Presentation on theme: "Welcome to Volunteering for the North Dakota Department of Corrections DOCR Mission Statement Our Mission is to enhance public safety, to reduce the risk."— Presentation transcript:
Welcome to Volunteering for the North Dakota Department of Corrections DOCR Mission Statement Our Mission is to enhance public safety, to reduce the risk of future criminal behavior by holding adult and juvenile offenders accountable, and to provide opportunities for change.
Learning Objectives Welcome Entrance Requirements Exit Requirements Role of a Volunteer Qualities of a Good Volunteer You are Appreciated Safety First Core Values Emergency Situation PREA Relationships Confidentiality When Confidentiality Does Not Apply Volunteer Confidentiality Media and Public Relations The Correctional Environment The Nature of Inmate Characteristics Behaviors Beliefs Anatomy of a Setup Steps of the Con Game How to Stop the Con Game Warning Signs Response The Criminal Mind Anti-Social Personality Disorder Tactics which Obstruct Effective Treatment The Pro-Social Mind Working with Inmates-Effective Service Non-Religious Program Religious Programs Female Institutions Conclusion
Welcome! It is with great pleasure that we welcome you to our team as a volunteer! We hope that you find your time rewarding as well as exciting, as you become accustomed to the experience of being in a correctional facility. Working in a prison takes a unique volunteer, one who can work within a restrictive environment while obtaining satisfaction in helping others to become successful members of society. Things such as going through a scanner, not being able to carry your personal belongings, and being told what you can and cannot do, have, or say can be daunting for many volunteers.
You are Appreciated Many offenders do not know how to say “Thank you.” Others find it embarrassing to show gratitude. As a result, sometimes volunteers may feel unappreciated and may be tempted to quit. Remember, staff and offenders alike are aware of the time, talent, and efforts volunteers provide to the entire department. If you do not receive a verbal “Thank You,” we hope we are providing some signs of appreciation along the way so that you know how greatly you are valued. Thank you for choosing to serve as a volunteer in a prison. It is with great hope that your decision to be of service to others provides you with opportunities for personal satisfaction and growth. We welcome you as you become a valued volunteer and significant member of our team.
Appropriate Inappropriate Undergarments Shirts with sleeves Blouses with sleeves Slacks with no holes Mid calf length skirts Close Toed Shoes Halter Dresses/Halter Tops Sleeveless shirts Tank tops Skirts more than two inches above the knee Crop or half shirts Shirts that expose the midsection Bibs Tear away pants Caps or hats Shear or excessively tight fitting clothing Spandex/yoga pants (Unless they are wearing a long shirt or other clothing that will cover their backside) Dress Code
Entrance Requirements Must have a valid government issued photo identification. Volunteer status will be verified in the computer to ensure the volunteer is eligible to enter the facility. If you were a prisoner less than one year ago or are on probation, you will not receive clearance. If you have a relative or close friend incarcerated where you wish to volunteer, you will need prior clearance. All medications coming into the facility with a volunteer need prior approval. Volunteer’s are subject to search at any time. If the volunteer fails to comply, access to the institution will be denied. Volunteers and any items they are bringing in (Bible, ect.) must be searched, approved and possibly put through the x-ray machine. All personal belongings (keys, cell phone, billfold, ect.) will be locked in a locker in the lobby at NDSP. At JRCC, all belongings need to be secured in the volunteers vehicle. The volunteer will receive a temporary ID to wear while in the institution. The volunteer’s hand will be stamped with a black light stamp.
Exit Requirements The volunteer will sign the temporary ID card and turn it in to Master Control The staff will verify the hand stamp with a black light At NDSP, items can be retrieved from the locker for exiting the facility.
Safety First Our Mission is to enhance public safety, to reduce the risk of future criminal behavior by holding adult and juvenile offenders accountable, and to provide opportunities for change. A volunteer fosters the mission of a correctional facility by being attentive to the rules of conduct that promote personal and institutional safety. A volunteer must understand that he/she will be held to the same standards as correctional staff regarding safety and conduct with offenders. On the next slide are four core values that are models for correctional staff and volunteer conduct.
Core Values Responsibility: Accountability for his/her actions Respectfulness: Treats others as he/she wants to be treated Honesty: Has the courage to do the right thing Caring: Is aware of how he/she serves and the impact it has on others
The Role of a Volunteer Volunteers who work in a correctional facility play many roles. Volunteers may provide programming services to offenders or assist staff in areas such as substance abuse treatment, education, mental health services, or religious and rehabilitative programs. Dependability is essential as a volunteer if you expect to be a real service to the institution, as well as to the offenders. Volunteers serve as role models for work ethic, behavior change, and effective interpersonal skills. Volunteers are expected to perform the role with a sense of responsibility and professionalism. You must be willing to be trained and supervised by a staff person. As a volunteer, you are assuming responsibilities that demand loyalty, both to the institution and the offender. If you do not understand a situation, statement or rule, asking staff questions will give you the correct information.
Qualities of a Good Volunteer Ethical: Serve as a role model for offenders by following the rules and encouraging them to do the same. Good Listener: Listening to the offenders and caring about their thoughts and feelings. Empathetic: Listening with the intent to understand. This does not mean believe everything you hear or that you must agree with it. Respectful: Respect offenders as individuals, empathize with their situation, and believe in their capacity to change. There is no room for prejudices or feelings of superiority when working in the corrections environment. Sincerity: Express your true feelings with tact and consideration. Be aware to not disclose too much information. Trustworthy: Make promises only when you can carry them out. Once a trust with an offender is broken, it is next to impossible to regain. Maintain confidentiality within reason. Staff must be informed of anything that may lead to injury, escape, or death.
Qualities of a Good Volunteer Patience: Remember that security takes first priority. As a result, schedules within the prison are subject to change at any time. Allow time for the unexpected and be flexible enough so that all aspects of safety, security, and access can be accommodated. Objective: Always remember that you are only hearing one side of a story. It is imperative that you do not interfere with a correctional officer in the performance of his or her duties. If you have questions, you are encouraged to discuss them with the appropriate staff or your supervisor. Realistic: Know that you probably will not see the results of your time, effort, and interaction with the offenders. Don’t be discouraged-you never know when a word or deed will be the drive for change in someone’s life.
Emergency Situations Correctional staff has been trained to deal with emergencies ranging from fires to medical problems, fights, riots, escapes, disturbances, and institutional failures. Volunteers must not interfere with the implementation of emergency procedures. A volunteer’s first step in any emergency is to notify the nearest correctional staff member. The staff member will instruct the volunteer from there. DOCR uses code 10-33 to designate an emergency situation. Fire: Be familiar with the evacuation routes and areas in the building or room in which the volunteer program is located. Medical: Even if a volunteer has been trained in CPR or First Aid, the volunteer should first notify correctional staff before attempting to perform lifesaving measures on an offender. This is for the volunteer’s safety as the offender population has a higher potential for exposure to communicable diseases and the correctional staff has been trained in the proper handling of these situations. Correctional staff is aware of the location of protective equipment.
Emergency Situations Hostage: In the event of a hostage situation, the facility will make every effort to ensure the safety of a volunteer. Have patience and remain calm while the hostage negotiation team works with the offender to resolve the situation. Inclement Weather: In any situation where the volunteer may feel road conditions may be hazardous for driving, the volunteer should remain home. Safety is of primary importance and volunteer programming can be rescheduled. A volunteer program may have to be moved or cancelled in the event of an emergency. In every case, a volunteer should immediately follow instructions and refrain from asking questions until the emergency is under control and the institution has returned to normal operations.
Movement Volunteers are only authorized to be in a specific area for a specific amount of time. Stay in this area and make sure correctional staff know where you are at all times. If there is an emergency, do not overreact. Wait for correctional staff to instruct you. Walk, don’t run.
Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) The Federal Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003, along with the DOCR’s zero tolerance policy regarding staff/volunteer sexual misconduct with inmates, are to discourage and prevent sexual misconduct with offenders and to establish uniform procedures for reporting, investigating, and adjudicating incidents of sexual misconduct with offenders. Volunteers must report all allegations and incidents of sexual misconduct, violence, or threatened workplace violence. Correctional administration will review and treat in a serious manner all reports, which remain confidential unless disclosure becomes necessary. There is no such thing as consensual sex in prison.
Relationships Interaction with Offenders A volunteer must not associate with, accompany, correspond with, or consort with any offender without approval from administrative staff. A volunteer should treat all offenders impartially and not grant special privileges to any offender. A volunteer must not telephone an offender, not accept phone calls or make phone calls on behalf of an offender. A volunteer must divide attention among many offenders. A volunteer should turn conversations away from intimate subjects immediately. If the conversation persists, report it to the nearest correctional staff member. A volunteer must not allow physical contact other than the shaking of hands. A volunteer must resist the ego trip from an offender’s attention and be careful not to lead the offender on with words or actions.
Contraband Do not bring to or take anything from an inmate. This includes a letter, a Christmas card, a stamp, money, a piece of gum, a photo, a religious tract, a piece of literature-anything! Do not give or take anything no matter how trivial. Do not mail anything for an inmate. Do not let someone else mail something to you to bring to an inmate. In short, nothing changes hands between a volunteer and an inmate. The chaplain can give religious literature to an inmate, and occasionally the Chaplain authorizes a volunteer to give literature that has been pre- approved. Each piece of literature needs pre-approval each time.
Correspondence/Transactions Do not engage in any financial transactions or promise to pay for anything under any circumstance. Do not correspond with, take phone calls for, or make arrangements with an inmate’s family-with or without the inmate’s knowledge. Do not give out your personal address.
Relationships Interaction with Staff Be professional at all time. If you have a question, ask. No one knows everything. Do not have a confrontation or challenge a staff member’s authority in front of offenders. If the issue with the staff member cannot be resolved quietly, the volunteer should speak with administrative staff. Remember your conversations will most likely be overheard.
Confidentiality Correctional staff and volunteers are required to protect the privacy rights of offenders. Confidential and private information regarding offenders include any communicable form compiled by a criminal justice agency which concerns an identifiable individual and relates to the nature or disposition of a criminal charge, arrest, pre-trial proceeding, other judicial proceeding, sentencing, incarceration, rehabilitation, or release. It is the consensus of experienced volunteers in correctional facilities that the less information a volunteer has concerning an offender the more effectively a volunteer can interact with the offender population.
When Confidentiality Does Not Apply An offender indicates that he is a threat to his own life or someone else’s An offender is planning an escape, disturbance, or commission of a crime There is suspicion of child abuse There is specific knowledge of details of a crime for which the offender was never prosecuted
Volunteer Confidentiality A volunteer must not share his/her personal information with any offender. A volunteer should not divulge his/her home address, organizational address or post office box, and should limit the amount of personal information shared with offenders regarding children, employment, relatives, and places of worship.
Media and Public Relations All statements regarding volunteers or volunteer programming as well as incidents within the facility are released through the public information office after being approved by administrative staff.
The Correctional Environment Most offenders, whether in jail or prison, have committed previous crimes and have had numerous arrests escalating in severity and frequency. Prisons and jails are expected to “cure” the lifetime dysfunctional habits of the lowest one percent of the population in a few weeks or years, when, in fact, anti-social attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that contributed to the criminality get worse during incarceration. Most volunteers will not interact much, if at all, with the anomalies of the correctional environment, but understanding the subculture is essential in order to be a safe, knowledgeable, and valued volunteer.
The Nature of Inmates The fundamental difference between the prison environment and the community can be explained, at least to some degree, by looking at the characteristics, attitudes, and beliefs of typical inmates. Not all inmates will fit this profile but there are some common traits for the majority. Statistics: Nearly 90% of inmates are male. Over 60% are between the age of 25 and 40. The average age is 35 years old. Most are serving five to six years. 95% will get out within the next five years. About 55% of males have children; over 70% of females do.
Inmate Characteristics Needy: Inmates want your undivided attention. They may ask you to do favors for them or allow them special privileges knowing that you cannot do so. Manipulative: If an inmate wants something from you, he will find a way to convince you. It doesn’t matter how old you are, what you look like, or whether you are male or female-you can be manipulated without knowing if you don’t pay attention to classic signs. Incomplete Education: Only about 50% of inmates have a GED or high school diploma at the time of incarceration. Job Skills Poor or Lacking: Nearly ¾ of inmates were unemployed or working in non-skilled jobs at the time of incarceration. Abusive: An amazing number of inmates came from abusive homes and continue the abuse in their lives. This behavior is not limited to drugs and alcohol, but often includes sexual, physical, and psychological abuses as well.
Characteristics Addictive Personalities: Drugs or alcohol are factors in 80% to 90% of crimes, even when the charges are for something else. Poor Problem Solvers: Inmates usually don’t know how to analyze a problem and find an appropriate solution. This may be manifested in blaming others for failures. Higher Level Thinking Skills Undeveloped: Appropriate decision making, analytical, and judgmental thinking processes are poorly developed. Cause and effect reasoning is faulty and the ability to understand consequences or plan ahead is lacking. Emotionally/Socially Immature: Inmates live in the moment and expect immediate responses. Intelligent & Articulate: In spite of their deficiencies and poor life choices, inmates are quite intelligent and able to express themselves eloquently.
Behaviors Self-Serving: Inmates tend to do what is beneficial to them. They are not sensitive to how their actions affect others. Participate in Program of the Moment: Inmates don’t necessarily go to faith groups or programs to hear the message. Other motivations include whether sentence credit is given, whether food is available, to check out new people, or simply to get out of the units for a while. New groups or volunteers will experience this the first few times, then the more serious inmates will come. Rest of the Story: Inmates love to tell their stories, particularly to caring religious and program providers. Beware, however, that you will hear only what an inmate wants you to hear in order to make him/her look better. Oscar Performers: Inmates will be who they think you want them to be. Cooperative, Polite, Appreciative: Inmates will be cooperative because they know they could easily lose the privilege of attending your group. They are also very polite and will tell you how much they appreciate you and what you do for them. Some of the praise is genuine, but don’t believe everything they tell you. They may be trying to soften you or get you to like them so they can ask for favors later.
Beliefs Antisocial Attitudes: Inmates usually resent authority figures and blame others for their incarceration. They also believe they are victims of the system. They can beat the system: Many inmates believe they can find a way out, not by escape, but by mistake in the court proceedings, a wrongful accusation, or mistrial.
Anatomy of a Setup Not all inmates want to get something from you. Many are sincere and attend your programs and ministries for the reasons they are intended. The following information is to protect you from those who want something from you and may attend services or classes for selfish reasons. Getting you to do things against the rules and to bring in things you shouldn’t is much more likely to happen to you than physical assault. It can happen to anybody without realizing what is going on. Nobody is immune to con games. Wardens, correctional officers, teachers, and ministers, as well as volunteers, have fallen prey to compromise. Males going into male facilities and females going into female facilities are not necessarily safe either. Setups occur in all combinations. The following is the standard pattern used to compromise a person.
Steps of the Con Game Selection of a Victim: The inmates observe everything a person does. They are watching body language, listening to conversations, and watching reactions to other people and the environment. Those who want something from you will use this information along with your friendliness, naivety, and familiarity to determine if you are a potential victim. Testing the Limits: Once you have been selected, testing of your tolerance levels and reactions to minor violations will begin. Support System: One or more inmates may offer to help you with small tasks so that you depend on them to some level. The intention here is that when you need something, you will automatically turn to the inmate who has become your helper. Empathy/Sympathy: The helper will share his story and problems with you. He will share with you because you are special and listen; the other’s don’t. He may get information about an event in your life or ask about something personal and discuss it with you, lending his deepest sympathy. He may ask you to violate a small rule “one time only”, such as bring in food for him, because he has no money in his account and you wouldn’t want him to do without the basics.
Steps of the Con Game Plea for Help: The inmate will continue to prey on your sympathy and tell you he is a failure with no self-confidence. He will, however, change his lifestyle and mend his ways if only you help. We/They Syndrome: Now that you have become friends, the inmate will continue to connect with you emotionally and attempt to further alienate you from your support base. “We” becomes you and the inmate against the system, the officers, other inmates, other volunteers, or whoever the inmate chooses. Offers of Protection: The paranoia that you may have developed is okay because your friendly inmate will take care of you. He will not allow the other inmates to hurt you, nor the officers and other volunteers to speak badly of you. Fear is a key element now.
Steps of the Con Game Allusions to Sex: Since the inmate has convinced you how wonderful you are and how much he needs you, he may ask to be alone with you, tell you how great he would treat you on the outside and that a hug is not a problem. Touch System: The touch system is usually initiated early in the setup and subtly continued throughout the process. Handshakes, pats on the back, and other brief physical contact are typical. It will usually occur over a period of time so that you don’t get suspicious or notice a pattern. If an inmate can get you to hug him, chances are he can talk you into anything he wants. Rumor Clinic: Inmates will make up information and spread rumors about you in an attempt to make you more paranoid and further alienate you from people who can protect you.
Steps of the Con Game Shopping List: Eventually you will receive a list of demands from the inmate or inmates that set you up. At first they will ask for things you can bring them, such as books or paper, to get you used to bringing things through the gate and to get the gate officer used to your bringing things in. The demands will escalate to contraband and things you know you can’t do, but the inmates will convince you that you can comply with their demands without getting caught. Lever: You will likely object to the demands, but the inmates will blackmail you by reminding you of all the things you did previously that were against the rules. Sting: Once the inmates have gotten what they want from you or they think investigators know what’s going on, they will turn you in. They will tell everything you did and many things you didn’t do. They may be disciplined for compromising you but it was worth it to them to play the game.
How to Stop the Game The best defense is to avoid getting involved in the first place. That is hard for ministry and program people to do, because we are naturally trusting and want to help others. In the corrections environment it is important to learn to say no to things you shouldn’t do and tell the inmates you will ask staff about things you are not certain of. Inmates will not be offended. They know what is allowed and what isn’t. They are testing to see if you know the rules and whether you will follow them. Don’t be afraid to ask an inmate not to touch you, to step back, or to stop what he’s doing. Do not argue with inmates or threaten them. A simple direct request is sufficient and usually met with compliance. If you think an inmate has said something inappropriate or you have done something you shouldn’t, report it immediately. Most problems can be handled in the early stages of the setup. The farther the con game escalates, the less likely the problems can be taken care of without your volunteerism being jeopardized.
Warning Signs Classic warning signs accompany the con game. It is important to watch for signs in your fellow volunteers and to protect one another. Do not go into the prison alone. Go with one or two other people in your ministry. Coming in early, asking to stay after to talk to a particular inmate, or attempting to go to the facility at times other than when you are scheduled is unwise. Corresponding with inmates, whether through letters, cards, or telephone calls, should not be allowed. Personal information, as mentioned earlier, should never be given to inmates. Changing appearance: Dressing up more than usual, changing hairstyle or color, wearing perfume, ect., when going to see “my boys” often indicates undue familiarity and favoritism. Denial of wrong doing is a typical response when accused of over familiarity with inmates and often signals inappropriate relationships.
Response If you think a colleague may have crossed the line of professionalism, report it to your supervisor or volunteer coordinator immediately.
The Criminal Mind The criminal mind seems so mysterious. We often ask how people can be so selfish and mean so as to hurt not only their victims, but to also hurt their own families. They often begin to blame the criminal justice system for their predicament and claim that they are in jail because others are making money on their incarceration. They will constantly minimize their responsibilities and the effects of their own actions.
Antisocial Personality Disorder Mental health professionals often describe people who often engage in criminal activities, or who live a criminal lifestyle as having antisocial personality disorder. Characteristics Failure to conform to societal norms with respect to lawful behaviors. Deceitfulness Impulsivity or failure to plan ahead Irritability or aggressiveness Reckless disregard for safety to others Consistent irresponsibility Lack of Remorse
Tactics which Obstruct Effective Treatment Building oneself up by putting others down-Takes the offensive by trying to put others down, thus avoiding a put down himself. Feeding others what he thinks they want to hear Feeding others what he thinks they ought to know- What the criminal considers “important” is anything that puts him in a favorable light. Lying Vagueness Attempting to confuse others- Offers inconsistent versions of a given event Minimization Diversion Assent- Saying yes without really meaning it
Tactics which Obstruct Effective Treatment Silence-May attempt to control a meeting with silence Selective attention/participation-Ignores everything unrelated to his objective Total inattention Tardiness & missing groups/appointments Confession- May think reporting his violations makes them acceptable Misunderstanding Generalizing to the point of absurdity Deliberate postponement Claiming enough change to leave the program Putting others on defensive-The tactics of attack
The Pro-Social Mind The model that has been found to have the most success with working with offenders is the cognitive-behavioral model. It combines the ideas of looking at observable actions, looking at the results of those actions in our lives, examining how the results of our actions meet our basic human needs, and the beliefs and thoughts that support our actions. When the results of our actions meet our needs in the long term, then our beliefs are healthy and useful. When the results of our beliefs do not meet our needs over time, then we have long-term problems.
Working with Inmates-Effective Service 1) Flexibility: Flexibility is not being flexible with the rules or standards of conduct. It is not a compromise. It is being able to adjust your approach to the people you are trying to reach. It is being able to adjust how you have always done things in order to reach your goals. It is being able to see things from another’s perspective. 2) Identifying the Need: Find out where the needs are and then decide where you have a passion or desire to fill the need. 3) Understanding Cultural Differences: Inmates may come from a very different cultural backgrounds. Education levels may be lower than what the volunteer is used to so the language and materials used must be carefully considered. Also their background may be different so put thought into how to effectively use illustrations that they can relate to. 4) Maintaining Personal Integrity: When dealing with offenders, always keep your promises and do not make promises you cannot keep.
Non-Religious Programs Many religious people are trained to provide secular programs. They understand there is a need for the program but that the offenders may not receive it without their help. The most important thing the volunteer must remember is to maintain the integrity of the program. There may be temptation to turn a non-religious program into a religious program by the way it is presented. Connecting the principles of a program to one’s faith makes it a faith-based program. In some settings this may be allowed, but it should always be approved in advance. If you are serving as a volunteer in a non-religious program: Don’t try, even subconsciously, to make it a religious program When asked, be open about your faith but don’t preach Trust God to use your service, abide by the rules and serve with integrity
Religious Programs Remember that prison is a government institution, not your local church or religious institution. The makeup of the group is very diverse. Even if you do know all members of the service or program, they do not live in your community. Things that are said in the group will be talked about on the prison yard. Sometimes there are statements that are appropriate for your outside faith group that may not be appropriate in a prison setting. Dissension breeds easily on the prison yard so controversial subjects are best kept out of the correctional setting. Be positive about what you believe without being negative about what someone else believes.
Females Institutions There are two key factors in dealing with females inmates as opposed to male inmates. They are: 1) Need for Emotional Connection: Females need for emotional connection and their willingness to be open about their problems means female offenders participate in programs to a higher degree than men and are usually much more responsive. This emotional need makes it more likely they will develop inappropriate relationships with staff or volunteers 2) Concern for Children and Grandchildren: The vast majority of female offenders experience a combination of guilt, loss, frustration, and fear when it comes to their children. For many women, you can not reach them without addressing this need.
Conclusion Effectiveness is important for both internal and external reasons. Internally, volunteers want to make a difference so it is natural effectiveness is important to them. Their rewards are not found in a paycheck or a retirement plan. Externally, the corrections industry as a whole is becoming increasingly outcome focused. Volunteers can embrace this emphasis by realizing what contributes to effective volunteer service and incorporating those things. It’s about always looking for ways to improve what we do. Our hope is that through this presentation, we will help volunteers understand some of these principles and, as a result, they can be even more effective at doing what they do best-making a difference every day.