Desert Waters Correctional Outreach, Inc.
Desert Waters Correctional Outreach, Inc.

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512, 2021

The Best Defense May Indeed Be a Good Offense

December 5, 2021|Blog|

In Desert Waters’ signature course “From Corrections Fatigue to Fulfillment™” (CF2F), we repeatedly emphasize that wellness interventions designed to move staff from a place of work-related Fatigue to a place of Fulfillment are a two-way street in a correctional organization. That is, to maximize the probability of successful outcomes, interventions must be BOTH bottom-up AND top-down. By bottom-up, we mean self-care and other health-promoting activities and behaviors that individual staff can practice on their own, independently of anyone else, on and off the job. By top-down, we mean programs, resources, and system-wide policies instituted and implemented by the organization to promote employee wellness. Bottom-up, individual-focused activities are about what employees can do themselves—and that no one else can do for them. They and only they can make these behaviors happen, and often only they know if they have disciplined themselves enough to follow through with these activities. Individual, bottom-up, activities include good sleep hygiene; healthy nutrition; regular physical exercise; avoidance [...]

312, 2021

When “Post” Is Actually “Ongoing”

December 3, 2021|Blog|

I recently spoke with a reporter who was gathering material for an upcoming documentary on the subject of correctional officer suicide. My aim for one part of the conversation was to explain how aspects of correctional work, if not processed properly, may contribute to suicidal thinking and behaviors. During the course of our conversation, I mentioned traumatic exposure at work as one of these possible contributors. I pointed out the fact that, during the course of their careers, correctional personnel are typically exposed to diverse types of incidents of violence, injury or death, either directly or indirectly. In my discussion with the reporter, I added that research supports the notion that both direct and indirect exposure to these types of incidents is potentially traumatizing and can result in the development of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), clinical depression and substance abuse disorders—all of which are risk factors for the development of suicidal thinking and behaviors. [Direct traumatic exposure includes experiencing potentially [...]

2911, 2021

Breaking the “I’m Good!” Code of Silence

November 29, 2021|Blog|

What It Is and How It Works I still remember one corrections officer telling me that when he joined a corrections agency, other custody staff would not talk to him. But after he dealt with the murder of an incarcerated individual without blinking an eye – without showing any signs of emotional distress – he was warmly embraced by veteran staff and welcomed into the fold. He told me that the message he received that day loudly and clearly was that he should not show that he was bothered by anything he witnessed at work, no matter how gruesome. This officer went on to work for another 14 years in corrections, serving in the front lines. During the course of his (outwardly, at least) successful career, he went through two major relationship breakups, and he developed a dependence on alcohol and tobacco products, and a propensity to play violent computer games after work for 5 or more hours at a [...]


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