Email Prison and jail medical units are over-represented by female staff, creating a number of challenges to avoid 5 danger signs of unhealthy inmate relationships. In that same system former nursing staff were doing time for this very transgression.
So how does it happen? Here are some signs to watch for — not only for yourself, but for your team mates. Personal life in disarray When things are falling apart in your personal life you become emotionally vulnerable to an inmate relationship. Family conflict, divorce, discovery of infidelity or even children behaving badly can open you to an inmate relationship.
Doing little favors Having day-to-day contact with any individual makes it easy to begin identifying with their beliefs and sympathizing with their plight. We all struggle maintain a balance between the need to avoid identifying with our inmate charges and the need to maintain an awareness of their humanity.
Manipulative inmates will study your attitudes and actions, using them to their own benefit. If an inmate convinces you to do even a small favor, you have started down the path of obligation.
Feelings of obligation are universally human, but obligation to inmates is the enemy of a secure workplace. Looking for opportunities for contact Do you find yourself looking for opportunities to be with a specific inmate? Watch carefully for this.
This may be a subtle beginning to an unhealthy relationship. Correspondence with an inmate Often, the first step to a more intimate relationship with an inmate involves written communication.
A note, letter or email moves the relationship one step further down the road to ruin. Even when not sexually explicit, written communication has been used as evidence of an improper relationship with an inmate.
Falling off the cliff Yep, this is the Full Monty — personal and physical contact. The thing is done. At this point many procedures have been violated, rules breached and laws broken. This point is only reached after many of the above sign posts have been passed.
But it is still not too late to turn back. Consider all your options including counseling, and legal or employee assistance. If you see yourself or a fellow staff member in any of the above descriptions, take action. Protect yourself and your peers. Unhealthy inmate relationships jeopardize not only the individual but also the security of other staff members. You are doing yourself and others a favor by intervening before it is too late. What have we forgotten? Leave your strategies for avoiding inmate relationships in the comments section below.