the facility can easily pull a report for compliance in the event of an audit. Digitally organizing and tracking your facility’s compliance can also reduce liability in the case of a lawsuit.
- AN ONLINE TRAINING SOLUTION LESSENS BUDGET AND TIME COMMITMENTS
Often, facility’s budgets don’t align with the resources and time needed for officers to meet annual training requirements. This becomes a challenge for the Training Coordinator as an officer cannot be on call and scheduled for in-person training at the same time. So, will your facility plan training during work hours? Or will you pay for overtime?
What if some of those training sessions are only available in specific regions in your state and your personnel have to travel? Additionally, managing work schedules when officers are away at training adds another layer of complexity.
An online training platform can be the solution to these problems. The flexibility opens the doors to allowing officers to complete training in between cell block management or prison supervision, which cuts overtime costs and keeps your facility compliant. Further, it provides administrators with a tangible return on investment from both a time and monetary perspective.
Today’s correctional facilities are faced with complex training requirements and need cost-effective ways to ensure personnel is compliant with state standards. An LMS that offers high-quality courses and tracking can meet those needs.
Recently, CorrectionsOne Academy built a new tool to help facilities determine their cost savings by transitioning part of their required annual training to an online learning solution. Our ROI calculator estimates your current spend on training versus how much you can save on online corrections training with CorrectionsOne Academy’s platform.
The goal for this estimation tool is to demonstrate how moving part of your annual training to an online solution can positively impact your bottom line and reduce budget spending.
With our potential savings estimator, your facility can:*
- Evaluate the cost/benefit of purchasing an online solution
- Determine the time saved on tracking and reporting training
- Compare existing training procedures to our features & functionality
*Disclaimer: To receive your potential savings calculation, you must complete a demo of CorrectionsOne Academy with a sales representative.
CorrectionsOne Academy recently released new training courses to add to your training program. These courses, and 100s more, can now be assigned to your officers. With CorrectinonsOne Academy, facilities can assign training, track policy compliance, simply onboard new hires and more! Check out the new courses we’ve rolled our below.
New Full-Length Courses
Building Financial Strength in First Responder Families
1 HOUR – You have a great career as a first responder and you are making good money. How do you ensure you can retire with what you need? Many of us do not know the answer to that question. We often plan our budgets and spending, but how many first responder personnel sit down and plan for retirement? It is imperative to start planning for retirement early in your career. This course will provide a basic understanding of financial tools and requirements so that you can achieve economic health. Having a plan is critical to help reduce stress, alleviate ethical issues, maintain security clearances, and stop living paycheck to paycheck.
Maintaining Boundaries for Corrections Staff
1 HOUR – This course is designed to inform anyone that deals with or has contact with incarcerated inmates about manipulation. Inmates will go to great lengths to convince staff to abandon professionalism, common sense and their better judgment in order to violate professional boundaries. This course will discuss these main topics: knowing where you are, knowing who you are dealing with, knowing how inmates target and manipulate staff and learning safeguards and methods to resist the inmate manipulator.
Managing Special Inmate Populations
1 HOUR – This is a course about special inmate populations – the inmates that are not in the ‘mainstream’ inmate general population. Correctional officers are a type of specialist – they handle inmates with unique problems. Some inmates require more attention than others, and knowledge of these inmates is power. By properly handling them, you and your agency decrease the chances of being found liable in a lawsuit. This course gives you the tools that you need to safely supervise several special types of inmates. Correctional facilities are grappling with issues concerning inmates who are mentally ill, suicidal, are LGTBI, or are housed in isolation. Issues that are often the result of these populations include increased risk of suicide, assault of other inmates or staff, and harmful effects of isolation.
For more information on CorrectionsOne Academy, click here to schedule a demo or call 866.941.4090 to speak with one of our CorrectionsOne Academy representatives.
Our CorrectionsOne Academy content and accreditation team has made a collaborative effort this year to evaluate the latest trends and topics in corrections to help build a more in-depth training library for our clients. With the feedback provided by you, we’ve made the necessary changes to older courses, while continuing to add new and original content to our learning management platform.
On December 31, 2017, we will be retiring older versions of course content, with new versions going live on January 1, 2018. To ensure that you and/or your personnel have completed course requirements before they are either removed or updated, please review the list below to see what has changed.
- De-Escalation and Minimizing Use of Force
- Understanding and Responding to Excited Delirium Calls
- LGBIT Issues is now The LGBTQ Community
If you have questions or need assistance, please click here to contact your Customer Success representative.
CorrectionsOne Academy has released new courses to add to your facility’s training programs. These courses, and more, can be assigned to correctional officers and tracked for compliance. Read what’s available in our learning management system!
CIT for Correctional Facilities
Corrections Officers are confronted daily with incarcerated individuals that have a mental illness. This one hour course is designed to increase correctional officers’ ability to recognize and respond to a mental health crisis in correctional facilities.
Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)
This course is an overview that focuses on the importance of addressing sexual safety in Prisons, also addressing information on the risks of failing to comply with PREA Standards.