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The Importance of a Holistic Safety, Health, and Wellness Research Program

NCJ Number
NIJ Journal Issue: 278 Dated: February 2017
Date Published
January 2017
3 pages
This article presents an overview of the National Institute of Justice's (NIJs) 5-year plan for interdisciplinary research and strategic partnerships on the safety, health, and wellness of Federal and State criminal justice corrections personnel and the persons they supervise in correctional facilities and the community.
The plan defines "safety" as "the condition of being secure or unlikely to cause risk or injury to an individual." "Health" is defined as "the state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." "Well-being" is defined as the integration of "mental health and physical health, resulting in more holistic approaches to disease prevention and health promotion." In the 5-year research plan, NIJ will broaden its focus to address the most important safety, health, and wellness issues facing corrections personnel and offenders. Funding will support cross-cutting research that promotes improved safety, health, and wellness for both those in the corrections system and their families. Research topics will encompass four broad areas: 1) improving safety and reducing mortality within corrections; 2) identifying occupational and organizational activities that contribute to increased physical and mental health risks; 3) reducing stress, trauma, and suicide; and 4) studying the impact of incarceration on families. Many of these research areas cross scientific disciplines, so collaboration will be critical.

Date Published: January 1, 2017