Workshops


Corrections Staff Suicide

There is substantial evidence that the suicide rate of correctional officers is higher than that of the general population. This workshop describes evidence-informed factors of corrections staff suicide; strategies to create a workplace culture that counters these factors, and, instead, nurtures factors that promote resilience and wellness; ways to intervene when staff members appear to be reaching a breaking point; and ways for administrators to effectively and compassionately address a completed staff suicide. This is offered as a 4-hour course.

 

From Corrections Fatigue to Fulfillment

The purpose of this all-day workshop is to educate corrections professionals on the nature of Corrections Fatigue, its facets and its precursors, and to present strategies for deterring it and for boosting staff well-being and professional growth, resulting in Corrections Fulfillment. The course includes the following components:

1. Definition and exploration of inherent wellness-related challenges of corrections work.
2. Examination of strategies to counter or prevent Corrections Fatigue and its effects both individually and organizationally.
3. Identification of individual and organizational strategies to pursue positive growth and professional satisfaction, and to lay the foundation for increased resilience in the midst of often persistent adversity encountered in corrections work.

 

Professional Boundaries for Corrections Professionals

Why would corrections staff, who are well versed in administrative regulations and consequences to infractions, choose to destroy their careers by bringing contraband to work or risk a felony conviction for sexual involvement with justice-involved individuals in their care? This workshop describes circumstances and gradual changes in staff’s core beliefs that can lead to their sliding down the slippery slope of professional misconduct. It also presents factors in the workplace environment that may contribute to the increase of some staff’s emotional vulnerability to boundary violations. The workshop offers suggestions to corrections professionals to help prevent and/or intervene in the case of ethical violations. This is offered as a 4-hour course.

 

Resilience in the Face of Traumatic Exposure in Corrections

Corrections professionals are routinely exposed to incidents involving violence, injury or death, or the credible and serious threat of such, either directly or indirectly. These incidents are potentially traumatizing, and can result in staff developing transient or more enduring symptoms of post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and/or depression. The degree and severity of this work-related exposure necessitates that corrections staff be given tools to deal with such incidents both preventatively—before they occur, and also following their exposure to these events. This training is based on Desert Waters’ groundbreaking research on factors that are associated with increased resilience and decreased Corrections Fatigue of corrections staff, as well as other research in the field of resilience. The course describes the nature and characteristics of resilience in the context of traumatic exposure; presents evidence-informed and data-driven resilience factors and Resilience-Promoting Behaviors (RPBs—cognitive and behavioral self-regulation practices) specific to corrections professionals; and explores ways for staff to implement actionable RPBs in the workplace and in their personal lives. This is offered as 7-hour course or as a 4-hour course.

 

Skillful Conflict Management

Corrections professionals are frequently confronted with high-stress situations that can arouse frustration and anger, possibly resulting in verbal or physical conflict. The way corrections professionals respond to such situations is critical, as it may make the difference between a serious incident being averted or not. This course presents material on the function and types of anger, thought patterns that fuel anger, an introduction to the neuroscience of anger and aggression, cognitive self-management skills to de-escalate one’s own anger, and interpersonal skills to de-escalate others’ anger, including communication skills and problem-solving skills. This is offered as a 7-hour course or as a 4-hour course.

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