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Breaking the Ice
National Jail Exchange

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By Joe Bouchard.

Posted with the permission of the American Jail Association. This article originally appeared in the November/December 2014 issue of American Jails, the magazine of the American Jail Association.

Correctional staff training is most effective when it engages officers’ ingenuity and problem-solving skills. In this article, Joe Bouchard gives four examples of training icebreakers that do just that and provides steps for facilitation by trainers.

#1 “All Pens Are Not Created Equal” — Teams identify all the ways inmates could employ a pen and its parts to circumvent security or create a weapon or other safety hazard.

#2 “What’s in the Box?” — Teams identify an object that is in a sealed box through use of observable clues.

#3 “The Fastener Quiz” — Teams anticipate inmates’ creative use of fastening materials to craft or conceal contraband.

#4 “The Write Stuff” — Teams analyze examples of disguised handwriting and learn how to detect similarities that enable identification of the writer.

A sidebar discusses various types of fastening agents and why innocuous materials such as toothpaste, adhesive bandages, mailing labels, and window joint compound [check term] may not be so harmless in a jail setting after all. Alert officers need to watch for more than just the obvious forms of contraband.

<Read the full article.>

Posted Mon, Dec 8 2014 8:00 AM by Elizabeth


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