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Posts Tagged ‘integrity’

Sexual Exploitation of Female Offenders

May 24th, 2012

There was yet another mention in the press recently about the systematic and prolonged sexual exploitation of female inmates by male corrections staff.  The description of the inmates’ helplessness and victimization was almost too painful for me to read.  A question kept ringing in my ears, a question posed by corrections officials nationwide who are baffled as to why corrections workers would risk going to prison just to get some sexual gratification from offenders. Given the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (, staff who sexually assault offenders are subject to felony criminal charges punishable by prison sentences of their own and/or fines, as well as discipline by their corrections agency. However, those dire consequences do not seem to be sufficient to deter some corrections employees who contemplate engaging in sex acts with offenders. Why might this be so? Read more…

Boundaries, professionalism ,

Staff on Staff Bullying in the Workplace?

November 28th, 2011

Several readers lately asked that I address the topic of staff bullying other staff—intimidating, harassing, threatening, coercing colleagues to do something they do not want to do.

Before I tackle such an article I would like to invite you to email me your personal experiences and observations regarding this issue in the corrections workplace.

Here are some questions to get you started. Read more…

Boundaries, professionalism ,

Winning Attitudes

August 16th, 2010

Over the years I’ve noticed a number of traits and behaviors among correctional workers who manage to stay healthy and effective on and off the job. Read more…

Smart Living , ,

A Solid Partner

August 3rd, 2010

Printed with permission.
I thought I would write an article similar to “the old Screw” to tell what 20 years in Australian Corrections has done to me, my wife and family. She has been a solid partner. Unfortunately, I cannot say I have been the same to her or my children.

I have just retired prematurely, diagnosed with PTSD from an incident 12 years ago that, if recognized at the time, I could have sought help for.

Read more…

family, PTSD , , ,

Workplace Entanglements

September 9th, 2009

As in other branches of law enforcement, sexual involvement is not uncommon between corrections employees who are married or in otherwise committed relationships. These behaviors cause a multitude of complications in the workplace and can also wreak havoc in people’s personal lives.

Here are some thoughts as to why corrections staff may get entangled in such relationships, even after they have witnessed similar situations ending in shipwrecks. Read more…

Boundaries , ,

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 ,

They Look to YOU!

May 31st, 2009

After completing basic training, new correctional employees are pumped, all excited about getting started on the job. Yet deep down they may wonder how they’ll prove their mettle, if they’ll react professionally to crises, if they’ll remain firm, fair and consistent in the face of day-to-day pressures. They know that theory is one thing, but practice is quite another. 

You—the supervisors and other veteran staff—are the ones the rookies look to. You are the ones who flesh out the lessons taught at the Academy. You are the ones who model to newbies how it all plays out in real life. 

Your responsibility and opportunities in this regard are enormous. You have been given the privilege of “professional formation” of correctional staff who are  the future of corrections. Read more…

Boundaries , , ,

Thriving in Corrections

May 30th, 2009

Whenever I come across well-functioning correctional staff, I ask them about the “secret of their success.” Here is some of what I’ve heard over the years. It is divided in three categories which correspond to the three areas DWCO targets in its mission—the occupational, personal and family well-being of corrections staff. Read more…

Smart Living , , ,