>Users:   login   |  register       > email     > people    


Theory and Practice
By Joe Bouchard
Published: 02/07/2011

Balance Conflicts swirl continuously around the corrections profession. Programs and custody staff often have simmering battles. Prisoners and staff are frequently at odds. Agencies and funding entities constantly look at each other with anticipation and suspicion. Personal animosities linger and fester. It seems that we cannot escape the discord that is built into our system.

To make matters worse, different modes of thought are often bones of contentions. Consider two extremes: the theorist and the practitioner. Sometimes these two camps are so distant and opposed, it is any wonder that anything gets done. It is as though the two arms of a single person move in opposite manners and ultimately obstruct the progress of the other.

Each of the groups have their utilities. Theorists provide a conceptual backdrop, posing the question, “How can things be?” Practitioners deal with the nuts and bolts of operation, addressing how things are done. Yet, why is it that neither group seems to understand the other? Here are some of the habits of the two extremes.

Theorists - Those who deal in the theoretical often have long-term decisions to make. They can create scenarios and models that may possibly solve the problems of any agency. Broad and hypothetical thoughts dominate their strategies. For example, they look at the broad repercussions of new policies and court mandated programs rather than daily application at work sites.

When they are in their purest form, they regard those in the field as a group that misunderstands the bigger picture. Often, Theorists consider Practitioners as blinkered horses who have no regard for anything outside their immediate work space.

Practitioners - Those in the filed are constantly faced with many long term problems. They attack the troubles of the facility in a very hands-on approach. They tend to be more tactical thinkers than strategic. These are the people who test the theories and recommendations in the real world. But their goal is not to prove or disprove theories. Practitioners simply want to make their area of control run smoothly.

They consider the Theorists out-of-touch dreamers, philosophers and those stuck in the Ivory Tower. Practitioners believe that Theorists don’t relate well to practical matters and are too distant from operations to understand the daily worksite. They consider Theorists as those who were never part of the system or too many years away from facility operation to understand.

Can the real and the ideal coexist?

Theorist                                      Balance                                     Practitioner
I-------------------------------------X---------------------------------------I
(The theory/practice continuum)


This continuum consists of three separate parts. There is one extreme, the opposing extreme, and degrees of differences within. The last group is the largest. The key for one extreme to understand the other is to move toward the middle.

Some other tips for the extremes to consider:
    Remember that both extremes are purists and are more comfortable living in a vacuum. In the real world, absolute extremes are rare, so compromise is possible;
  • Theorists need to sample the practitioners for tactical ideas;
  • Practitioners can benefit from hypothetical thoughts in order to modify and improve their operations.
  • The big picture of operations belongs everyone, theorists and practitioners, alike;
  • Day to day operations should be considered by both practitioners and theorists;
  • When one group fails, it is actually the failure of all groups. We all draw funds from the same agency;
  • Animosity between groups in corrections is never productive;

The idea of conflicting mindsets can be rethought as complimentary styles. Really, what we have are not two opposing thought patterns, but parts of the whole. Theorists provide a panorama of possibilities while practitioners fill in the details that succeed in getting to that destination.

In other words, both of these sorts of artists make the portrait complete. The Theorists provide the background in concepts while the practitioner deals with the details in the foreground. Without either element, the masterpiece is not complete.

The two arms of a single person that seem to move in opposite manners can move in concert. In fact, the hands of theory and practice can be trained to become ambidextrous. In this state, both hand work in concert, not in isolation.

Although we cannot always choose our circumstances, we can react well to them. There is plenty of room in corrections for theory and for practice. More importantly, the existence and cooperation of both make our profession more effective and hopeful.

Visit the Joe Bouchard page

Other articles by Bouchard:



Comments:

  1. yajolos on 01/19/2020:

    This is really a nice and informative, containing all information and also has a great impact on the new technology. Thanks for sharing it magento 2 custom options

  2. yajolos on 01/18/2020:

    I know your expertise on this. I must say we should have an online discussion on this. Writing only comments will close the discussion straight away! And will restrict the benefits from this information. day tour halong

  3. kihijywe on 01/14/2020:

    You know your projects stand out of the herd. There is something special about them. It seems to me all of them are really brilliant! rèm cửa giá rẻ

  4. kihijywe on 01/13/2020:

    Excellent information on your blog, thank you for taking the time to share with us. Amazing insight you have on this, it's nice to find a website that details so much information about different artists. ataque de panico

  5. kihijywe on 01/13/2020:

    Thanks for sharing nice information with us. i like your post and all you share with us is uptodate and quite informative, i would like to bookmark the page so i can come here again to read you, as you have done a wonderful job. Monkey Digital

  6. kihijywe on 01/12/2020:

    Excellent information on your blog, thank you for taking the time to share with us. Amazing insight you have on this, it's nice to find a website that details so much information about different artists. cheap eye glasses

  7. yajolos on 01/05/2020:

    I admit, I have not been on this web page in a long time... however it was another joy to see It is such an important topic and ignored by so many, even professionals. professionals. I thank you to help making people more aware of possible issues. jadesara custom mug

  8. yajolos on 01/05/2020:

    This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work Best hight tea

  9. yajolos on 12/31/2019:

    I'm glad I found this web site, I couldn't find any knowledge on this matter prior to.Also operate a site and if you are ever interested in doing some visitor writing for me if possible feel free to let me know, i am always look for people to check out my web site. banderolas

  10. johnb6174 on 10/26/2019:

    Your blog provided us with valuable information to work with. Each & every tips of your post are awesome. Thanks a lot for sharing. Keep blogging, Online Application

  11. johnb6174 on 10/25/2019:

    This is very educational content and written well for a change. It's nice to see that some people still understand how to write a quality post! The Southern Institute

  12. johnb6174 on 10/21/2019:

    Great articles and great layout. Your blog post deserves all of the positive feedback it’s been getting. Change of Address

  13. johnb6174 on 10/12/2019:

    i love reading this article so beautiful!!great job! https://survivalhuntingtips.com

  14. johnb6174 on 10/10/2019:

    This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work.You put really very helpful information. Keep it up. Keep blogging. Looking to reading your next post. human edited web directory

  15. johnb6174 on 10/02/2019:

    Great post, and great website. Thanks for the information! jasa epoxy lantai

  16. johnb6174 on 09/27/2019:

    I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very interesting and informative.. taroko gorge day trip

  17. johnb6174 on 09/25/2019:

    i love reading this article so beautiful!!great job! hotel hualien taiwan

  18. johnb6174 on 09/23/2019:

    I read that Post and got it fine and informative. https://www.ivoignatov.com/

  19. johnb6174 on 09/22/2019:

    I am very much pleased with the contents you have mentioned. I wanted to thank you for this great article. Künstliche Hängepflanze

  20. johnb6174 on 09/22/2019:

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well..

  21. johnb6174 on 09/21/2019:

    this is really nice to read..informative post is very good to read..thanks a lot! gems and jewels

  22. johnb6174 on 09/18/2019:

    These are some great tools that i definitely use for SEO work. This is a great list to use in the future.. Easy auto ship

  23. johnb6174 on 09/16/2019:

    I learn some new stuff from it too, thanks for sharing your information. Microblading courses

  24. johnb6174 on 09/16/2019:

    I learn some new stuff from it too, thanks for sharing your information. Microblading courses

  25. johnb6174 on 09/16/2019:

    I learn some new stuff from it too, thanks for sharing your information.

  26. johnb6174 on 09/01/2019:

    No doubt this is an excellent post I got a lot of knowledge after reading good luck. Theme of blog is excellent there is almost everything to read, Brilliant post. Ice cream hire

  27. johnb6174 on 08/31/2019:

    Wonderful illustrated information. I thank you about that. No doubt it will be very useful for my future projects. Would like to see some other posts on the same subject! read here

  28. johnb6174 on 08/29/2019:

    This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work harley street anti ageing clinic

  29. johnb6174 on 08/28/2019:

    Great post I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this interesting and knowledgeable article. dandelionela.tumblr.com

  30. johnb6174 on 08/26/2019:

    I read that Post and got it fine and informative. Please share more like that... find more

  31. johnb6174 on 08/25/2019:

    It is imperative that we read blog post very carefully. I am already done it and find that this post is really amazing. Clean-Angels.co.uk

  32. johnb6174 on 08/21/2019:

    Someone Sometimes with visits your blog regularly and recommended it in my experience to read as well. The way of writing is excellent and also the content is top-notch. Thanks for that insight you provide the readers! Gaming PC kaufen


Login to let us know what you think

User Name:   

Password:       


Forgot password?





correctsource logo




Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of The Corrections Connection User Agreement
The Corrections Connection ©. Copyright 1996 - 2020 © . All Rights Reserved | 15 Mill Wharf Plaza Scituate Mass. 02066 (617) 471 4445 Fax: (617) 608 9015