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Corrections Stress - 1. General

Provides a list of rights for trauma survivors around personal boundaries, personal communication and personal dependency in therapy.

A publication of Desert Waters Correctional Outreach.

Staff is the life blood of any agency and its most valuable resource. Their wellness is paramount to organizational health and mission effectiveness. What can individuals and organizations do to identify issues commonly associated with corrections stress and cultivate a climate of staff resilience and agency health, stability and excellence?

During this broadcast, we will: Acknowledge the effects and consequences of corrections stress on staff and the organization; Identify commonly referenced terminology that informs the discussion of corrections stress; Explore the context and continuum of stress within the corrections profession; Discuss research and knowledge focusing on corrections stress that effects the individual and organizational culture; Present proactive strategies to identify and address cumulative effects and consequences of corrections stress; Describe individual and organizational strategies to build and maintain a healthy workforce; Discuss proactive tools and resources for both individuals and organizations; [and] Provide individual and organizational resources to promote and support a healthy workforce.

This broadcast will answer the following questions: Why is corrections stress an issue we need to address? What are characteristics of corrections stress? What does it look and sound like? What are distinguishing features of corrections stress within institutional and community settings? How do you build awareness of this issue for yourself and your organization? How do you address the problems and effects associated with corrections stress? What are strategies to deal with stressors? How can leadership introduce this issue within the agency? Who needs to be at the table to discuss it? What resources are available to you and your organization to address this issue? Are you taking advantage of them? What are tools and strategies for engaging and connecting directly with your community stakeholders? What positive steps can you take to make a difference personally and within your organization regarding corrections stress?"

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Corrections Stress: Peaks and Valleys - Segment 2

Staff is the life blood of any agency and its most valuable resource. Their wellness is paramount to organizational health and mission effectiveness. What can individuals and organizations do to identify issues commonly associated with corrections stress and cultivate a climate of staff resilience and agency health, stability and excellence?

During this broadcast, we will: Acknowledge the effects and consequences of corrections stress on staff and the organization; Identify commonly referenced terminology that informs the discussion of corrections stress; Explore the context and continuum of stress within the corrections profession; Discuss research and knowledge focusing on corrections stress that effects the individual and organizational culture; Present proactive strategies to identify and address cumulative effects and consequences of corrections stress; Describe individual and organizational strategies to build and maintain a healthy workforce; Discuss proactive tools and resources for both individuals and organizations; [and] Provide individual and organizational resources to promote and support a healthy workforce.

This broadcast will answer the following questions: Why is corrections stress an issue we need to address? What are characteristics of corrections stress? What does it look and sound like? What are distinguishing features of corrections stress within institutional and community settings? How do you build awareness of this issue for yourself and your organization? How do you address the problems and effects associated with corrections stress? What are strategies to deal with stressors? How can leadership introduce this issue within the agency? Who needs to be at the table to discuss it? What resources are available to you and your organization to address this issue? Are you taking advantage of them? What are tools and strategies for engaging and connecting directly with your community stakeholders? What positive steps can you take to make a difference personally and within your organization regarding corrections stress?"

Corrections Stress Cover
Corrections Stress: Peaks and Valleys - Segment 3

Staff is the life blood of any agency and its most valuable resource. Their wellness is paramount to organizational health and mission effectiveness. What can individuals and organizations do to identify issues commonly associated with corrections stress and cultivate a climate of staff resilience and agency health, stability and excellence?

During this broadcast, we will: Acknowledge the effects and consequences of corrections stress on staff and the organization; Identify commonly referenced terminology that informs the discussion of corrections stress; Explore the context and continuum of stress within the corrections profession; Discuss research and knowledge focusing on corrections stress that effects the individual and organizational culture; Present proactive strategies to identify and address cumulative effects and consequences of corrections stress; Describe individual and organizational strategies to build and maintain a healthy workforce; Discuss proactive tools and resources for both individuals and organizations; [and] Provide individual and organizational resources to promote and support a healthy workforce.

This broadcast will answer the following questions: Why is corrections stress an issue we need to address? What are characteristics of corrections stress? What does it look and sound like? What are distinguishing features of corrections stress within institutional and community settings? How do you build awareness of this issue for yourself and your organization? How do you address the problems and effects associated with corrections stress? What are strategies to deal with stressors? How can leadership introduce this issue within the agency? Who needs to be at the table to discuss it? What resources are available to you and your organization to address this issue? Are you taking advantage of them? What are tools and strategies for engaging and connecting directly with your community stakeholders? What positive steps can you take to make a difference personally and within your organization regarding corrections stress?"

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Corrections Stress: Peaks and Valleys - Intro

Staff is the life blood of any agency and its most valuable resource. Their wellness is paramount to organizational health and mission effectiveness. What can individuals and organizations do to identify issues commonly associated with corrections stress and cultivate a climate of staff resilience and agency health, stability and excellence?

During this broadcast, we will: Acknowledge the effects and consequences of corrections stress on staff and the organization; Identify commonly referenced terminology that informs the discussion of corrections stress; Explore the context and continuum of stress within the corrections profession; Discuss research and knowledge focusing on corrections stress that effects the individual and organizational culture; Present proactive strategies to identify and address cumulative effects and consequences of corrections stress; Describe individual and organizational strategies to build and maintain a healthy workforce; Discuss proactive tools and resources for both individuals and organizations; [and] Provide individual and organizational resources to promote and support a healthy workforce.

This broadcast will answer the following questions: Why is corrections stress an issue we need to address? What are characteristics of corrections stress? What does it look and sound like? What are distinguishing features of corrections stress within institutional and community settings? How do you build awareness of this issue for yourself and your organization? How do you address the problems and effects associated with corrections stress? What are strategies to deal with stressors? How can leadership introduce this issue within the agency? Who needs to be at the table to discuss it? What resources are available to you and your organization to address this issue? Are you taking advantage of them? What are tools and strategies for engaging and connecting directly with your community stakeholders? What positive steps can you take to make a difference personally and within your organization regarding corrections stress?"

Corrections Stress Cover
Corrections Stress: Peaks and Valleys - Segment 1

This three part series addresses the issue of corrections fatigue and how corrections staff can deal with it by developing "hazmat suits for their souls". A hazmat suit for the soul allows you to respond to the "hazardous materials" of daily stress and dangerous incidents during work and to "decontaminate" emotionally afterwards. Part One explains "complex trauma", how it can result in psychological symptoms, diagnostic psychiatric disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), adverse workplace performance, costs, and neurobiological changes. Part Two compares "negative resilience" and true resilience. It explains the need for corrections staff to seek "solid and enduring resilience is of primary importance, as literally lives may depend on it". Part Three explains how corrections staff can develop effective hazmat suits for the soul using prevention or intervention approaches. This part also describes four "categories of behavior (aka factors)" that can increase resilience in corrections staff. The factors are supportive staff relationship effects; self-care health maintenance efforts; confident/perseverant frame of mind; and controlled/logical problem-solving. NOTE: This set of articles was previously published in 2011, and have been updated and reprinted.

Hazmat Suit for the Soul, Parts 1-3 cover

"Staff members are a central aspect of a correctional facility, influencing its safety and security. But with the job comes enormous stress. High levels of stress, in turn, may increase rates of burnout, turnover, absenteeism, and even suicide, particularly during times of increasing costs and decreasing budgets. Bonnie-Jean Thurston-Snoha, Ph.D., of the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Bruceton Mills, WV, and Louis Ernesto Mora, Ph.D., of Pilgrim Psychiatric Center in West Brentwood, NY, argue that employee stress affects not only the individual but also the functioning and security of correctional facilities. The potential negative impact of stress on both employees and facilities underlies the need to understand its origins and implement programs designed to augment correctional workers’ health. The researchers recently summarized factors that influence stress, connections between stress and suicide, staff support programs, and how research may be used to prevent suicide among corrections workers."

This is an excellent introduction to compassion fatigue (CF) (aka corrections fatigue) experienced by correctional health care staff. "While there is some literature on CF and burnout among correctional officers, there is scant information on how these phenomena affect correctional health care staff. This article discusses ways that CF may adversely impact the well-being of qualified mental health professionals who work in jail and prison settings. When left untreated, CF may result in serious and detrimental personal costs to the individual and organization. These costs can be mitigated by positive self-care, which also will be addressed in this article" (p. 10). Sections of this article cover: what compassion fatigue is; the role of trauma; why we neglect ourselves; the importance of prevention; compassion satisfaction—the flip side of CF; calendar it—planning ahead for self-care; organizational considerations; and taking care of yourself.

Minimize Compassion Fatigue, Avoid Burnout and Reignite Your Passion Cover

In recent years there has been a notable increase in research on the ways that correctional occupational stressors can erode the health of correctional employees (Ferdik & Smith, 2017). This increase parallels correctional administrators’ and other stakeholders’ heightened concerns regarding relationships between occupational stressors and employees’ health, performance, and work engagement. These concerns were articulated in a 2017 resolution of the American Correctional Association called the ACA Resolution Supporting Correctional Employee Wellness 2017-1 (www.aca.org). This resolution states that the adverse impact of the job on correctional employees’ wellness is a critical issue that has reached crisis proportions because the occupational risks inherent to the profession increase the health risks for correctional employees. The resolution also posits that the nature of the correctional environment can be a causative factor in the development of high-risk behaviors, such as alcohol abuse. The resolution further adds that traumatic events in the correctional workplace may result in employees succumbing to health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

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