Working in a correctional facility can be a highly stressful and demanding job, with staff often exposed to violence, trauma, and difficult working conditions. Despite these challenges, many corrections departments are working to improve the wellness of their staff. We’ll explore the creative ways corrections facilities can help their employees remain well and thrive, in this webinar led by one of Justice Clearinghouse’s regular resource speakers, Brenda Dietzman.
Brenda has more than 28 years of law enforcement and correction experience. She is a passionate speaker providing evidence-based training solutions and inspiring presentations across the US and internationally on topics like women leaders, resilience, leading generations, and leadership.
This session’s discussion covered:
- The challenging and almost thankless job in corrections that drive corrections professionals to operate in survival mode.
- What is burnout and how those in helping professions tend to be in this state.
- The three things that burnout is consisted of, and how the inability to have an impact or produce desired effects seems to be the one that plagues helping professionals the most.
- The burnout-busting, purpose-driving, and ripple-forming effects of letting people pursue their passions.
- The types of stress that those working in corrections tend to be exposed to.
- The value of building resilience factors, especially proactively, in reducing the risk of trauma.
- Different resources to implement proactively and constantly to build resilience in correction staff.
- Wellness and peer support programs and in-house therapist: How this communicates an organization’s willingness to invest in its human resources, its benefit to the employees, its impact on recruitment and retention, and finding the right people to lead the initiative internally or externally
- Printed and virtual materials that can be posted and shared with employees and their families.
- Quiet rooms that provide employees with an area to momentarily get away from the pressure of the job and relax.
- The value of training supervisors so they can better motivate their subordinates and investing in people’s growth through different learning opportunities that can fulfill their passions.
- Seeking new ideas and perspectives that can contribute to the workplace.
- Different ways to get corrections staff to cope and grow through adversity by:
- Developing a trauma recovery plan and facilitating post-traumatic growth.
- Labeling emotions to better understand them and find appropriate solutions.
- Crafting a personal mission statement to serve as a moral compass when performing duties and making decisions.
- Finding people and partners who can understand the nuances of the helping profession and provide appropriate support.
- Things that can be done by administrators as well as employees to thrive through life.
- Giving praise that is specific and speaks to efficacy.
- Trying out new things that benefit both the employee and the organization by pursuing the employees’ passions to come up with efforts and programming useful in the workplace.
- Getting people to reflect on how they can live a great story and make an impact in their work, life, and the world.
- Examples were provided to demonstrate how…
- Allowing people to pursue their passion can improve employee retention.
- A fresh perspective can provide the solution to old problems.
- Labeling our emotions can lead to better performance and less stress in the workplace.
Questions from the audience are about:
- Opportunities to make a difference in the profession.
- Obtaining the funds needed for a wellness room and wellness programming.
- The benefits of stay interviews and periodic mental checks to both the people and the organization.
Other Webinars with this Speaker
- Oct 18: Saying I “WIL”: Making the Commitment to Grow Women In Leadership in Corrections
- Feb 28, 2023: Corrections Staff Wellness (this webinar)
Resources and Handouts
- Book Referenced: Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter by Liz Wiseman and John Meagher
- Stephen Covey: How to Develop Your Personal Mission Statement
- Viktor Frankl: Man’s Search for Meaning
- Pre-Trauma Training
- Trauma Resilience Training for Police: Psychophysiological and Performance Effects
- Gallup Report
- PTSD Resilience Factors Report
- Impact Players Research
- “Great session today! FANTASTIC!!!” — Travis
- “Various ideas of how to address issues in corrections. Like the Why Stay questionnaire idea!! This could provide valuable feedback as well as those leaving the environment.” — Wendy
- “Amazing ideas to help staff with wellness outside of the traditional “fitness.” — Allie
- “Remembering to attempt to re-engage versus withdrawing and find things that matter to me, but would also benefit my work and agency.” — Dianne
- “The importance of retaining staff is to keep them motivated by focusing on them/their efforts/their wellbeing and not necessarily the work all the time. The work will always be there. You need strong, confident, and happy staff to tackle the work.” — Miranda
- “I really appreciated the material that was presented, as well as the speaker’s take on corrections. Thank you for offering this course!” — Kristen
- “The most valuable thing I learned from this webinar was the idea of having mental health professionals be a part of your organization on a regular basis. Also to keep expressing your ideas for changes.” — Katrina
- “While much of the information isn’t necessarily new, it was presented in a way that captured the imagination and offered specific ways to engage front-line staff. the advice of “Start with yes.” was a lightbulb moment. I especially appreciated the part about how the generations differ when it comes to self-care.” — Mechele
- “Out of the box/contemporary thinking on employee investment. Getting away from the standard black/white, work & home dynamics.” — Jeremy
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.