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Archive for March, 2010

“Shameful” Secret? Post-traumatic Symptoms in the Corrections Ranks

March 15th, 2010

The anecdotes presented below are used with permission. Some details are changed. If your own issues get triggered as a result of reading this, please see suggestions for help at the end of the article.

When I began talking and counseling with corrections personnel in the year 2000, I noticed that several of them suffered from post-traumatic symptoms. Some even exhibited full-blown PTSD, often self-medicated with alcohol.

I also noticed that, in the proud corrections culture, staff abhorred to admit that they had been negatively affected by traumatic work experiences. They’d often say, “I’m good. It was just an inmate.” But their eyes had the 2,000-yard stare. Read more…

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Stopping Correctional Worker Suicide

March 1st, 2010

The corrections field is plagued with the scourge of staff suicide. Recent statistics from New Jersey show that corrections officers commit suicide at over double the rates of police officers and the general population. From 2003 through 2007, for males ages 25-64, per 100,000 the suicide rate for C.O.s was 34.8, for police 15.1, and for the general population 14.0. (http://www.state.nj.us/lps/library/NJPoliceSuicideTaskForceReport-January-30-2009-Final(r2.3.09).pdf.) Read more…

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