Controlling Your Emotions Keeps YOU out of Jail

Controlling Your Emotions Keeps YOU out of Jail
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Module 1
Recorded on: 2023-11-29
Unit 1 Presentation Materials: Controlling Your Emotions Keeps YOU out of Jail
Unit 2 Transcript: Controlling Your Emotions Keeps YOU out of Jail
Unit 3 Workbook: Controlling Your Emotions Keeps YOU out of Jail
Unit 4 Recording: Controlling Your Emotions Keeps YOU out of Jail

Uncontrolled emotions can lead us to less than favorable outcomes. Relationships, careers, and lives and on the line when emotions are left unchecked. This webinar explores emotions and behavior, and practical strategies for emotional control and stress management to achieve optimal performance.

Leading the discussion is Sam Davis. Sam is currently the Director of Officials for the State of Michigan and previously was the Jail Administrator from the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office (ICSO) in Mason, Michigan. He also served as Chair of the Jail Administrators for the Michigan Sheriffs Association where he was appointed to the Governor’s Task Force on Racial Equity.

This session’s specifics include:

  • How inability to manage our emotions can end up in being locked up – physically, emotionally, or mentally.
  • What emotions are based on how it is processed by the brain and influence behavior.
  • How the feeling brain reacts before the thinking part and how conscious thinking can help manage emotions.
  • Considerations on how emotions impact worker performance, stress effects, and strategies for emotional control.
  • The emotion and behavior model that demonstrates how a situation creates and leads to thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
  • How lack of awareness of our triggers can lead to an emotional cycle as illustrated in a case example of an altercation between a jailer and an inmate.
  • The roadmap to controlling emotions which involves understanding workplace stimuli, recognizing stress influence, developing emotional toughness, and managing our own and others’ emotions.
  • How loss of emotional control can result in making poor decisions, focusing on mistakes or the what-ifs, retaliating and blowing up on others, and not focusing on the task at hand.
  • Essential strategies to employ for emotional control such as mindfulness, breathing exercises, positive self-talk, therapy, exercise, meditation, and journaling.
  • The various emotional and behavioral effects of stress.
  • How our self-talk can adversely impact our emotions as it relates to stress and anxiety levels.
  • The importance of knowing our hot buttons and overcoming these through controlled breathing.
  • Ways to minimize workplace stress by encouraging instead of criticizing, framing success as best effort not perfection, doing fun activities, and managing expectations, among others.
  • The concept of centering that allows athletes to perform at their best in stressful situations.
  • Considerations to become an emotionally tough performer in the workplace.
  • How emotions can have adverse consequences in pressure situations as evidenced in an attack by a deputy on an inmate.
  • Terms of engagement to learn to help control emotions in pressure situations.
  • Practical tips on addressing anger, that emphasizes recognizing triggers, tolerance, and working through mistakes.
  • The key aspects of emotional toughness that focus on our thought process, monitoring feelings, taking a time-out, or seeking professional support.
  • The importance of overcoming perfections for ourselves and others.

Points raised during the Q&A are about:

  • Increased emotional outbursts due to heightened stress levels.
  • Building self-awareness and emotional intelligence.
  • Practical tips on how to respond instead of reacting.
  • Recommended resources on this topic.


Click here to register and view other Jail/Corrections-related webinars and recordings on the JCH website.



Resources and Handouts


Audience Comments

  • “I enjoyed learning about ways to calm my breathing and also how to recognize stressors and overcome them. The training provided some very relevant and usable techniques that are not difficult or laborious. I appreciate all the efforts put into this training and look forward to more in the future. Great Job!! Well Done!!”
  • “The 11 tips for controlling your emotion and the information on centering.”
  • “This was a wonderful webinar, and it is amazing that anger is the emotion that gets us into the most trouble!”
  • “Wonderful pace and tone… soothing; professional presentation with a balance of stories and tips.”
  • “The content from this webinar is applicable in any work/personal environment. Thank you for sharing.”
  • “I liked how he broke it down into simple tasks to use and to be able to utilize as a teaching tool to others.”
  • “Realistic, good suggestions. addressed an issue many don’t want to talk about directly. I thank you for it.”
  • “As a mental health social worker who has had DBT/CBT training, I really appreciated this training. It felt more practical/real and less pretentious than the emotional regulation courses I’ve taken which were more aimed at populations with personality disorders. Emotional regulation is for everyone and is an invaluable skill. I think giving the real-life examples of people losing their cool and framing it as that, was great. Would recommend this seminar 10/10.”
  • “Nicely presented, the visuals were great alongside the lecture and provided clear information. I really liked this presenter- easy to listen to and understand!!”
  • “This was another EXCELLENT topic and PRESENTER.. ( HE KNOWS HIS STUFF).”




The American Jail Association (AJA) is a national, nonprofit organization that supports the professionals who operate our Nation’s jails. It is the only national association that focuses exclusively on issues specific to the operations of local correctional facilities. The driving force behind the phenomenal growth of AJA is its members. AJA has taken a leadership role in developing the type of programs that promote the professional growth of the dedicated men and women who operate our Nation’s jails.  Jail staff have the responsibility for the management of people who have been charged with violating our laws and often mock the ideals on which AJA was founded. Jail personnel find themselves sorely tested each day in the jail environment when they receive scorn and derision for their loyalty and perseverance under extremely trying circumstances.  AJA takes this opportunity to salute the jail staff of the Nation who, by their dedication to the difficult task of local corrections, have made a vital, positive difference to the welfare of the communities they serve.  Click here to learn more about AJA. 



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