|Poker face, diversions and true reactions: What the hell is in that cell?|
|By Joe Bouchard|
Opinions about actors run the gamut. To some, actors serve the purpose of providing us an escape from the mundane with their presentation skills. Others may have a less noble view of performers. And between the poles are varying levels of admiration based on talent and popularity.
Seasoned corrections staff will likely agree that there are some superb actors in the prisoner ranks. And in this setting, perception and image are paramount. Some offenders are unbelievably convincing, even if they are selling the ultimate bluff.
But what of those corrections staff that can recognize a Robert Dinero from a Barney Rubble? Is this a necessary skill or just a fluke talent? In the end, it comes down to keeping things safe for staff, offenders, and the public. Those who can penetrate prevarications and masked messages often hold the key to a safer day for all.
Here is a simple test for those who see beneath the mask. Simply ask, “Do you have any contraband?” Once posed, one can expect a variety of possible answers:
Reading faces and understanding how individual offenders mask are useful in the contraband search. They can give a little boost in keeping the facility safer for staff, offenders and the public.
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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