Gut Instincts for Correctional Officers

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Gut Instincts for Correctional Officers


Gordon Graham
Category: Corrections

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. And Today’s Tip deals with your gut instinct, your intuition or sixth sense while working the jail. 

Gut reactions can provide some margin of safety for jail deputies.

Most tenured jail deputies today will acknowledge that they possess a gut instinct based upon prior experiences and influenced by emotions tied to the events.

Researchers, who have studied this instinct, or gut reaction, think that the brain has the ability quickly assess a situation and form an anticipated response. It is called condensed reasoning.

A simple scenario for this reaction might be that the jail deputy sees an inmate or situation, recalls similar memories that have been stored and when combined with emotions, decides on a predetermined course of action. These memories may be intensified when stress or adrenaline is involved.

Gut reactions can provide some margin of safety for jail deputies. Supervisors should discuss these gut reactions during briefing training, especially with young inexperienced jail deputies.

The telling of war stories, or prior experiences, is part of the jail deputies’ culture. They can be discussed and used in training. They are often remembered and can be an effective ways to train on how to handle a particular jail situation. Supervisors and trainers should be aware of this.

Developing your gut response, instinct or sixth sense is a valuable tool in the jail. Remember, predictable is preventable.

And that is Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off. 

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