Skip to the content

Pine Hills Youth Correctional Facility Named Finalist for the 2019 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is very pleased to announce Pine Hills Youth Correctional Facility in Miles City, MT as one of the finalists for the 2019 PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award in the correction category. Pine Hills was selected as a finalist for their trauma-informed approaches to improving safety.

Staff concerns and other factors, such as a lack of trauma-informed trainings led to a need for an active team to offer support. An interdepartmental group, the Pine Hills Trauma Team, was started through work being done at Pine Hills School with the Trauma-Sensitive Schools Learning Community.
The Pine Hills Trauma Team’s goals are to: 1) create an environment that is more trauma-informed in how the staff treat residents and their ability to identify their own trauma; and 2) to unify staff and residents in understanding that anyone can experience trauma.

The Trauma Team is a Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) certified team offering support staff through stressful/traumatic situations. This has moved the facility in the direction of effective post-incident response for staff, providing a place to safely process stressful events.
The team promotes self-care plans and conversations pertaining to appropriate self-care options for staff. A television has been placed in the facility that shares positive information about staff awards, birthdays, safety announcements and self-care moments. The team is currently rolling out a staff self-care room where any staff can go to decompress.

The Trauma Team continues to create a more trauma-informed environment for everyone at Pine Hills. The current project is re-branding the expectations in the facility based on a program being piloted in one of the housing units.

Staff are encouraged to recognize their own first-hand and/or secondary trauma. The team offers peer support and conducts peer check-ins helping staff feel safe, acknowledge trauma, listen to and address concerns. A team member meets with new staff and discusses the importance of self-care and guides them through preparing their plan, offering resources and providing contact information if they need to talk to a team member in the future.

The PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award was established in 2007 to honor Barbara Allen-Hagen and her retirement from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Her dedication to improving the quality of life in facilities for young offenders has helped drive PbS to its current success. The award is given to a correction, detention/assessment and community program who best exemplify PbS’ commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own by developing and implementing strategic plans to change practices that results in positive outcomes for youths, staff and families.

Winners of the award will be announced the night of the ceremony on Aug. 2, 2019. Stay tuned for more blogs about the 2019 finalists.

Promoting a safe environment for everyone through CHANGE

The Pine Hills Trauma Team

Read more about:  Awards, Barbara Allen-Hagen

About the author



PbS measures and monitors facility practices by collecting and reporting data from administrative records and survey responses from youths, staff and families to provide a holistic picture of the conditions and quality of life in residential facilities, highlights the practices that are effective in promoting youths’ healthy maturation and identifies those that are not. PbS data is reported every April and October.  PbS trains staff to use the information to change practices and support reforms implementing the adolescent development approach.

PbS has been a partner in assisting this facility to become a dynamic work environment that is not satisfied with maintaining the status quo.