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Delegation from Kosovo Visits Pennsylvania to Learn from PA DOC

Tags: DOC, Waymart
January 24, 2023 12:00 AM
By: DOC Staff

PA DOC employees with a delegation of corrections officials from Kosovo standing outside Central Office

Officials from Kosovo Health and Human Services, along with prison officials including corrections officers and managers, visited Pennsylvania as they look to implement a specialized unit and work to address mental health needs for their inmate population. Acting Secretary George Little and members of the DOC leadership team welcomed them to the Commonwealth, and staff from medical, psychology and treatment services presented to them at Central Office.

The group met with staff and toured SCI Waymart, SCI Muncy and SCI Houtzdale as part of their visit to the United States. DTS Chief Tracy Smith escorted them and helped organize this visit with the U.S. Department of State.

At Waymart, Compassion and Competency in Corrections Cross Countries

Language and cultural differences were erased when the contingent from Kosovo visited SCI Waymart on Jan. 10. Administrators, mental health staff, drug and alcohol counselors, and security staff from Waymart discussed procedures, showed videos, and ate lunch with their guests. Conversation was made possible through an interpreter; however, warm smiles of welcome and gratitude proved to be a universal language.

SCI Waymart employees and a delegation of corrections officials from Kosovo

An extensive tour of Waymart’s Mental Health Unit, Forensic Treatment Center, Intermediate Care Unit, and Therapeutic Community Units enabled the Kosovo staff to see and understand how Waymart’s staff effectively treats their mental health population. A video of an interaction with a mental health inmate was shown so that the Kosovo staff saw exactly what procedures Waymart employees follow. Kosovo staff commented on the professionalism of the Waymart team.

During lunch, prepared by Waymart’s students in Restaurant Trades, staff members were able to have informal conversations with their guests as many of the Kosovo visitors knew conversational English.

Pennsylvania’s DOC clearly has not only a stellar national reputation but an international one as well.  SCI Waymart was honored to be chosen as a host institution.

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