Summary of Focus Groups with Jail
Officers on Implementation of the
Community Model for Corrections ®
Indiana Correctional Facility
May 31, 2007
By Ruth Andrews, Independent Evaluator
I interviewed first and second shift officers
separately; their comments are combined in this summary. I asked open-ended
questions about their job, [and] the POD (jail block, referred to as ‘A
Block’), where the Community Model for Corrections ® has been implemented
beginning in August of 2006. The final question was, “If I could do
something to improve jail culture I would…” Officers on the first shift
tended to have more job experience; the range was from 4 months to 12 years.
The job history among second shift officers ranged from 2 weeks to 3 years.
The officers with the most seniority did the most talking. Most officers
came from a hierarchical background such as law enforcement or the military,
while the two female officers interviewed came from accounting and social
consider themselves hard won’t go there ‘cause it’s considered punk.
The guys in
the POD take heat for being there, but they don’t back down. It helps
there’s a group of them. They want the help.
If they don’t
make an effort, they don’t last. We call it jail survival. It’s good they
can get voted “off the island”. [The community coordinator] gets the
non-performers out of there. She does a good job interviewing, laying down
the law and delivering consequences.
If they get
voted out and come back, they tend to do well.
I’ve seen a
lot of people turn themselves around.
believe the inmates would come to terms with any of it. I’ve been proved
wrong. They seem like respectable people. I think you should make the whole
jail this way. They’re held accountable.
“A Block” is
one less block to worry about. We don’t have to deal with them when they
deal with themselves. When the entire block observes the rules, it takes the
pressure off the individual (they conform).
teaches teamwork and forces them to think.
They have to
rely on each other – have to share feelings.
The POD has
been good for some people with anger problems.
They can let
their true personalities out. They develop trust. They don’t have to be
aggressive all the time.
nicer to us.
we didn’t get any respect at all.
They have a
sense of responsibility and control.
Safer. Not as
“A Block” is
one big, happy family!
impressed that it’s working at all after it got bigger. At first, I didn’t
think it would.
lasted longer than I expected.
understand the selection process.
know what they do.
I was just
given a quick explanation. I didn’t have a good understanding of what it was
about. They want the help.
and videos are hitting the core issues.
months, no one’s told me anything about it; supposed to be an honor-type
block. Don’t know anything about it.
have consequences and expectations in addition to certain privileges; they
get [personal] cleaning supplies twice a day. They have more pride.
by who’s worked out. Even those who get kicked out say it’s a good program.
They earn their way back in.
I want it
here as long as it keeps working, keeps people calm. I think it will keep
them from coming back.