interested in joining authors network, email us for more information.


Archive for August, 2009

Seduction’s Slippery Slope

August 28th, 2009

One of the greatest sources of demoralization for corrections and detention staff is “losing” one of their own to inmates. What I am referring to is the crossing of professional boundaries by staff in ways that violate policy and break the law.
Why and how do these violations happen? And what can be done to help render staff immune to them?
A common boundary violation in corrections is staff befriending inmates. This “overfamiliarity” may or may not lead to sexual/romantic involvement, the introduction of contraband into facilities (tobacco and other drugs, weapons, etc.), or staff acting as messengers between inmates and people on the outside.
In discussions of professional boundaries, psychologists talk about the slippery slope, the boundary erosion between therapists and clients. This term refers to ethical or criminal violations which are initially small, but which may eventually progress to major infractions. Read more…

Boundaries ,

Naked Truth

August 19th, 2009

A big part of the mission of Desert Waters Correctional Outreach ( is to draw attention to the high incidence of secondary traumatic stress and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the corrections ranks.

After talking with corrections staff and their family members for over 9 years now, I can say with reasonable certainty that a good number of correctional workers, especially security (custody) personnel, are struggling with symptoms of secondary traumatic stress or PTSD due to their exposure to horrifically violent incidents on the job. Read more…

Corrections Fatigue, PTSD ,

Sanity Tip–One Day At A Time

August 18th, 2009

Years ago I was told that the only way I was going to get though life sane was to do one day at a time. Being someone who likes to plan ahead and cover the bases for all kinds of possibilities (including worst-case scenarios), I found the statement ONE DAY AT A TIME at first to be naïve, overly simplistic. Yet looking back on my life now I see how putting this principle to practice was the only way I made it when faced with undertakings that intimidated me and made me shake in my boots. Read more…

Sanity Tips , ,

The Power of a Name

August 14th, 2009

Whether you are an agnostic, an atheist or a believer, the email below, sent to me by a veteran CO, is bound to be intriguing. This is not the first time I’ve been approached by corrections staff about their sensing an invisible evil presence at work that made their hair stand up at the back of their necks. If such encounters actually happen, how prepared are COs to deal with that type of force?

I wanted to tell you about an experience I had at work last night. I think I saw a man who was truly possessed by a demon. Read more…

Spiritual Moments

Sanity Tip–Give

August 11th, 2009

Have you heard the saying, “It is more blessed to give than to receive?” It’s true! It’s really, really true! I can attest to the fact that giving has gotten me out of funky moods, expanded my perspective, and enlarged my heart. There is even a study that used a brain scanning procedure called fMRI which showed that giving money to a charity activated pleasure-related regions in people’s brains. Read more…

Sanity Tips ,

Sanity Tip–Forgive

August 4th, 2009

At the age of 29 I had a radical spiritual encounter that drove the importance of forgiveness home to me. I’d barely come out of an atheist mindset, so spiritual realities were new to me. The message I received was that if I wanted to heal from a recent divorce, I needed to forgive.

Not knowing how to forgive but desperately wanting to recover, I decided to go for it. That day was the kick-off of a process that lasted many, many, many months. I am absolutely convinced I am saner for it (and for “forgiveness rounds” with other people since then).

Read more…

Sanity Tips ,