Ethics Series: Professionalism Course Created/Authored by: Philip Miller, David Wortham and Amado Garcia Course Approved by & Date: Annual Reviewer & Dates: Assigned Course Code Index: DOC 5XX Category: On-line Supervisory Course Type of Training Credit Hours: Supervisory Training Credit: 3 Hours Approved Instructors: Self Paced Target Population: Department of Corrections Staff Delivery/Presentation Method: Self Paced or Classroom Evaluation Procedures: None Data Sources: OP-110215,OP-110214, Character First 49 Character Qualities, Department of Justice (Office of Public Affairs) Copyright Clearance: Not Required due to Data Sources
Professionalism Professionalism plays a vital part is achieving and maintaining respect in the work place. Having the respect of a co-worker or offender can make a big difference when attempting to resolve various situations.
Objectives: At the conclusion of this block of instruction, participants will be able to: Understand why professionalism is important. Realize how it may affect public perception List ten traits that can directly affect professionalism. Know some positive effects professionalism can have on the work environment Know how a lack of professionalism may affect the work environment
Professionalism Lets start with looking at two very important DOC policies OP-110215 entitled “Rules Concerning the Individual Conduct of Employees” OP-110214 entitled “Workplace Violence”
Code of Conduct (OP-110215) Employees of the department shall, at all times, conduct themselves in a manner befitting the office or position that the employee holds. Employees shall uphold the correctional employee oath, as well as the public’s trust, and will reflect the highest ethical standards.
Code of Conduct (OP-110215) Employees will: 1. Devote full time, attention and effort to their duties during assigned hours of duty; 2. Engage in conduct which affords respect, courtesy, and preserves the dignity of others; 3. Refrain from conduct which is corrupt, illegal, serves to denigrate, demean, or disregard the welfare of others; 4. Promote and model exemplary, law abiding behavior; (4-ACRS-3A-07)
Code of Conduct (OP-110215) Employees will: 5. Avoid any conduct, interest, or relationship which is in conflict with, or detrimental to, the proper and effective discharge of official duties; (2-CO-1C-24, 4-4069, 4-APPFS-3C-02) 6. Be efficient and effective managers of public resources; 7. Conduct work in a manner which contributes to and supports a safe and healthful work environment; (4- APPFS-3E-01) and 8. Promptly and truthfully report any improper actions which violate department policies and procedures, endanger others, or undermine the principles contained herein.
Professionalism Now lets look at a few parts of OP-110214 entitled “Workplace Violence”
Violence, threats, harassment, intimidation, and other disruptive behavior will not be tolerated in the workplace. Employees, who inflict physical injury, threaten to harm or injure, or intentionally damage the property of other employees, visitors, or vendors, will be appropriately disciplined and may be referred for criminal prosecution. Sanctions may include discharge from employment and other penalties as provided by law. (2-CO-1C-04, 2-CO-1C-05)
Examples of Overt Acts of Violence a. Any illegal or criminal act whose purpose or effect is to inflict injury; b. Any deliberate act which results in bruising or physical injury to another; c. Deliberate touching of another, without consent; d. Deliberate damage to any property of the department or any employee, volunteer, visitor or vendor; e. Restraint or detention of another person against his/her will for no lawful purpose; f. Any physical or verbal act of aggression which causes another to experience continuing emotional distress or which could be reasonably expected to cause emotional distress in others; g. Assaults, including those disguised as accidents; and h. Any verbal or nonverbal expression that communicates the intent to coerce or inflict injury, harm, or emotional distress.
Examples of Covert Acts or Threats of Violence a. Menacing actions such as stalking or blocking passage; b. Indirect or veiled threats; and c. Display of a weapon or an object that may be used as a weapon, in an offensive or threatening manner.
Duty to Warn 1. All supervisors having knowledge of a threat or impending act of violence have a duty and responsibility to warn the targeted employee and take all reasonable actions possible to prevent injury in accordance with these procedures. 2. Any employee who fails to discharge the "duty to warn" will be subject to disciplinary action.
Professionalism Professionalism is important off the clock as well as on the clock. Who you are is who you are. Lets take a look out how an inability to be professional outside of work can affect your job.
OP 110215 States: Engaging in any illegal activity, whether on or off duty, is prohibited.
What is illegal activity? Illegal activity is any activity which is prohibited by any federal, state, or municipal criminal laws (except minor traffic violations), as well as any other laws governing the conduct of state employees.
For the purpose of OP 110215, illegal activity includes: Being the subject of a court order that: a. Restrains the subject from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person, or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child; and b. Includes a finding that the subject represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or c. By its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury.
For the purpose of OP 110215, illegal activity includes: The court order must have been issued after a hearing for which the employee received actual notice and received an opportunity to participate.
What does professionalism mean? We have looked at ODOC Policy. Now lets look at why professionalism is important. But first we have to try to define what professionalism is.
Professionalism Can be defined as a noun meaning: 1. professional character, spirit, or methods. 2. the standing, practice, or methods of a professional, as distinguished from an amateur.
Take a minute to think of a person who you feel has professionalism
What is it about that person that made you choose them? Appearance Demeanor Vocabulary Manners Control of emotions Promptness Lack of Humor
Since professionalism means different things to different people your ideas of what makes someone have more professionalism than others may vary a bit. Some of you may even look at professionalism as a negative thing. Maybe you see it as a lack of individuality.
Now take a minute to think of someone you feels lacks professionalism (Please keep this name to yourself)
What is it about that person that made you choose them? Appearance Demeanor Vocabulary Manners Lack of emotional control Tardiness Inappropriate Humor
Since professionalism means different things to different people your ideas of what makes someone lack in it may vary a well. Some of you may still look at professionalism as a negative thing. Have you ever had to work closely with someone who lacks professionalism?
In the News: The following new articles are excerpts from news releases put out by the Department of Justice office of public affairs.
Former Deputy Sheriff Pleads Guilty to Civil Rights Violations Craig Billings, 39, a former deputy sheriff with the Murray County Sheriff’s Office in Sulphur, Okla., pleaded guilty today in federal court to a one-count information charging him with Deprivation of Rights for using unreasonable force and violating the civil rights of an individual who was being booked into the Murray County Jail. According to court documents, on Oct. 8, 2011, Billings, while working in his capacity as a deputy sheriff, physically assaulted the victim, who was handcuffed at the time and not a physical threat to anyone. Billings tackled the victim to the ground, positioned himself over the victim, grabbed the victim by the chin and began to bang the victim’s head into the floor. In so doing, Billings subjected the victim to unreasonable force, punishing him for verbally offending Billings. As a result, the victim sustained a mild concussion and suffered pain and swelling to his head. Billings knew that he was prohibited from using physical force on a restrained arrestee who is not a physical threat, and assaulted the victim anyway. (January 11, 2013)
Former Bernalillo County, New Mexico, Corrections Officer Sentenced for Civil Rights Violations Demetrio Juan Gonzales, 40, a former corrections officer at the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Albuquerque, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court to 33 months in prison followed by three years of supervised released for violating the civil rights of an individual in his custody when he struck and choked the victim in the shower room/dress out area of MDC. Gonzales pleaded guilty in October 2012. According to court documents, during the early morning hours of Dec. 21, 2011, Gonzales was assigned to the Receiving-Discharge-Transfer (RDT) Unit at MDC where individuals are brought to be booked soon after they are arrested. Gonzales’ job was to photograph and fingerprint those who are brought to RDT for booking. The victim, who had been arrested for driving while intoxicated, was verbally uncooperative during the booking process, but was not a physical threat to anyone. Nonetheless, Gonzales became angry at the victim and walked him to the shower room/dress out area where he knew there were no surveillance cameras. Several other corrections officers followed Gonzales to the shower room/dress out area. There, Gonzales physically assaulted the victim, striking him multiple times, and choking him. As a result of Gonzales’ actions, the victim started bleeding. Gonzales acknowledged that the victim did nothing to justify the beating, and as a corrections officer, he was not permitted to assault inmates just because they angered him.(January 8, 2013)
More from the same January 8 th article: Fellow former MDC corrections officers Kevin Casaus, 24, and Matthew Pendley, 26, were indicted by a federal grand jury in June 2012, and are awaiting trial on charges related to this assault. Casaus is charged with violating the victim’s civil right rights when he allegedly shoved and struck the victim while in the shower area/dress out area. Casaus is further charged with obstruction of justice and falsification of records, first for making false statements to detectives of the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) and then for falsifying his incident report. Similarly, Matthew Pendley is also charged with obstruction of justice for making false statements to BCSO detectives, and also for tampering with evidence by cleaning up blood from the shower room/dress out area. Casaus and Pendley are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
Public’s Perception How do you think the general public would feel about your facilities last serious incident report, if they had just read the previous news articles? Do those article make you question reports you may have read in the past?
Ask yourself: Have you ever been able to get someone to corporate with you when others had failed? Have you ever had to fix a problem that was a product of someone’s lack of professionalism? Ever been ashamed to work with someone because of there lowered level of professionalism?
Professionalism Before we talk about the benefits of professionalism lets get on a common ground as far as traits of professionalism.
Character First The development of the Faith and Character Community program started in February 2006 after Director Justin Jones asked that this type of program be implemented in the department. What we are referring to as professionalism, many refer to as positive character
Character First The list of 49 Character qualities may help you open your eyes to things you have not noticed before. The list gives a quick yet helpful definition of many positive traits. For the purpose of this course we will look at 10 of these traits
10 Traits commonly associated with professionalism As you look at the following 10 slides: Take a minute to think about what each slide says. Think about rather or not you exhibit the trait. Think of someone who you know has this trait and how it may benefit them?
Discernment vs. Shortsightedness Understanding the deeper reasons why things happen
Tolerance vs. Prejudice Realizing that everyone is at varying levels of character development
Flexibility vs. Resistance Willingness to change plans or ideas without getting upset
Justice vs. Corruption Taking personal responsibility to uphold what is pure, right, and true
Availability vs. Self-Centeredness Making my own schedule and priorities secondary to the wishes of those I serve
Dependability vs. Inconsistency Fulfilling what I consented to do, even if it means unexpected sacrifice
Meekness vs. Anger Yielding my personal rights and expectations with a desire to serve
Attentiveness vs. Distraction Showing the worth of a person or task by giving my undivided concentration
Self-Control vs. Self-Indulgence Rejecting wrong desires and doing what is right
Responsibility vs. Unreliability Knowing and doing what is expected of me
Pros of having Professionalism Staff and offenders are more likely to trust you. People may not always like you but will respect that you do you job. Positive work relations. Increases creditability Reduces the possibility of offending others
Problems caused by a lack of professionalism Lack of trust / respect Increase possibility to offend, demean or alienate others Low creditability / confidence of others Hostile / bad work environment Poor team work Others may follow your example
Professionalism You should now be able to: Understand why professionalism is important. Realize how it may affect public perception List ten traits that can directly affect professionalism. Know some positive effects professionalism can have on the work environment Know how a lack of professionalism may affect the work environment
Spread Professionalism When others think of professionalism will they think of you? Why or Why not? You have the ability to raise the level of professionalism in your office, work area or facility. You can directly effect the respect value your ID or badge carries.
The End If you enjoyed this course please take the time to look at other supervisory courses the agency offers both on-line and in the classroom setting. Want more information? Contact your local training officer.