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Archive for October, 2010

Mentoring: dominate, accommodate, or enable

October 28th, 2010

Giving someone a meal will keep hunger away for a day.  But to teach a person to fish can keep hunger away forever.  The role of a true mentor is to plant the seeds of capability and knowledge in fertile ground. 





When the experienced become mentors, corrections has a potentially potent tool for staff training.  Granted, policy and procedure are written cues on how any new person should perform.  But experience-laden advice about how most prisoners are likely to react to any given situation is also very valuable. Read more…

Assessing the organization, Staff relations, Training

Assessing assertion and aggression – An airport tale

October 20th, 2010

Assertive behaviors and aggressive gestures are like the truth.  It is all in the eyes of the beholder.  Like so many things in life, this, like the truth, is relative. It is usually absolute.


An airport is a wonderful place to people watch and to ponder assertion and aggression. So much can be learned by how we move. We rush from place to place in groups as though we are herd animals.


But there are variations.  Read more…

Self Scrutiny, Staff relations

Climbing the wall that divides staff: W.I.T.H. – U.

October 12th, 2010

The following is an excerpt from Joe Bouchard’s keynote speech to the Wisconsin Correctional Association in September. Thanks to the wonderful corrections professionals that make up this association.  


Staff division is like an immense wall barring access to the ideal of safety.  The existence of division makes possible lapsed vigilance, vengeance, sabotage, and even violence.  Sadly, this is one of corrections’ stressors over which we have a degree of command – but never seem to control. 




Identifying that which divides us is very simple.  It is difficult, however, to reverse inter-staff animosity and derision once it starts.  Read more…

Self Scrutiny, Staff relations, Training

Ranking types – the points system

October 7th, 2010

Like cuddling a cactus, dealing with bullies in any vocation is about as uncomfortable as one can get. This discomfort is intensified in the always dangerous profession of corrections. Still, the hurt is mitigated a bit if we can gain an understanding of the many nuances of the problem.  This allows us more information find a solution.





Recently, I presented “Destination Intimidation: Bullying in Corrections” At a large state correctional association conference.  The following week, I presented the same program at and at an Eastern county correctional association conference.


Among the many techniques that bullies use, I explained to both groups the POINTS bully classification that I created. Read more…

Self Scrutiny, Staff relations