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Archive for July, 2010

Integrity and The Correctional Professional

July 12th, 2010

The other day I had an opportunity to think about the topic of Integrity and the Correctional Professional. I guess I just assumed that the two areas went together like peanut butter and jelly. All correctional professionals, I am sure, believe they have Integrity and they probably do in the philosophical sense.  Where I believe correctional professionals’ integrity is tested is in the ‘real world’ application of integrity. As I probed my logic, I started to question, what does integrity in a correctional setting mean – specifically!

I looked-up the definition of integrity:

1. Adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.

2. The state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.

3. A sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of a ship’s hull. [1]

 When I looked at the definition, I thought, of course the correctional professionals MUST have integrity to perform their duties and responsibilities. Society has entrusted correctional professionals with the custody and care of criminals who have been found guilty by the courts. Their sentences to correctional institutions is society’s way of punishing them for their criminal activities.

My experience has demonstrated to me that your integrity “inside the walls” is as important to you as it is to offenders. Offenders will soon size you up and test the boundaries of your personal integrity.

Correctional professionals who let their personal integrity slip will loathe themselves more that the offenders will. The offenders will just take great enjoyment in bringing them down.

I have seen good correctional professionals lose their way (integrity) and end-up as offenders themselves, and who had be to housed in Protective Custody Units, their lives in complete ruin.

Integrity for correctional professionals manifests itself via multiple dimensions.  Each day the integrity of every correctional professional is measured by multiple groups of people:

·        Other correctional employees

·        Offenders

·        Families of offenders

·        The criminal justice system

·        General public

Each of the groups will test the integrity of the correctional professional from different directions. 

Read more…


The First Line Supervisor: Where the Rubber Meets the Road

July 3rd, 2010

In the field of criminal justice, there is a group of dedicated men and women who receive very little recognition for their hard work – and they are The First Line Supervisors. The first line supervisor is the first rung on the supervisory ladder and most often leads to management positions in the future. It is the first line supervisors who ensure that the agency’s policies are followed by their subordinates and that the agency’s procedures for conducting business are adhered to by everyone working in the field.

The first line supervisor is the bridge between the line staff and management. The first line supervisor is the person who communicates with both of these groups on a continuous basis. It is the first line supervisor who is first to be able to sense the morale of the line staff, find a policy or procedure that is not working as written, improve incorrect staffing patterns, or to observe changes in the make-up of the offenders, etc.

In the majority of emergency situations, it is the first line supervisor who is first on the scene and the one who has to take immediate action. While these incidents are taking place, the first line supervisors will need to depend on their training, education, and experience.  Whether it is a law enforcement or correctional situation it is the first line supervisor who must direct his/her subordinates as to what actions they should take. For a period of time, the weight and future implication of the incidents fall upon the shoulders of the first line supervisors. Read more…

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