This week we complete our education focus with an article by a retired sheriff with extensive corrections training experience. Through his years of writing books and developing programs to help corrections personnel, he’s discovered how vital it is for different departments to cooperate if their organization as a whole is to achieve the common goals of rehabilitation and reduced recidivism. Here, he discusses the importance of custody and treatment staff working together.
Jim, Corrections.com editor
Mixing custody and substance abuse treatment
By Gary F. Cornelius
In my readings, I came across an excellent book on corrections, Corrections: Past, Present and Future, by Jeanne B. Stinchcomb, PhD, from Florida Atlantic University. It is available from the American Correctional Association, and was published in 2005.
In the chapter titled “Special Populations in Corrections,” there is an interesting feature, “Close Up on Corrections” that discusses the question “What Works in Correctional Drug Treatment?” It is based on the report issued by the National Task Force on Correctional Substance Abuse Strategies, Intervening with Substance Abusing Offenders: A Framework for Action (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections, 1991).
Even though this report was issued in 1991, the task force recommendations still ring true and can be applied to all correctional substance abuse treatment programs. Corrections staff must understand that there are no easy answers to the problems of offenders and substance abuse. Read this week's full story.
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Regarding Jails and higher education
In all three penitentiaries where I have worked there have been basic training sessions called academies that teach the new recruits about the inner workings of the prisons they are about to enter as staff. These have varied from six to ten weeks in length and train the future officers in great techniques such as verbal judo, motivational interviewing, and self defense.
They also deal with the rules, regulations, policies, and procedures needed to perform the jobs required. However, all the book learning will never replace actual on-the-job training, because you don't know how you will react until you are actually in the position.
What is needed is more OJT time to learn from experienced officers who will mentor and guide the new recruits so they are not psychologically intimidated. This OJT time needs to be with one specific field training officer to insure quality and consistent training.
The biggest problem is that most institutions do not have or expend the resources necessary to reward good trainers. There are no incentives to become FTOs above the performance evaluations giving on a yearly basis. When this oversight is corrected you will get and keep good FTOs and new officers. In addition, the jails will reduce turnover and increase morale among staff.
Lynn Bingham MIS/IT, Dept. of Corrections, Rawlins, Wyoming
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Women Working in Corrections and Juvenile Justice National Conference
The 2008 Women Working in Corrections and Juvenile Justice National Conference will be held October 26 to 29 at the Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa.
Keynote speakers will include:
Dr. Brene Brown
Meda Chesney-Lind, Ph.D
Gwendolyn C. Chunn
Dr. Marilyn Van Dieten, along with colleagues from the field, will deliver a day long work shop on "Merging Evidence-Based Practices and Gender Responsive Research: An Innovative Case Management Model."
This year's conference also will include five main tracks of interest:
- Leadership at all Levels - Motivating staff, dealing with change, issues for women in leadership
- Workplace Climate and Culture - Team building, multi-generational workforces, diversity, workplace relationships
- Corrections and the Community - Working with victims, collaborating for best results, reform movements in juvenile justice
- The Offender's Journey, Helping Facilitate Change - Reentry, gender-specific programming, working with females in the juvenile justice system
- Living a Balanced and Healthy Life - Evaluating and balancing your priorities, the value of coaching, managing stress
For more information on the conference and to register, please visit our website www.womenincorrections.com
National Conference on Correctional Health Care
Date: 10/18 - 22/08
The National Conference is a multifaceted forum that brings together a diverse group of practitioners and administrators from all correctional health care disciplines. More information
24th Annual IACTP Trainers’ Conference
Date: 10/19 - 22/08
This year the Arizona Department of Corrections will host . Make plans now to attend this conference where you’ll see exceptional workshops and have the opportunity to network with corrections professionals from across the nation. More information.
Management of HIV/AIDS in the Correctional & Community Setting
This program addresses clinical issues in the management of HIV-infected patients and is a unique, collaborative venture among Albany Medical College, the New York State Department of Correctional Services and the private pharmaceutical industry. Each program addresses a different clinical aspect of HIV infection using the same format: didactic lectures, case presentations and a panel discussion. More information.
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QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us."
- Jerry Garcia, (1942 - 1995) musician, songwriter, artist, and lead guitarist and vocalist of the psychedelic rock band the Grateful Dead.