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Archive for the ‘Mental Preperation’ Category

The Criminal Youth Inmate Part #1

September 28th, 2009

146c4670c84982feWhen you first start working in a juvenile correctional environment, you get hit with a culture shock. You realize that the inmates are not always locked in their cells, and they get more than bread and water to eat. Your preconceived notions of what privileges inmates should and should not have are challenged.  It’s at this point many correctional staff asks themselves, “What have I gotten myself into?” Maybe you’ve asked yourself that today. In that case, a little understanding goes a long way in helping corrections officers keep their perspective and cool.  Keeping your cool is particularly important with juvenile inmates, who, like most kids, are likely to test authority figures to the limits.  Many of these kids come from extreme hardship and have seldom internalized boundaries or rules. So, in order to effectively communicate expectations in a juvenile correctional facility, we must first understand the reasons behind the aggression that is, what sets juvenile inmates off. Read more…

Tracy Barnhart Hot Tips, Mental Preperation

Walking With the Predators

September 15th, 2009

5c5a870c9a776a88An officer, who is well liked and respected by his peers, returns from a well deserved break at 0230.  The malicious darkness looms of what seems like an ordinary and routine third shift in the facility.  But for him it’s a restless night and he knows that time will continue to drag.  He wonders if his shift will end uneventful and after only eight hours or if he will be mandated to work first shift.  He remembers the day an operational manager once told him that he was going to go places within the department.  As quickly as the promise of his big promotional chance came, it vanished just a fast.  Politics, idle talk, becoming a union activist, and not knowing who the resourceful players are has sent him down another path.  In the darkness of a lonely midnight shift that leads to nowhere, he contemplates his current situation, his future.  It is then that the exhaustion overwhelms him and even though he is comfortable, he begins to sweat.  Read more…

Tracy Barnhart Mental Preperation, use of force

Survival Tips If You Are Taken Hostage

July 13th, 2009

2 hostages taken June 30, 2008

3a5df457e4803aa2According to the governor’s office, two people have been taken hostage by a prisoner with a knife at the Maine State Prison in Warren.  The incident began mid-afternoon and a negotiating team has made limited contact with the prisoner.  Official have not identified the inmate but say he is in jail for robbery and aggravated assault.  One hostage is a prisoner and one hostage is prison staff.  Family members of the hostages have been notified. Read more…

Tracy Barnhart Mental Preperation

Having the Mr. Rogers Syndrome

July 4th, 2009

0b7ecaf074f24eb2“Dear Mr. Barnhart, First of all let me thank you for your service to our country and now to the public. I have read all of your posting and though I don’t disagree with most of your opinions it seems that you leaning on the side of what I like to call “The Mister Rogers Syndrome”. I have worked the streets and behind glass (because bars are inhumane) for over 23 years and it’s always a changing environment. I am proudly an A**Hole, my mother says I get it naturally and I use it daily, but for me it doesn’t matter if its an inmate or staff the key is being fair, firm and consistent.  Just to clarify I have also never been assaulted and have the respect of over 600 inmates as a regular officer but as a tactical officer I have had to use the minimal amount of force necessary to complete the mission and still have that respect.  One of the issues that I have seen over and over is “weakness” “back pedaling.” Most of the assaults I have seen are on “Mr. Rogers” types, they want to give, give and help these poor mis-understood humans until its time to kick butt and all the inmate sees is a liar and a hypocrite. Read more…

Tracy Barnhart Mental Preperation, use of force

Understanding Communications in Corrections

July 4th, 2009

 

728b876164fe70ceI thought that I knew how to verbally de-escalate individuals and generate voluntary compliance through my emanation of authority, that is, until my first day with inmates.  When I was a police officer I was very confident in my weapons systems and had a clear understanding of the use of force continuum and where I stood as it related to my abilities.      Verbal de-escalation was just a required term of action that I placed into my reports in order to justify the physical slam that just occurred. Read more…

Tracy Barnhart Mental Preperation, use of force

Verbal & Non-Verbal Deception Behavior Analysis

July 3rd, 2009

“Truth is generally the best vindication against slander.”

Abraham Lincoln

 

6537d3d20c9526fcIn the course of a day the average correctional officer can be deceived more often than they are spoken the truth.  Inmates will mix truthful information with lies when speaking to officers and you need to be able to pick out the truths and discard the deceptions.  Inmates rely on deception, manipulation and bewilderment in order to gain favors, outside contraband, a phone call or items such as an extra bar of soap.  Read more…

Tracy Barnhart Mental Preperation

Inmate Manipulations

June 21st, 2009

3b68208d7a9de1e8Before I started working behind the fence I always thought of manipulations as my three year old twins throwing a fit in the grocery store in order to get a sucker.  Or my fifteen year old daughter crying and demanding that I answer the question “why” she cannot go to the basketball game, relentlessly.  Well, as it turns out this is all a form of manipulation and in a sense, I as a parent, giving into their tantrums was teaching them from an early age that manipulation is an effective tool.    So it should not have come as a surprise to me when I started to work in corrections that the incarcerated inmates were very adept at the art of manipulations.  But today inmate manipulation is married to violence and aggression to keep an officer off balance out of bewilderment and fear. Read more…

Tracy Barnhart Mental Preperation

The ‘GOD’ Complex

June 3rd, 2009

4633d75304c080801AKRON, Ohio — Stephen Krendick was identified this afternoon as the Summit County Sheriff’s deputy responsible for stomping on the head of inmate Mark D. McCullaugh Jr. during the fatal 2006 struggle at the county jail.  Fellow deputy Keith Murray, who witnessed the struggle in McCullaugh’s fouled cell in the jail’s mental health unit, testified that McCullaugh was kneeling on the cell floor — his head over his bunk, his hands cuffed behind his back and his legs shackled — with four or five other deputies around him.  ”I observed Deputy Krendick standing on the bunk, and I observed Deputy Krendick striking Mr. McCullaugh in the head with the bottom of his foot,” Murray said in questioning on the witness stand. Read more…

Tracy Barnhart Mental Preperation, Misconduct / Curruption

What is Misconduct?

June 3rd, 2009

0773d7f607366f30Every time you interact with a citizen or inmate it seems that they are constantly complaining that you have violated their rights or treated them poorly or wronged them in some way.  When it comes right down to it, many officers do not even know what constitutes “Misconduct” or how it’s investigated in the first place.  Read more…

Tracy Barnhart Mental Preperation, Misconduct / Curruption

The Ultimate Use of Force Report

May 26th, 2009

0fa4b9817a601bc2You have just been involved in a stressful and violent situation. Your body has just had a major surge of adrenaline and other chemicals that will be coursing through your system for hours. Now it is time to set down and start writing what transpired. Depending on the severity of the incident will effect your recollection of the episode and the individual clarity will not come into focus for several hours after the violent situation. Read more…

Tracy Barnhart Mental Preperation, use of force