Human trafficking is everywhere. It’s in our country. It’s in your community. And it has the potential to be in your jail or even your social circle. Three of the top five risk factors for human trafficking are substance use, unstable housing, and mental health concerns, all of which are also frequently found in incarcerated individuals. But the scariest fact about human trafficking is that its reach isn’t limited to vulnerable populations – anyone, of any race, gender, or age can become a victim at any time.
In this series, Greg Eash, a 25-year veteran correctional officer specializing in classification and inmate behavior management, sits down with corrections experts who are making a difference in their communities to learn about their successes, challenges, and what’s next for their jail.
Amy Bach, founder of the non-profit Measures for Justice, lives by the motto: “You can’t change what you can’t see.” Illuminating the truth through data has been her life’s passion, and Amy works with agencies across the country to make meaningful change to promote justice. Hear stories about data research at MSJ, and get advice for how your agency can start moving toward greater transparency and positive change.
The police are heroes on the front line. The district attorney is hard-nosed but fair. The defense is a champion for the underdog. The judge is wise, strong and authoritative. And the correctional officer is a corrupt, violent brute. Sound familiar? Television shows, movies, and even media coverage frequently stick to the same tropes, and it’s the exception, not the rule, to see correctional officers doing the right thing. In fact, in a study of media coverage of correctional officers in the U.S., researchers found that correctional officers are portrayed negatively nearly 80% of the time. So what can we, as the hardworking professionals who ARE doing the right thing, do to counteract this perception?
Chances are, 60% of the people in your jail haven't been convicted of a crime and are still awaiting trial. Around 30% are in your custody because they are unable to pay a cash bond. The courts may be at the center of the pretrial reform debate, but jails are at the center of the ongoing repercussions of those decisions.
Jails are physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging workplaces, and even the most effective correctional officers can use periodic reminders, training, tools, and resources for continued success. In our ongoing conversations with jail staff and leadership across the country, we’ve compiled a list of the top skills COs can build to stay in control and injury-free.
Twice as many correctional officers suffer from PTSD as military veterans. For every correctional officer killed in the line of duty, 10 more take their own lives. Mental health concerns among correctional officers are very real, and they’re not going away. It’s time to start talking about it.
Forward-thinking jails know that inmates have taken a variety of paths to get to where they are, and they have very different needs while incarcerated to support successful reintegration into society and reduce recidivism. One of the key factors found to influence a person’s path is gender. Decades of research shows that women typically have different motivations for criminal behavior than men, and they respond differently to treatment.
Customers come to us for help with everything from managing change to working through reform issues to navigating ongoing resource challenges. As we work with teams across the country, we’re able to spot trends as they unfold, and we’re constantly learning more and applying what we learn to new situations. In 2019, customers asked questions that shed light on the current state of corrections and the trends that are starting to trickle down to agencies of all sizes. Check out our Top 3.
Your custody management system should cut through chaos, not add to it. You need to make data-driven decisions right now, rely on a solution that’s compliant with reforms, and know for certain your operational capability will never be compromised. That’s why we recently launched a new way of working: Northpointe Suite Custody Management.