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A Look at Camp Hill’s Mentoring Committee

Tags: Camp Hill
January 28, 2019 12:00 AM
By: Kurt Bopp

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Starting a career in corrections can be a daunting, intimidating task—and having a mentor can make all the difference.

Bernie Comiskey is the drug and alcohol treatment manager at Camp Hill, but he is also the facility's mentoring program chair. As a veteran of the DOC—he's nearing his 30-year mark in March—Comiskey knows the value of mentors to new employees. And it benefits the whole facility.

"The program helps with employee retention," Comiskey said. "We have some outstanding staff and it's nice to pass along some of those qualities and help people adjust."

Although he didn't have a formal mentor when he began, he did have an unofficial mentor who helped him learn how to work with inmates and staff and in the security-driven environment.

During National Mentoring Month in January, the mentoring committee holds a "Mentors Corner" in the dining room where members can answer questions and provide information about the program. Mentors establish goals with the mentee and lead as good role models in all aspects of their career.

"The goal is not to clone themselves but develop the skills and talent the mentees have," Comiskey said.

The program is working on improving its mentee numbers, but currently has more than 40 mentors from 21 different disciplines in the facility, including corrections officers, counselors, tradesmen, medical and much more.

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