Intensive Session: Promoting Staff Wellness Through Peer Support


Sunday, February 25, 2024
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Session Type: Intensive

Correctional staff face unique barriers and stressors, which can impact both work and home life. This intensive session will teach participants the importance of wellness programs for community corrections staff and give participants the tools to bring one such program (peer support) to their workplace. This session will cover the history and importance of wellness programs and provide examples of wellness programs in correctional settings. Then, the session will go into detail about peer support wellness programs. Participants will learn and practice the skills necessary to provide peer support to colleagues and will discuss the steps to bring a peer support program to their workplace. This session includes many activities to provide participants the opportunity to practice the skills, and lots of audience interaction.


Valerie Meade
Deputy Director, Crime and Justice Institute

Valerie Meade is a Deputy Director with CJI. Valerie has worked in criminal justice for over 20 years, with expertise in the areas of cognitive behavioral interventions, case management, model fidelity, and continuous quality improvement, and extensive experience with adult and juvenile populations on community supervision. In her current role, Valerie assists states with implementation and sustainability of Justice Reinvestment policies. Valerie was named Community Corrections Employee of the Year for the State of Kansas in 2012 for implementing sustainable evidence-based practices and Supervisor of the Year in 2017 for supporting staff through culture change to foster evidence-based practices. Valerie graduated from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Criminal Justice.

Abigail Strait
Senior Policy Specialist, Crime and Justice Institute

Abigail Strait is a Senior Policy Specialist with the Crime and Justice Institute. Abby joined CJI in August of 2015 and in that time has focused on policy implementation. Abby currently manages a team implementing policy changes made to the adult justice system through the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI), including leading JRI implementation work across several sites. Abby holds a Bachelor’s degree from Hamline University in Minnesota and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Brandeis University in Massachusetts.