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Criminal Justice System Training in Pennsylvania: A Status Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
56 pages
This report provides an overview of Pennsylvania's current efforts in criminal justice training, reviews current State training practices in relation to national standards, and examines the benefits to the system and the shortfalls of discretionary training resources.
Legislation, agency policies, and State standards mandate training in more than 30 separate occupational classifications in the law enforcement, judicial, institutional corrections, probation and parole, and juvenile justice systems. Support staff, practitioners, supervisory staff, managers, and policymakers all receive training. The law enforcement system has the largest number of positions requiring training. The most commonly required training is entry-level training. However, the required numbers of hours vary sharply for similar occupations in different parts of the criminal justice system. Crucial problems affecting training are narrowness of legislation concerned with training, need for more training for managers and policymakers, and lack of efforts to provide common training for similar occupations in different parts of the system. In addition, national standards often do not relate directly to individual occupations and focus only on minimum requirements. Funding and staffing constraints limit the impact of national and statewide agencies that can supplement required training. Greater cooperation and coordination among criminal justice trainers would significantly improve the system's effectiveness. Charts.