When working in the Correction field employees are often exposed to traumatic events and occupational hazards that are unique to this industry. One of the outcomes of this is employees can become quite fatigued over time and can experience Correction Fatigue which occurs from ongoing occupational stress and trauma.
What is Correction Fatigue?
“Correction Fatigue is not a diagnostic clinical term. Rather it is a term that refers to the sum total of negative changes in corrections staff due to their exposure to work related stressors. More specifically, Correction Fatigue is about corrections staff’s negative changes in their emotional state, in their health and well-being, in their thinking, and in their functioning at work and at home. When enough staff in a work place are affected along these lines, then Correction Fatigue negatively shapes workplace culture. Desert Waters evidence informed signature course ‘From Correction Fatigue to Fulfillment’[CF2F] presents ways for corrections staff to go from Fatigue to Fulfillment as individual employees and as a group, using both ‘BOTTOM UP’ [individual] and ‘TOP DOWN’ [organizational] strategies”
Dr Caterina Spinaris PhD, LPC, Executive Director, Desert Waters Correctional Outreach, Colorado US
‘In travelling to America to attend Dr Spinaris’ 4-day course ‘From Correction Fatigue to Fulfilment’ [CF2F] instructor training, I was very interested to see if there were similarities between correctional services in the USA and correctional services in Australia. By the end of the training I was certain what Dr Spinaris describes as ‘Correction Fatigue’ is exactly what our prison officers experience here in Australia. After I completed the additional requirements for certification, I became licensed to teach this course to corrections/prison employees in Australia and New Zealand. What is exciting for me is that I am now licensed to teach a course that has extraordinary flexibility and practical applications, can be utilized across a wide range of correctional situations and is a brilliant training program educating correctional staff in things that they and their organisations can do to maintain their well-being and a sense of fulfillment at work and in their personal lives.’
The CF2F Course
The purpose of the course ’From Correction Fatigue to Fulfilment’ is primarily twofold (a)to educate Correction professionals on the nature of Correction Fatigue, its facets, and its precursors, and (b)to present strategies for deterring it and for boosting staff well being and professional growth and satisfaction, thus resulting in Corrections Fulfillment. In addition to providing information, the course offers numerous opportunities to those attending to examine the effects of correctional work on themselves, and to think about solutions that they can implement to help improve their lives both at work and at home.
CF2F is a full-day training program, for up to twelve participants, and is a mixture of overheads and group exercises. It is very interactive and deliberately structured to encourage officers to engage in the training. Participants have a manual where they can record, their thoughts, responses to exercises, personal goals, etc. This is to take home to reflect on the day. The group exercises are aimed at getting officers to share their emotions and thoughts and to learn from each other. The first half of the day is spent exploring the psychological and physical impact of Corrections work and how it can lead to correction fatigue. In essence, this is to raise awareness of the changes that can occur when you work in a high-stress prison environment. The second half of the day is about wellness/health strategies that officers need to employ to manage and resist the onset of correction fatigue. It is very much about what you can and need to do to be fulfilled in the work you do. There are a range of group exercises that challenge the participants to think about what they can do to change the environment and not just go along with the ‘negativity’ of the workplace.
Bruce is the only practitioner with a Licence to deliver CF2F training in Australia and New Zealand. See Contact section of website for booking information.
“The mission of Desert Waters Correctional Outreach is to advance the well-being of correctional staff and their families, and the health of correctional agencies, through data-driven, skill-based training. To fulfill its mission, Desert Waters provides data-driven and evidence-informed interventions to increase staff well-being and to improve the corrections organizational climate and culture. Desert Waters products are based on research in Positive Psychology, psychological trauma, and the study of resilience”
Dr Caterina Spinaris, PhD, LPC, Executive Director Desert Waters Correctional Outreach Colorado USA
The course “From Correction Fatigue to Fulfillment” was awarded the 2016 Commercial Product Award of Excellence by the International Association of Correctional Training Personnel.
Dr Spinaris invites prison and gaol staff and their family members in Australia and New Zealand to subscribe to Desert Waters monthly ezine, the Correctional Oasis. To do so, go to https://desertwaters.com/ezine-corr-oasis/. This is a very informative e-publication geared to the well being of Correction staff and their families.