Sometimes all it takes to break the stress of a moment or a job is a few good laughs. How to get those without causing harm or making a situation worse is the focus of this issue's feature story as it explores the lighter side of corrections.
Jim, Corrections.com editor
What's so funny?
By Joe Bouchard
Finding the right humor
“Why do croutons come in airtight packages? It's just stale bread to begin with.” -
In my personal opinion, George Carlin was the funniest person on the planet. I appreciate his blend of intellect, shock, and analytic iconoclasm. His observations are amazing. Others may see him as base or profane or angry. Let’s face it, comedy is subjective.
No one can nail down what is universally funny. The undisputed king or queen of comedy quite simply does not exist in the same form for everybody. Our perspectives are too different. This is a good thing, as this allows us to enjoy variety.
Corrections needs humor. Without it, many of us would implode, burn out, or leave the profession. Levity in grave situations permits us to utilize an occasionally necessary pressure valve. Both staff and offenders use a large range of jesting to alleviate the demands of the environment. Read this week's full story.
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Regarding An island of support
"Librarian Jordet's point regarding the value of prison libraries in promoting pro-social values is interesting. After more than a decade managing adult literacy libraries in Arizona prisons, it's still a marvel to me that the men choose pro-social behaviors in the library.
They address each other with greater civility than they generally do on the yard, and my clerks receive as many 'Thank you, sirs' as they deliver. Patrons feel free to sit at a table and have a conversation with someone of a different race, something they might not do in the dining hall, and they quickly find that buying into our system of book circulation--rather than stealing books outright or failing to return them--provides them with more benefits, and is more equitable for the community as a whole.
Those who learn the rules and play the game best--the men who return books in a timely fashion, recover stray books they find in the dorms, donate books they no longer need--know they are contributing to and maintaining a resource that benefits the whole community, as well as themselves, and they are the first ones to know which books have just been ordered and will soon be arriving, and the first ones to get on the waiting lists for the most in-demand books.
This process of learning how the system works, buying into it, respecting its value to the whole community, and reaping the rewards may be a valuable experience they can take with them to the street when they are released. So, in addition to the content of the books themselves, the whole library experience may promote pro-social values.
Librarian II Mike Kaliher Fort Grant Library Arizona State Prison Complex -- Safford"
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Experience the Riot!
The Mock Prison Riot, May 3-6, 2009
The National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs and the West Virginia High Technology Consortium Foundation host the Mock Prison Riot on the grounds of the former West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville, West Virginia.
Attendees will experience:
- Law enforcement and corrections practitioners working with technologists who design the tools they need to safely and effectively do their jobs;
- Tactical teams measuring their skills against their peers in law enforcement and corrections around the world; and
- Training professionals and technologists creating partnerships that will last a lifetime.
Women in Criminal Justice Conference
The conference is for women at all levels working in all aspects of the criminal justice field. More information.
Desert Waters Correctional Outreach Staff Wellness through Positive Leadership Conference
Date: 5/7 - 8/09
This conference will provide criminal justice professionals with evidence-based strategies that boost staff wellness, morale and performance More information.
American Jail Association 28th Annual Training Conference and Jail Expo
The Louisville Metro Department of Corrections and the Kentucky Jailer’s Association are proud to be the co-hosts for this year's conference in in Louisville, Ky. More information.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think. "
- Horace Walpole (1717 - 1797) English author