Twenty-four probation officers graduate ‘EPICS’ training

DOVER —Twenty four Probation and Parole officers graduated from the EPICS (Effective Practices in Community Supervision) training last week, according to the Delaware Department of Correction.

The six-month training included attendance at monthly “booster” sessions with the submission of taped interviews with offenders prior to each session. Participants were also required to practice their skills through role plays and with offenders assigned to their caseloads throughout training, said the DOC.

“I continue to be highly impressed by the dedication to public safety on behalf of our probation and parole officers,” Bureau Chief Jim Elder said in a statement. “Their unique role as law enforcement officers require them to not only hold probationers accountable, but also coach them toward pro-social living. This group’s completion of EPICS training and our continued expansion of evidence based practices mark yet another milestone on our journey toward 21st Century Community Corrections”

According to the DOC, the EPICS model is designed to use a combination of monitoring, referrals and face-to-face interactions to provide the offenders with a sufficient “dosage” of treatment interventions and develop relationships.

Community supervision officers are taught to increase dosage to higher risk offenders, stay focused on “criminogenic” needs and to use a social learning, cognitive behavioral approach in their interactions.

The training consists of three days of skill based training with up to 30 community supervision officers or case managers and supervisors, and is followed by a 6-8 month coaching period, noted the DOC.

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