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A Dubious Roll Model
By Joe Bouchard
Published: 03/05/2018

Bouchard toilet paper

The following is an installment in "Icebreakers 101: Hello, My Name is Problem", a series featuring "Ice Breaker's" designed to promote training awareness and capabilities in the corrections industry.

Here is a good exercise to use to introduce contraband control modules. It is very simple and inexpensive. In addition, it may inspire bad puns and juvenile toilet humor. Still, that is a small price to pay for an interesting and memorable icebreaker.

In terms of props, what could be simpler than acquiring (nay, borrowing) a roll of toilet paper. Do not get bogged down in brand, ply, texture or strength. The idea is to have a visual for participants to focus on in this exercise inspired by contraband control.

This is how it works:
  1. Break the class into teams of about five members each;
  2. Give each team a roll of toilet paper;
  3. Ask what can be done with this to derail/ hinder security;
  4. Give five minutes of brainstorming;
  5. Let each group report one use each;
  6. Display master list on board.
You may have a list similar to this:
  • Hide small things like a twenty-dollar bill
  • Stop up toilets and sinks to “flood the rock”
  • Create Papier Mache statues to hide contraband
  • Make a club by moistening, adding toilet paper, drying and repeating
Ask the class how to hinder this abuse and how to limit the contraband.

We can wipe out crime and disorder by focusing on the little things. And this little ice breaker focuses on one of these tiny but persistent perils in corrections.

Joe Bouchard is a Librarian employed with the Michigan Department of Corrections and a collaborator with The International Association of Correctional Training Personnel (IACTP). He is also the author of “IACTP’s Corrections Icebreakers: The Bouchard 101, 2014” and "Operation Icebreakers: Shooting for Excellence" among others. The installments in this series include his opinions. The agency for which he works is not in any way responsible for the content or accuracy of this material, and the views are those of the contributor and not necessarily those of the agency. While some material is influenced by other works, all of the icebreakers have been developed by Joe Bouchard.

Visit the Joe Bouchard page

Other articles by Bouchard:


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