|Seven Components of a Safer Corrections Library|
|By Joe Bouchard|
I recently read an article regarding corrections librarianship. The title of that article is “High Potential: A National Study Looks at Correctional Library Professionals” by Donna Ledbetter from NIC. It was featured in the March/April 2017 of Corrections Today. One of the issues raised in the article concerned keeping the library from becoming a pass and drop location for contraband.
This struck a responsive chord with me. One of my foci in my chosen vocation is contraband control. I am drawn to this topic because contraband is everywhere in potential and it is a grassroots danger. I endeavor to teach corrections professionals ways to mitigate the persuasive danger to maintain a safer environment for staff, prisoners and the public.
If contraband is an inevitable series of waves that threaten to erode secure beachfronts in corrections, what can we do to stem the tide? I believe that there are several components that can limit the dangers of contraband in a library. Consider these seven:
Realistically, there is no way to completely eliminate contraband in any corrections setting. One might sooner try to sweep the sea back with a whiskbroom. But we can certainly build defenses to mitigate the flow and trade of bootleg. The best way to dissuade would-be contrabandists from using the library as a drop and pass location is to empower the corrections library professional as an agent of detection. In the end, contraband control, done well, is everyone’s job.
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.
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