• FACT: Research suggests that 26% of corrections professionals suffer from moderate to extreme depression symptom severity.

  • FACT: Desert Waters Correctional Outreach provides data-driven and evidence-based services for addressing the problem of Corrections Fatigue in workplace cultures.

  • FACT: Corrections Fatigue is a complex deterrent to staff health and functioning in correctional settings and organizations. Desert Waters provides organizations with the necessary tools for addressing problems comprehensively and on the group-level.

  • FACT: While all corrections staff are vulnerable to Corrections Fatigue, Security/Custody staff experience it to the largest extent, on average.

  • The book ''Staying Well: Strategies for Corrections Staff'', by Caterina G. Spinaris, PhD., provides techniques to help staff transition from Corrections Fatigue to Fulfillment.

  • FACT: Severe manifestations of Corrections Fatigue can include dangerous levels of depression, elevated suicide risk, and/or PTSD.

  • The Corrections Fatigue Status Assessment™ (CFSA-v5) is a scientifically developed assessment tool for gauging facility wide levels of Corrections Fatigue. See the Products/Services page for more information.

  • The Depression Danger Scale (DDS) allows organization-level assessment of suicide risk and comparison to national baselines.

  • ''Processing Corrections Work: A Workbook to Combat Corrections Fatigue and Increase Corrections Fulfillment'', by Caterina G. Spinaris and Gregory Morton.

  • The Violence, Injury, and Death Exposure Scale (VIDES) measures the magnitude of traumatic exposure within the workforce.

  • DWCO offers a variety of workshops of particular relevance for corrections staff. See the Trainings page for more information.

  • Dealing with Corrections Fatigue requires education and understanding of its precursors, as well as techniques and tools for managing and preventing it.

  • See the Research page for a variety of downloadable publications highly relevant to corrections staff health and functioning, by Michael D. Denhof, Caterina G. Spinaris, and Gregory R. Morton.

  • FACT: Research suggests that 27% of corrections professionals meet criteria for PTSD.

  • FACT: The suicide rate for individuals who work as corrections professionals far exceeds the rate for individuals in the general population.

  • FACT: Research indicates that corrections professionals with PTSD and/or Depression symptoms demonstrate lower levels of functioning in multiple contexts: work, relationships, ability to enjoy leisure time, care-giving, and personal responsibilities.

  • DWCO's ''Resilient Supervisor™'' course is a highly interactive, outcome-focused, 4-day course that clarifies evidence-supported and resilience-promoting attitudes and behaviors and how to implement them.

  • The Corrections Staff Resilience Inventory (CSRI) is a DWCO assessment service offering that scientifically identifies the presence and absence of resilience-promoting behaviors (RPBs) within the workforce.

  • The RPB Action Plan is a Desert Waters intervention that provides customized training to corrections staff following a scientific assessment battery, with the goal of increasing RPBs, reducing Corrections Fatigue, and promoting staff movement toward Corrections Fulfillment.

  • Subscribe to the ''Correctional Oasis'' monthly publication for educational information, accounts, research excerpts, and testimonials on the nature of corrections work and ways of managing its challenges.

  • The Depression Danger Scale (Individual version) is an online assessment application that DWCO has made available at no charge to individual Corrections Professionals concerned about the extent to which they may be depressed. See the Products/Services page for access.

  • DESERT WATERS TRAINING TESTIMONIAL: ''This training was life-altering to me at a dark time of my life/career. I think that with this information, tools will come fully into my life and my husband’s. The cloud has lifted...'' Anonymous

  • Currently Available: the Corrections Fatigue cost estimator, which estimates the financial cost of un-addressed Corrections Fatigue in your organization's workplace culture.

  • Version 5 of the Corrections Fatigue Status Assessment allows Corrections Fatigue sources to be identified and gauged in 9 key content areas.

  • FACT: Research indicates that 17% of corrections professionals meet criteria for both depression and PTSD concurrently.

  • FACT: Research indicates that, on average, the more Violence, Injury, and Death (VID) events corrections professionals experience, the more likely they are to meet criteria for PTSD or suffer moderate to severe Depression symptom severity.

  • FACT: Changing workplace cultures and reducing Corrections Fatigue among staff requires multi-faceted intervention efforts, including trainings, education, leadership support, and ongoing data-driven assessments.




Desert Waters Correctional Outreach (DWCO) is a Colorado-based 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation with the mission to promote the occupational, personal and family well-being of the public safety workforce through the provision of support, resources and customized data-driven solutions. While serving all branches of public safety, Desert Waters specializes in the wellness of corrections agencies and corrections staff of all disciplines.



Research shows that public safety personnel are negatively affected by their routine exposure to occupational stressors. The toll of such repeated exposure includes impaired job performance, high sick leave use, professional misconduct, high turnover, physical illnesses, mental health conditions, and suicide. These negative consequences inevitably translate into multi-faceted high costs to individuals, families, and organizations. Data-driven strategies to counter the toll of occupational stressors and to promote staff resilience are both a moral imperative and a means to reduce individual and agency costs and liability. (Click the Estimate costs…tab above for additional info)



The following are expected beneficial outcomes of implementing Desert Waters’ research-driven materials:

  • INCREASED psychological preparedness; inoculation against traumatic stress and other high-stress events; professionalism; wellness-promoting activities; resilience; and overall health of the workforce culture.
  • REDUCED risk of developing enduring signs of Corrections Fatigue¹ or mental health conditions; absenteeism; staff turnover; risk of suicide; and agency litigation potential.



Desert Waters’ materials, often implemented systemically as a package, include:

1. Desert Waters’ signature course, “From Corrections Fatigue to Fulfillment™” , offered as four-day Instructor Training with Certification, and also as a one-day course, in customized versions, to staff of adult institutions, probation and parole, juvenile facilities, juvenile community services, those working with sex offenders in any capacity, and new hires.

2. Assessment instruments, scientifically designed, corrections-specific, valid and reliable — the Corrections Fatigue Status Assessment™-version 5, the Corrections Staff Resilience Inventory™, the Depression Danger Scale™, and the Violence Injury and Death Exposure Scale™-version 2.

3. Book “Staying Well : Strategies for Corrections Staff”, 2nd Edition, by Dr. Spinaris. Foundational principles of corrections staff wellness at work and at home.

4. Book “Passing It Along : Wisdom from Corrections Staff.” Articles on wellness and professionalism written by veteran corrections employees, compiled and edited by Dr. Spinaris.

5. Workbook “Processing Corrections Work” by Dr. Spinaris and Mr. Morton. Ideal for inoculating new recruits against Corrections Fatigue by reinforcing, through repetition, professional fulfillment and self-care habits. Also invaluable tool for veteran employees. Soon to be available in electronic format.

6. Inspirational posters of Corrections Fulfillment principles for individual and organizational health.

7. E-learning module Critical Incident First Aid This is a scientifically developed web-based educational experience for promoting the resilience and well-being of public safety personnel prior to or following exposure to work-related critical incidents.


Additional research-driven services and products are also featured on this site.

For more information, contact us at 719-784-4727 or by clicking HERE.


¹ The term Corrections Fatigue, coined by DWCO’s founder, Caterina Spinaris, PhD, denotes the combined and cumulative toll of three types of occupational stressors inherent to corrections work—operational, organizational, and traumatic stressors.


NEW! Dr. Spinaris participated in the National Institute of Corrections’ Broadcast “Corrections Stress: Peaks and Valleys.” Click HERE to access.

NEW!  Passing It Along: Wisdom from Corrections Staff (Volume 1) now available. Compiled and edited by Dr. Caterina Spinaris. Click HERE for more information.

NEW! Revised and Expanded Second Edition of the book “Staying Well” by Dr. Caterina Spinaris, is now available. Click HERE for more information.

3-Part Article by Dr. Spinaris—Hazmat Suit for the Soul. Click HERE to access. 


Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)


Your Question

Estimate the Cost of Corrections Fatigue for your Organization

Corrections Fatigue Costs Estimator

The financial costs of Corrections Fatigue within an organization are significant. Empirical data shows that approximately 20% of staff members in a given corrections organization experience a “high” level of Corrections Fatigue as measured by the Corrections Fatigue Status Assessment™ (CFSA-v5). Individuals who constitute this 20% also account for a disproportionately larger number of sick days compared to the rest of the workforce. Absences due to staff calling in sick require replacement workers who are often paid time and a half to fill in. Based upon this information, the monetary cost of sick days due to Corrections Fatigue can be estimated. In the fields below, enter a typical or average rate of pay for staff in your organization and the approximate total number of employees. A figure will be generated that reflects the annual cost to your organization of unaddressed Corrections Fatigue. Note: This figure only accounts for the additional sick days taken by those scoring in the high Corrections Fatigue range compared to the rest of the employees. It does not include the cost of other manifestations of Corrections Fatigue, such as lower job performance or high turnover. And it does not include the number of additional sick days taken by those experiencing moderate Corrections Fatigue levels. Thus, it reflects only a significant but small portion of Corrections Fatigue’s costs. 

Subscribe to the Correctional Oasis

Corr_Oasis_May-2014_Thumb for websiteTo receive monthly issues of the Correctional Oasis by email, enter your email address below and press send.












Recent Corrections News / Media

Facebook Posts


Contact Us:

431 East Main StreetFax:719-784-2214
P.O. Box 355Executive DirectorCaterina Spinaris
Florence, CO 81226Research PsychologistMichael Denhof
Contact UsTraining ManagerGregory Morton
Senior TrainerSusan Jones
Office ManagerTed Tudor
Executive AssistantJudy Myers

newspaper templates - theme rewards