HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 13, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole Chairman Michael L. Green today announced parole agents from the Pittsburgh District Office were presented with the 2015 LEAD Award in recognition of their outstanding performance in law enforcement.
The awards are presented annually by the Law Enforcement Agency Directors of western Pennsylvania. The parole agents received the award for successfully preventing the suicide of a parolee with mental health issues.
"Because of the quick reactions of our two agents, a woman's life was saved," said Green. "Their decisive actions in this life-threatening situation earned the recognition they received."
On October 28, 2015, female Agents Milliron and Constantine stopped the attempted suicide of a female parolee at a community corrections facility. The parolee was in the shower when they arrived at the center and was instructed to exit. She refused, stating she did not want to go back to jail. When the agents pulled back the shower curtain they discovered the offender was attempting suicide with a razor blade to her arm. The agents secured the razor blade and administered first aid. She was taken to a local hospital and admitted to the psychiatric ward for further treatment.
"Parolees with mental health issues often require greater support from their parole agents if they are to be successful as returning citizens to their communities," Green added. "The Board has specialized agents across the state to specifically focus on offenders with mental health issues and all agents have received Mental Health First Aid training."
Pennsylvania has seen a marked increase in the percentage of its criminal justice population with mental health issues. Approximately 18 percent of the parole population has a mental health concern.
Since February 2012 when the Board began tracking recidivism rates of mental health offenders, the three-year recidivism rate shows a 10 percentage point reduction for those offenders supervised by these specialized agents.
The awards were presented at the Teplitz Memorial Moot Courtroom of the University of Pittsburgh's Barco Law Building.
For more information on state parole, visit the Board website at www.pbpp.pa.gov.
MEDIA CONTACT: Laura Treaster, 717.231.4411
SOURCE PA Department Of Probation & Parole