Impact Georgia Magazine - Regaining Momentum Spring 2021 - Page 14

IMPACT IMPACT GEORGIA GEORGIA MAGAZINE MAGAZINE

MULTI FUNCTIONAL OFFIC

“ Multi-Functional Officers create a positive environment within the facility while building professional relationships with offenders .”
- Robert Toole , Director of Facilities Division
The Georgia Department of Corrections ( GDC ) has historically utilized Multi- Functional Officers to assist and support offenders identified as requiring mental health services . The Office of Reentry Services recognized a need to provide additional reentry support services to those offenders and has collaborated with Facility Operations in expanding the duties of the Multi- Functional Officer as a way to help facilitate those services .
A specialized training curriculum was developed to provide these Officers with the knowledge and skills necessary to better understand the population for which they are providing services . Following completion of Basic Correctional Officer Training , officers must also complete sessions on managing and assisting offenders housed in specialized living units . Additionally , officers are provided with in-depth training on standard operating procedures in order to assist them with ensuring established methods are followed while performing their duties .
“ It gives a basic background in counseling , which helps to understand different cultures and actions of offenders . It also aids with handling tense situations and adds another tool in our tool belt when dealing with offenders and in everyday life .”
This supplemental training has proven successful in equipping the Multi-Functional Officers with the appropriate tools and access to resources in order to better assist offenders in their reentry process .
- Multi-Functional Officer Rentz
“ The Multi-Functional Officer position provides an opportunity of growth in their careers , and it also allows security staff to have the ability to prepare an offender for reentry . The training gives them the tools they need to be successful . ”
- Sonja Brown , Social Services Program Coordinator
14