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Researcher aims to improve conditions for corrections workers
By eurekalert.org
Published: 11/09/2020

LOWELL, Mass. - The U.S. Department of Justice has tapped the expertise of a UMass Lowell researcher to create a program to improve workplace health and safety for the country's 500,000 correctional officers and staff, a population data shows are at high risk for on-the-job injury, stress, obesity and premature death.

Assistant Prof. Mazen El Ghaziri, associate chair of UMass Lowell's Solomont School of Nursing and a researcher in the Center for the Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace (CPH-NEW), will collaborate with correctional officers and health and safety experts on job training procedures that aim to reduce trauma and stress among corrections employees. CPH-NEW promotes practices and policies that improve worker health and safety in complex occupations.

El Ghaziri's latest research is supported by a $160,830 grant from the National Institute of Corrections, an agency within of the U.S. Department of Justice. The goal is to offer the new training protocols at jails, prisons and other correctional facilities across the country. Joining El Ghaziri in the effort is Lisa Jaegers, associate professor of occupational science and occupational therapy at Saint Louis University. Both El Ghaziri and Jaegers lead the National Corrections Collaborative to bring together research and corrections workplace health programs that address the critical health and safety challenges of this workforce.

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