The CERT Team at Franklin County Jail in Chambersburg, PA conducts a training exercise in their Training Cell.

Professional corrections practitioners understand the critical need that continual staff training plays in maintaining skills, competences and operational readiness.   All training, including the very practical methods of inmate and detainee movement needs to be regular and consistent.  In the correctional setting movement into and around the confined areas of inmate cells is particularly high risk.  Given the proximity of fixtures, clothing and the variety of personal items typically kept by inmates, these cell areas can be difficult to traverse and negotiate.  It’s these cell areas that events of inmate resistance and aggression often surface.  Training to de-escalate and, if necessary, physically move non-compliant inmates is necessary to mitigate and neutralize these situations.

Practical training for inmate movement in and around cells, including extractions is best practiced in a controlled environment, out of view of uninvolved inmates and in a realistic a setting.  The design professionals at L.R. Kimball work as a team with colleagues who have decades of hands on practical operations experience in corrections.  It is this synergy that created the advent of the Training Cell.  The Training Cell is a fully functional replica of the cells that comprise the housing units in the balance of the facility. The size, configuration, equipment, lighting is replicated exactly.  Even water access to sink and toilet fixtures can be duplicated to allow for simulated cell flooding response which allows staff to train in neutralizing this debilitating and damaging event.

The Training Cell provides for realistic and controlled training with an exact duplicate of what staff will encounter in the regular housing units without the problems normally associated with this kind of dynamic training.

These Training Cells are typically located at or near a Roll Call and or Assembly area or within a designated training area of the facility.  There is no need to improvise for training space or vacate an entire housing unit to train – which often is the circumstance to achieve a realistic training environment. Inmate escorts, staff to inmate interpersonal skills practice, de-escalation techniques and full CERT Team entry and extraction training can all be facilitated by utilizing the Training Cell.  Franklin County Jail in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania also uses their training cell as emergency bunking for staff during inclement weather.

In the past 25 years, our correctional team advocates strongly for the addition of a Training Cell into every facility’s plans.  Facility operators that have chosen to incorporate these cells, report that the advent of the Training Cell is a welcome addition to their long-established commitment to continuity and regularity of staff training and safety.

By: David McRoberts, CPP
Security & Operations Specialist
L.R. Kimball