|Thinking with a Twisted Mind|
|By Joe Bouchard|
The following is an installment in "The Bouchard 101", a series featuring "Ice Breaker's" designed to promote training awareness and capabilities in the corrections industry.
“You have a twisted mind. But, that is a good thing.” That is not some cheesy line from a Jon Cryer B-movie. It is a vocational truism. And it is the basis of this icebreaker.
A good way to jump start a module on security awareness is to give the following introduction.
“Do you know someone who thinks with a twisted mind? I do not mean someone with a convoluted sense of morality. Nor, do I refer to a perversion of any sort or an unorthodox sense of humor. One can think with a twisted mind and become an effective part of security. In this case, I refer to the contraband hound.
Contraband hounds are important in corrections and in criminal justice because they can see beyond the normal uses of items and apply other practical uses. They sniff out illicit schemes. Like the television series MacGuyver, contraband hounds can conceive a working battery pack out of tape, radio wire, and toilet paper tube. Contraband hounds are present in all classifications in our profession. Please take a few minutes to take the following test.”
Once participants are thinking in this way, give each of them a 25 question test on contraband. All questions are true and false.
In fact, the instructor and students may know of many of these methods. This can be demonstrated as the facilitator reads each of the 25 statements and ask participants if they have ever seen these contraband tricks.
That is not just a way to loosen up the students. The discussion also is a way to share information between areas that may not normally converse.
Note: This icebreaker may be used in criminal justice classes. Students who have no experience in the field will benefit from some of these strange but true facts.
Warning: Keep this test away from all prisoners. Treat it as it were a transfer list. To be sure, prisoners may know the following concepts. But we do not need to make our facilities less safe by disseminating this collected knowledge.
Now more than ever, it is important to see the alternate use of seemingly innocent items. Our world has changed. In the last few years, we have been exposed to shoe bombers, cell phone detonators, and liquid explosives housed in cosmetic containers. In short, we need more corrections professionals to try to imagine motives and means of would-be contrabandists. In other words, we all need to think with a twisted mind. The security of staff, prisoners, and the public at large depend on it.
Joe Bouchard is a Librarian employed with the Michigan Department of Corrections and a collaborator with The International Association of Correctional Training Personnel (IACTP). He is also the author of “IACTP’s Corrections Icebreakers: The Bouchard 101, 2014”. The installments in this series include his opinions. The agency for which he works is not in any way responsible for the content or accuracy of this material, and the views are those of the contributor and not necessarily those of the agency. While some material is influenced by other works, all of the icebreakers have been developed by Joe Bouchard.
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