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DOC Officials Present at ACA Winter Conference

Tags: DOC
January 21, 2019 12:00 AM
By: Sue McNaughton

PA Coat of Arms

Pennsylvania Department of Corrections PREA Coordinator Dave Radziewicz was a featured speaker at two separate PREA-related workshops at the American Correctional Association's (ACA) Winter Conference in New Orleans in January. 

During the first workshop, Radziewicz was joined by co-presenter Joanne Carroll, who is the president of TransCentralPA and is the newly-appointed commissioner of Gov. Tom Wolf's Commission on LGBTQ Affairs. Together, they addressed the PA DOC's unique approach to providing support group services to transgender inmates department-wide via a virtual platform.

The workshop content mirrored a July/August 2018 Corrections Today article that was co-written by Radziewicz and Carole Mattis (who serves as the director of the DOC's Bureau of Standards, Audits and Accreditation) that was titled "A Best Practice Approach and Model for Providing Community Support Services via Virtual Format to Transgender Inmates."  

The key points to establishing effective community partnerships by correctional agencies and the "win-win" for both parties is apparent given that 95 percent of inmates will one day be released from prison. Radziewicz also emphasized the importance of transparency and trust – by identifying government agencies and community resources that can support the agency's mission and participate in an environment that perpetuates a successful delivery of community and reentry services for incarcerated transgender individuals, positive outcomes can be realized. 

The Transgender Support Group within the PA DOC was implemented more than two years ago and continues to be a nationally-recognized model for correctional agencies to address the needs of a vulnerable population through an innovative approach. Alder Health Services also helps to facilitate the monthly transgender support groups. To date, various facilities have modeled similar partnerships with local stakeholders. 

Radziewicz also was a guest panelist at a workshop conducted by Just Detention International (JDI) - "Keeping Transgender Inmates Safe: A PREA Case Study," during which he elaborated upon and fielded questions about the PA DOC's PREA policy and transgender specific processes.


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