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The Predator Test
By Joe Bouchard
Published: 08/10/2015

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.

In corrections, we deal with a variety of personalities. Perhaps all the most challenging of these is the predator type. Therefore, is very likely that academies and annual updates may feature some training on predators. Here's a way to use something unexpected to draw parallels and to make predator training a bit more entertaining.

The facilitator may starts like this -

“Can anyone here defined predator in a few short words? (Pause for class participation and mark on board as answers are offered.) A good definition is someone who preys on the weaknesses of others for their own gain or gratification. Now, our agency's policy directive defines the predator as (fill in the blank with your own official definition of predator).

Still, how much do we know about predators? I suggest that we take this little test.”

The instructor can very easily find out natural predators and prey and put them in opposing columns and with those conduct a matching test. These are animal predators, not human. At the end of these directions is a sample test.

The point is to think about natural ways in a certain environment where there is pray and the Hunter. This is not some sort of Darwinian or Discovery Channel sort of exercise. Rather, it demonstrates a food chain of sorts. The object, of course, is not to reduce human behavior to that of animals. But the test does illustrate the ways of an institutional environment.

After the test is completed, one may even award the individual or the teams with the most answers correct a prize of some sort. The predator test can also be placed on a PowerPoint presentation and conducted as a Jeopardy quiz.

The instructor can ask teams to compile a list of human predators outside of an institutional setting. Give the class a few minutes to come up with five of these. Some examples include:

An unscrupulous mechanic who fleeces naïve consumers;
Identity thieves;
“Agents” who handle models and dupe them into posing in compromising positions;

Then the instructor asks the ways that offenders may victimize one another. Some answers are sexually, through intellectual coercion, and via groups. The quiz is a way to get a little class participation before launching into the official module on how to deal with predators of various types in the prison setting.

Sample predator test

Name the natural predator for the following animal:

Grizzly bear
Orca, polar bear
Owl, cat
Dog, cat
Dog, eagle

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.

Visit the Joe Bouchard page

Other articles by Bouchard:


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