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Ten possible New Year’s Resolutions for Corrections Staff
By Joe Bouchard
Published: 12/26/2016

Newyears 1 Without a doubt, the corrections profession is stressful. Yet, from year to year, thousands of staff walk the toughest beat to keep fellow staff, prisoners and the public safe. How do we deal with the tension and maintain a balance between home and work life?

With a new year on the books and the notion of staff wellness in mind, presented below are ten possible New Year’s resolutions for corrections staff. Five of these are about life at home and five are related to work. Why not adopt and practice at least one of these from each group? You can make 2017 a better year.

Resolutions for home
  1. Increase physical activities in the great outdoors;
  2. Visit a financial planner for an annual checkup;
  3. Complete an undesirable job that you have been delaying, such as cleaning the garage or painting the bathroom;
  4. Plan a trip to give you something to look forward to;
  5. Take ten minutes a day just to sit quietly.
Resolutions for work
  1. Communicate more with colleagues, especially those who seem disconnected from the group;
  2. Add one contraband search to your routine each week;
  3. Keep a closer watch on prisoner group dynamics and assess how they change;
  4. Attend an employee club event;
  5. Re-read policies and post orders for your area and review one new one per week.
Of course, these are only examples. Any resolution can be tailored to each practitioner. And some resolutions can blend home and work life. An example of this is an oath to be more patient. It is applicable on and off the job.

Declaring a resolution is easy. Sticking to it is more of a challenge. Still, perseverance is a trait common among corrections professionals. How many each person wants to tackle per year is a matter of personal preference. In any event, may your 2017 is safe and happy.

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” and "Operation Icebreakers: Shooting for Excellence". 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

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