The Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Program, which operates under the auspices of the Division of Programs and Community Services, was formed to provide assistance and support to New Jersey Department of Corrections employees and their families during critical incidents. The program seeks to stabilize negative impact as a result of a tragic event.
Goals of the CISM Program
What Is a Critical Incident?
Examples of traumatic incidents include line-of-duty deaths, serious injuries, personal assaults, and threats of violence. During the course of their careers, NJDOC employees may experience such critical events as:
It is normal for a person to experience symptoms of stress because of an unexpected abnormal situation. However, what is traumatic for one person may not be traumatic for another; individuals will vary in their responses to a critical event.
Decisions involving the appropriateness of providing Critical Incident Stress Management services must be made in accordance with established department policies and procedures.
Possible Stress Reactions to a Critical Incident
Critical Incident Stress Debriefing
What It Is
· A confidential group meeting offered to employees affected by a traumatic incident.
· A discussion of the thoughts, reactions and feelings resulting from the incident.
What It Is Not
· An operations critique or part of any investigation of employees or the worksite.
· A form of psychotherapy or treatment.
What It Does
· Serves to mitigate or reduce the impact of the stress.
· Provides reassurance that what is being experienced is normal.
· Serves to piece together what has happened.
· Provides education on how to cope with stress related to trauma.
The dictionary defines peer as "one who has equal standing with another." Support is defined as "to help keep from failing during stress." It is important to note that CISM is a peer support team not a counseling service.