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?"
On June 10, 2015, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) launched a national virtual conference on staff wellness titled “New Directions in Corrections: Staff Wellness.” Session topics will include using neuroscience to reduce stress, “healing corrections,” the organizational implications of boundary violations, creating a purpose-driven corrections career, corrections personnel suicide, and staff wellness.
The objective of “New Directions in Corrections: Staff Wellness” is to: Educate corrections staff on the subject of corrections fatigue and staff wellness; Present strategies and resources for countering the effects of corrections trauma and fatigue; and Equip corrections staff with strategies they can use to move toward professional fulfillment individually and within a workplace culture.
Corrections work often takes a toll on staff’s well-being and functioning due to repeated exposure to multiple types of inherent occupational stressors—specifically, operational, organizational, and traumatic stressors. The cumulative effect of these co-occurring stressors upon corrections professionals and upon entire correctional workplace cultures is captured by the umbrella term and construct of “corrections fatigue.” Effects of corrections fatigue may be low staff morale, impaired job performance, individual health and functioning issues, problematic professional and personal relationships, and high staff turnover. Corrections fatigue includes a variety of facets, many interacting to affect staff negatively and envelop workplace culture in a self-reinforcing cycle that undermines health, functioning, and fulfillment.
This microsite provides access to the eight presentations and links to additional resources.
This is a great article explaining how and why community corrections officers experience traumatic stress on the job and related efforts to address this problem. Sections cover: stress—it comes with the job; number of primary traumatic incidents for officers—28% experience four or more incidents; secondary (indirect ) traumatic stress (STS) or compassion fatigue--symptoms and number experienced—44% of 3-4 symptoms; vicarious traumatization (VT) due to empathetic encounters with victimized individuals and number of incidents experienced—56% of 4 or more; corrections fatigue—symptoms and number experienced—67% of 5 or more; unintended negative consequences of evidence-based practices (EBPs) on trauma exposure; managing stress in the workplace; Maricopa County Adult Probation Department (MCAPD) pilot program to address the impact of trauma exposure; employee stress management model—pre-incident prevention strategies (i.e., Officer Specific Training, and Administration Specific Training), post-incident interventions (i.e., Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Team, Individual Crisis Intervention (ICI), and stress assessments), and the evaluation of pre/post measures; and author observations.