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Navigating the Culture of Corrections. April 15, 2008 Columbus, Ohio. Prepared by:. Kelly McCann, CEO AIDS Foundation Houston Consultant, National Minority AIDS Council, Prison Initiative. Why Are We Here?. By the end of this training, participants will be able to:

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navigating the culture of corrections

Navigating the Culture of Corrections

April 15, 2008

Columbus, Ohio

prepared by
Prepared by:
  • Kelly McCann, CEO

AIDS Foundation Houston

  • Consultant, National Minority AIDS Council, Prison Initiative

National Minority AIDS Council

why are we here
Why Are We Here?
  • By the end of this training, participants will be able to:
    • Identify the primary purpose and mission of correctional institutions, and compare and contrast the mission of corrections institutions to that of community and faith based service providers working in a correctional setting
    • Identify five rules commonly imposed on all visitors in a correctional setting

National Minority AIDS Council

why are we here4
Why Are We Here?
  • Explain why it is important to use proper terminology when referring to inmates and correctional staff in a correctional setting
  • Describe both appropriate and inappropriate clothing for visitors working in a correctional institution
  • Explain why it is important to maintain proper working relationship boundaries while interacting with inmates
  • Define and site examples of contraband

National Minority AIDS Council

whose mission
Whose Mission?
  • Health and human service agencies exist to improve the health and lives of their clients and communities.
  • Correctional facilities aim to protect society and reduce crime. (Custody of inmates and security are main concerns. Rehabilitation, medical care, and education are secondary.)

National Minority AIDS Council

what is culture
What is Culture?

“Culture is the acquired

knowledge people use to

interpret experience and

generate behavior.”

~Anthropologist James Spradley

National Minority AIDS Council

other definitions
Other definitions
  • Culture is the totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought.American Heritage Dictionary

National Minority AIDS Council

components of culture
Behaviors

Arts

Beliefs

Institutions

Dress

Language

Components of Culture

National Minority AIDS Council

prison culture
Prison Culture

What do you

think of when you

think of “prison

culture”?

National Minority AIDS Council

stereotypes
Stereotypes

Brutal

torture?

or

Country

club?

National Minority AIDS Council

what s our role
What’s our Role?

National Minority AIDS Council

prison culture12
Prison Culture

“(T)he values, assumptions and beliefs that

correctional staff hold in common. These drive

both individual and group behaviors, which

ultimately define the way a particular institution

functions.”

~National Institute of Correction's Institutional

Culture Initiative (NIC-ICI)

National Minority AIDS Council

so why do we need to go to jail

So, why do we need to go to jail?

Reasons to intervene in correctional settings

public health public safety correctional facilities are part of the community

Public Health = Public SafetyCorrectional Facilities are Part of the Community

Populations most impacted by health disparities in the community are disproportionally represented in corrections

why do we need to go to jail
Why Do We Need to Go to Jail?
  • Among the 7.5 million prisoners released in 2002:
    • 1.3 million infected with hepatitis C (HCV)
    • 137,000 infected with HIV
    • 12,000 infected with active TB
    • 566,000 with latent TB
  • Represents 29% (HCV), 13-17% (HIV), and 35% (TB) of total number of Americans living with these infections

(Source: National Commission on Correctional Health Care, The Health Status of Soon-to-be-Released Inmates, 2002.)

National Minority AIDS Council

why do we need to go to jail16
Why Do We Need to Go to Jail?
  • The majority of those with HIV are coming into the system with HIV.
  • Majority of prisoners with HIV report IDU histories.
  • Majority of prisoners with HIV are co-infected with HCV.
  • The risks (both sexual and blood-borne) continue during incarceration and post release

National Minority AIDS Council

why do we need to go to jail17
Why Do We Need to Go to Jail?

RISKS:

  • Needle-sharing for injection drug use
  • Unprotected sexual intercourse
  • Bonding rituals involving body fluids
  • Keistering (concealing contraband in body-cavities)
  • Prison tattoos with re-used equipment
  • Body piercing with re-used equipment
  • Fights

National Minority AIDS Council

national health status of the incarcerated
National Health Status of the Incarcerated
  • Poor access to health care services prior to incarceration
  • History of trauma (physical abuse and violence)
  • Chronic illnesses (seizures, hypertension,diabetes, smoking)
  • High rates of substance abuse and mental illness
  • Infectious diseases (TB, HIV / AIDS, STDs, hepatitis)

National Minority AIDS Council

costs to corrections systems and taxpayers
Costs to Corrections Systems (and taxpayers)
  • Medications “alone”
    • $2,000 (Hep C) + $1,500 (HIV) = $42,000 a year!
  • Most health problems are endemic among inmates
    • 2 - 3% of inmates = 30% of cost

National Minority AIDS Council

why do we need to go to jail20
Why do we need to go to jail?
  • It’s where disease is!
    • Burden of HIV, STD, TB passing through corrections
  • Address complex social issues
    • Impact of mental illness, substance abuse and other social problems
  • Support continuity of care between corrections and the community

National Minority AIDS Council

why do we need to go to jail21
Almost every person who is incarcerated in jail and 97% of those incarcerated in prison will eventually be released.

The Report of the Re-Entry Policy Council. Available at www.re-entrypolicy.org

Why Do We Need to Go to Jail?

National Minority AIDS Council

why do we need to go to jail22
Why Do We Need to Go to Jail?
  • The majority of HIV+ prisoners are released back to communities and they have the same needs as other clients:
    • Medical care
    • Substance abuse treatment
    • Housing
    • Food
    • Vocational/Employment services

And need support to stay in the community …

National Minority AIDS Council

community concerns
Community Concerns
  • More people are leaving prison
  • Failure rates and associated cost are high
  • Returning prisoners are less prepared for community life
  • Significant challenges facing returning prisoners
  • Consequences for families and communities

National Minority AIDS Council

social and economic costs
Social and Economic Costs

High incarceration rate

+

High recidivism

+

Short time in jail / prison

+

Disease burden

+

No care coordination

+

No information sharing

= Huge direct and indirect economic burden for our communities

National Minority AIDS Council

why do we need to go to jail25
Better health services and education for inmates results in benefits to communities and society at large.

The Need for a Public Health Model for Correctional Health Care. Massachusetts Public Health Association

Why Do We Need to Go to Jail?

National Minority AIDS Council

why do we need to go to jail26
Why Do We Need to Go to Jail?

National Minority AIDS Council

prison slang activity
Prison Slang Activity

What do we need to

know about

prison culture?

National Minority AIDS Council

prison culture28
Prison Culture
  • Prison Slang Exercise

National Minority AIDS Council

prison culture maintaining good relationships
Prison Culture – Maintaining Good Relationships

Relationships with Correctional staff -

  • Communications – glossary of terms
  • Understanding Prison Hierarchy

Relationships with Inmates –

  • Be genuine
  • Be consistent
  • Follow the rules

National Minority AIDS Council

prison culture who are we serving
Prison Culture –Who are we serving?
  • Who are inmates?
  • Is the prison experience the same for female inmates and their male counterparts?

National Minority AIDS Council

women s prison experience
Women’s Prison Experience
  • Pseudo families
  • Social structure
  • Free world relationships, esp. children

National Minority AIDS Council

working with inmates a caution against manipulation
Working with Inmates – A Caution against Manipulation
  • Manipulation – to control or play upon by artful, unfair or insidious means, especially to one’s own advantage.

Inmates may use the following techniques:

  • Flattery
  • Empathy – “I can relate to that”
  • Sympathy – make you feel sorry for them
  • Helplessness
  • Confidentiality – share a secret
  • Isolation – pitting officer against officer, rumors
  • Touching, sexual references

National Minority AIDS Council

to avoid being manipulated adhere to the following principles
To avoid being manipulated, adhere to the following principles -
  • Never do anything to, for or with an inmate that you would be ashamed to share with your peers, supervisor
  • Keep everything out in the open. Tell supervisor even if you did something inappropriate
  • If you suspect a request or action could lead to manipulation, tell several peers what took place. Let the inmate know you told, or better yet, tell peers in front of inmate
  • Know the rules and regulations and enforce them
  • Learn to use the command, “NO”
  • Be aware of body language and messages you transmit
  • Document suspicious/unusual behavior
  • Verify inmate stories before taking action

National Minority AIDS Council

prison culture how should visitors behave
Prison Culture –How should visitors behave?

Rules of conduct for visitors -

  • Dress
  • Contraband
  • Get permission for everything
  • Act like a guest

National Minority AIDS Council

getting started planning your prison project
Getting Started – Planning your Prison Project
  • Learn about your local correctional facility
  • Find out if there is another CBO already working with offenders/correctional facility
  • Establish relationship with corrections authorities (sheriff, warden, etc)
  • Ask them what they need
  • Be flexible!

National Minority AIDS Council

navigating the culture of corrections36
Navigating the Culture of Corrections

Kelly McCann, CEO

AIDS Foundation Houston

713.623.6796, ext. 251

McCannK@AFHouston.org

www.AIDSHelp.org

National Minority AIDS Council