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Criminal Justice System Training in Pennsylvania: A Status Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
56 pages
After an overview of the current status of criminal justice system training in Pennsylvania, this study assesses the impact of training on criminal justice agencies and occupations, reviews State training practices compared to national standards, and discusses discretionary training resources.
Existing training mandates encompass more than 30 criminal justice occupational classifications, with the law enforcement field accounting for the greatest number of positions having such requirements. Entry-level or basic instructional programs are the most frequently mandated requirement. Their application within individual disciplines, however, shows little uniformity regarding the number of hours required to meet the minimum standard or the occupational skill levels of those required to attend such training. In examining the effect of existing training requirements on system personnel, one concern is the narrow focus of most legislation related to criminal justice training. Limited mandates often inhibit a training provider from expanding activities into other areas. A second concern is the weakness of training mandates for positions beyond the practitioner skill level. Cross-component training programs are also weak. Although the State does reasonably well in meeting national minimum training standards, this effort is not sufficient to meet all the training needs of individual occupations or skill levels. Discretionary training can and does supplement the efforts of the major system providers; however, it is not a solution for meeting the State's needs. 8 exhibits.