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NDAA Launches Prosecutor Well-being Task Force

Contributing Author: Kirsten H. Pabst, Missoula County Attorney

Welcome!

Welcome to our circle of prosecutors committed to improving our profession, our careers and ourselves through implementing science-based, well-being practices designed to help make our critical work more sustainable. Thanks for taking the time to read this and explore ways we can help each other learn strategies to become happier, healthier and more engaged in our work.

Introducing . . . The NDAA Prosecutor Well-being Task Force

The National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) President, Nancy Parr, is committed to ensuring that the well-being of prosecutors across the country is one of the highest priorities of the Association. She’s launched the NDAA Prosecutor Well-being Task Force, a group of career prosecutors plus one well-being professional, who have expertise and/or special training in secondary trauma, burnout, vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue. The Task Force will meet twice a month and make recommendations, participate in trainings and submit materials for publication.

In Recess, our dedicated blog

We’ll be sending out weekly editions of In Recess, our blog filled with short articles, everyday tips, videos, and other good, easily digestible information. We know you are busy! When applicable, we’ll provide links and titles so you can drill down when your schedule allows.

And . . . coming soon . . .

Training opportunities

Our task force is committed to organizing training for prosecution teams and supervisors on topics including preventing secondary trauma burnout, thriving through the chaos, organizational resilience and building peer support teams. We expect to offer a webinar series this fall and a conference in 2021.

Peer connection and support

As prosecutors, our exposure to trauma will continue but, through awareness and connection, we build resilience. Another facet of the new prosecutor well-being project will be to launch a system for people to connect and reach out to others via a program-wide listserv. We’ll send out more information on that as we roll out a way for everyone to stay in contact and connect with peers.

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Well-being retreat

In addition to the blog, training opportunities and a peer connection platform, we are working on hosting — at a site TBA — a well-being retreat just for prosecution team members where we’ll learn the latest in the neuroscience of well-being while physically and mentally unwinding for a few days. Education, food, relaxation and nature will be featured.

Resource hub

Finally, we’ll collect resources, articles, books and materials on well-being and wellness programs and make those available to all prosecution team members. Whether interested in their own well-being, concerned about a colleague or contemplating implementing an in-office program, we hope to provide a centralized hub for you to find what you need, when you need it, in order to support your colleagues, office and the prosecution profession.

Open to all prosecutors

All prosecutors can sign up for In Recess, watch the webinars, attend conferences and retreats and access the resource hub. We encourage you to freely share well-being information with your colleagues. In addition to providing useful information to prosecution team members, we’ll also present tracks for supervisors to learn specific skills to support team members, foster resiliency and sustain organizational health. Thriving organizations foster vibrant team members who then provide better services to the victims and communities we serve.

If you’re an elected or appointed prosecutor, our Task Force and this work is a resource for you to help foster well-being in your office to cultivate and protect the leaders of the future. You can develop some additional skills of your own as well!

If you’re an assistant prosecutor, learn the fundamentals of well-being, help shape office culture and maintain or create that work/life balance that we all strive for — you can do it and we can help!

Members

Kirsten Pabst, Chair, Missoula County, MT
Mary Ashley, Vice Chair, San Bernardino County, CA
Jennifer Webb-McRae, Cumberland County, NJ
Joe Dallaire, City of Fairbanks, AK
John Hollway, Quattrone Center
Kimberly Spahos, North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys
Lou Anna Red Corn, Fayette County, KY
Michael Rourke, Weld County, CO
Susan Broderick, NDAA Staff Liaison

If you have questions, need for information or have good ideas for us, let us know by sending an email to Susan Broderick at sbroderick@ndaajustice.org.

Written by

The National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) is the oldest and largest national organization representing state and local prosecutors in the country.

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