|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.
To some, language is beautiful because it is dynamic. Colloquialisms demonstrate the inventive human nature. To corrections staff, however, where safety is the key to every element of operations, changing language can be frustrating. We need to understand the unofficial languages of inmates. Without that knowledge, prisoners, staff, and he public are placed in increased danger.
This is a two part icebreaker that uses slang as the centerpiece.
Part 1: Build a Vocab
Also, be aware that slang has its own geography. A fish to some is green to another. Both mean inexperienced staff or prisoners. Different jurisdictions throughout the country use various terms for the same concept.
There are three great sources for the words. They are Internet, your facility’s inspector and/or Security Threat official and experience. In fact, this icebreaker can be integrated into a Security Threat Group module. Different groups and their favored terms can be featured.
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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