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Correctional Officers Must Master Verbal Judo

By Daniel Scorza

Unlike law enforcement officers, correctional officers have minimal tools to deal with unruly or threatening inmates. Most correctional officers only carry a radio, restraints, and sometimes a baton. Therefore, correctional officers must be highly trained in tactical communication, also commonly called “verbal judo,” which can quickly calm down an inmate and help de-escalate a situation. Learn more about this practice.

From Convict to Community Leader: One Man’s Journey toward Redemption

By Michael Pittaro and Hasshan Batts

In a criminal justice system filled with more stories of failure than success, one man’s personal journey demonstrates the importance of second chances. Read about the experience of former inmate Hasshan Batts. His story can serve to educate those of us working in the criminal justice system about the inmate experience. 

New Designer Drug, Flakka, Hits the Streets

Police throughout the country, particularly in Florida, have been noticing a spike in the use of a new drug that users are calling “flakka.” Use of the drug is a concern as well as are the crimes that people under the influence are committing. AMU criminal justice student, Keith Graves, who has taught thousands of officers and businesses about drug investigation, shares information about the signs of intoxication and how police should pursue investigations.

Making the Shift to Intelligence-Led Corrections

By Dr. Kelli Frakes

Intelligence-led policing (ILP) has been embraced by law enforcement as an effective tool, but intelligence-led practices remain limited in corrections, despite the fact that there is a wealth of information in correctional facilities. Dr. Kelli Frakes discusses why agencies need to identify the best methods to share information among agencies.

Improve Your Facility by Changing Your Leadership Style

One might assume the greatest sources of stress for corrections officers are the threat of physical violence and hardships from working in an understaffed environment, right? As it turns out, those things are not causing officers the most stress. Instead, it is issues with prison administration and inconsistent leadership practices. AMU professor Michael Pittaro writes how prison administrators need to move away from punitive and authoritative styles of leadership and adopt a transformational leadership approach. Read how this style of leadership could help boost morale, improve job satisfaction, and even improve workplace safety. 

When Modern-Day Slavery Hits Home

At a dark time in U.S. history, the trans-Atlantic slave trade was at its peak, with more than 12 million people shipped to various nations only to endure punishing labor on farms and in factories, building railroads, and more. “Slavery was abolished 150 years ago and yet there are more people in slavery today than in any other time in our history,” said American Public University System (APUS) professor Michael Pittaro. Today, there are an estimated 21 million victims worldwide and only a small percentage of these victims are reported to authorities.

Human trafficking is a local issue. Read more about why community stakeholders and citizens gathered in West Virginia to learn how to recognize and fight human trafficking at the local level.