Three years. We urge agencies to review and update their policies and training materials prior to each re-accreditation request.

The SafetyNet standards were written with an awareness of other national standards relating to correctional agencies, which typically address operational and organizational issues extensively and primarily, and which may tend to highlight physical health hazards. SafetyNet Accreditation™ standards exclusively address staff’s wellness needs, and in depth. Agencies that become SafetyNet-accredited are likely to be in compliance with those physical health standards as well.

SafetyNet assessors are experienced public safety professionals who have worked in multiple agencies, and are therefore familiar with unique and agency-specific terminology. Agencies are encouraged to note differences in terminology used in the standards and the equivalent term used by the agency. Assessors will examine differences during the initial file review, and may recommend changes in wording of the terminology or application used by the agency’s programs or resources.

SafetyNet Accreditation was designed to meet the needs of correctional agencies and facilities. However, the needs are not unique to correctional staff. Some agencies have a mission that includes a corrections component and a law enforcement component. While only the corrections portion will be assessed at this time, these agencies are encouraged to make wellness programs and services available to as many staff as possible.

Length of time to get accredited will depend on how closely aligned the agency’s current policies and practices are to the standards, what programs and resources the organization has in place already, and the funding available for it to get additional program and resources to meet SafetyNet accreditation standards. We expect most agencies to take 6-12 months from the self-assessment to full accreditation.

SafetyNet is intended to apply to all correctional agencies regardless of size. The workplace wellness consequences exist for us all. Therefore, Standard 1.3 (B. 1-8) specifically mentions “as applicable.” What is most important with an agency Wellness program is that the Wellness Team which is providing guidance is broadly representative of the overall agency workforce, since it is the agency as a whole that is applying for accreditation.

SafetyNet Accreditation™ involves an initial fee and a reaccreditation fee. The initial fee will cover review of the agency Self-Assessment, consultation regarding program plan development and program implementation, staff surveys and basic compilation of results, remote file review, and in-person site assessment (which includes travel expenses).  Reaccreditation will cover the annual report review, file review, and site assessment. If an agency desires additional services, such as for writing policies or offering staff training, these services will be offered at an additional cost. Please contact us at safetynet@desertwaters.com to discuss the particulars of your agency, and the number of facilities to be accredited, if more than one.

In some cases, factors beyond the agency’s control may preclude compliance with a standard or part of a standard. These factors may include state or local laws or court orders, bargaining requirements, higher-level objection to a standard requirement, or others.  In this case, agencies may request a waiver of all or part of a standard. These requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

You can begin by pointing out the critical importance of staff wellness for staff performance, retention, and fulfillment of the agency’s mission. You can also point out that given the widely documented occupational hazards of correctional work, agencies that do not have adequate staff wellness programming may be found to be legally liable in certain cases. The SafetyNet Accreditation™ Guide has an extensive presentation about why wholistic wellness is critical for the success of correctional agencies.

You can begin by pointing out that unions exist to protect their members, and ensure that they get the best possible pay and benefits. Wellness is a fundamental, as it impacts health in every way. By promoting and endorsing the SafetyNet Accreditation™, and by urging their agencies to engage in staff wellness accreditation, unions are advocating for their members’ well-being and perhaps even their very survival.

Typically, an EAP (Employee Assistance Program) is only one way among several to address staff wellness needs. A typical EAP by itself is not sufficient to meet SafetyNet requirements for accreditation. Additional programming is needed where the requirements of the standards exceed what the EAP is providing, or is willing to provide.

Yes, as an add-on service. Please contact us at safetynet@desertwaters.com for additional details.

Yes. We offer two types of training: (1) We train agencies on the requirements of SafetyNet Accreditation™, and this is included in the cost for accreditation, as part of the agencies’ plan development; (2) If requested, we can offer agency training to staff on wellness curricula that are requirements for accreditation, at an additional cost. For more information, please contact us at safetynet@desertwaters.com.

Your agency can create its own training materials, or locate them through other sources, or use materials developed by Desert Waters. We strongly advise that all training materials to be used be reviewed and pre-approved by Desert Waters prior to their implementation at an agency. As training material that meets the standards becomes available, it will be listed in the Resources section of the SafetyNet webpage.

The SafetyNet Accreditation™ standards were developed after an extensive review of wellness-related research literature in correctional, law-enforcement, military, and other public safety environments, as well as related occupations like healthcare. They were carefully reviewed by numerous mental health and corrections professionals and adjusted to meet the needs of the profession. Many of the research studies are listed under the Annotated Bibliography tab, which will be updated as new material becomes available.

The first step towards SafetyNet Accreditation™ is to complete the Agency Information form and submit it to DWCO.  Please provide us with contact information, and someone will reach out to you to discuss the standards, accreditation requirements, pricing, and any other information to help you make a decision on pursuing SafetyNet Accreditation™.