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Archive for April, 2010

Where did the time go?

April 22nd, 2010


Isn’t it funny when you are engaged in an activity that you enjoy, you lose track of time? 


Mahjong and solitaire are examples of this.  And most of us can relate to telling a loved one that we will log off the computer soon – but that does not come until much later. 




For me, this mysterious warping of time is also true of writing.  Often, as my fingers fly across the keyboard, I find myself looking  at the clock for a second time.  What seemed to me like mere minutes passing was actually hours.  Time flies when you are having fun


In addition, the Foundations website is one year old on April 29th.  I see that as a nice time to take a literary break – a good, round number.  Please don’t construe this, Dear Reader, as a lazy Bouchard.  I am just going to recharge my batteries and enjoy some of the Spring. 


I hope that you have enjoyed reading my thoughts so far.  I have truly enjoyed writing and have gained insight from your comments.  Thanks for reading.  I will write back later.

Dear Reader

Words from a mentor “pay day and quitting time…”

April 15th, 2010


At first glance, a colleague of mine seemed like a crusty corrections veteran with a predilection for enforcing the rules.  We often joke that in his spare time he goes to a local discount store and writes misconduct reports on shoppers who are not wearing regulation shoes.  We know (or suspect) that it is not really true.  That is the nature of camaraderie in corrections.




But, still water runs deep.  If one waits and listens patiently, nuances of others’ personality slowly appear. Above all, our profession teaches us that there are more than surface impressions to consider.


Although my rule enforcing colleague used his well-cultivated work persona to maintain a balanced, formidable exterior for an often precarious vocation, he surprised me from time to time.  He would let slip some corrections truisms from on occasion.  One of my favorites was, “Pay day and quitting time will get here on time”.  Like his work persona, on the face of it, it is what it is.  However there is more, if one delves a bit deeper. Read more…

Self Scrutiny

Stream of thought

April 15th, 2010

As corrections professionals, we should always be aware that those outside the profession do not have our same perspective.   Our many different professional paths and experiences make this a truth. There is another awareness connected to this.  We will react in some way (silent or not) to comments that do not appear to be accurate.  Sometimes this may lead to an introspective stream of thought.



Recently, I attended a meeting at an education institution, a non-corrections meeting at a college.  Read more…

Inside Out, Self Scrutiny

Contraband in “literature”

April 7th, 2010


Any seasoned corrections professional knows that contraband equals power.  Even if it is not overtly or obviously a weapon, any item still can be traded.  Trading dynamic may be the catalyst of violence between competing individuals or groups. In short, the barter of forbidden items and services is the foundation of chaos. 



Judging a book by its cover, the title of this essay would seem to be a review of works about contraband.  But, as in corrections, the true nature of things may not be apparent at first glance.  The following is about the nuts and bolts of items found in book, or if you wish, literature. It is a fact that contraband can be hidden almost anywhere.  However, the library is a prime location to conceal and move bootleg. Read more…

Contraband Control

Change and the seven vocational realities

April 7th, 2010

Sometimes when we make plans to improve elements of our institutional culture, we do so with high optimism.  The sky is the limit in what may be achieved.  However, our expectations may fall in mid-flight as the harsh truths of corrections charge in at us from the horizon. By surveying the landscape, we can battle our fear of flying.


There are seven vocational concepts that we should consider when we endeavor to improve the culture of our institution. Read more…

Assessing the organization, Staff relations