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Jail Teachers Network at Jail Break 2
Date: July 31, 2009 08:47PM

Jail Teachers Network at Jail Break 2

Again this spring, the Wisconsin Technical College System and the Correction Education Association–Wisconsin collaborated to bring Wisconsin jail educators a day to focus on jail education and advancement.

Jail Break 2 was held on April 24, 2009 at Pine Ridge in Wautoma, Wisconsin. Twenty-three county jails were represented by 43 people who work in various capacities in Wisconsin county jails.

The night before a twilight event was held. Waushara County Sheriff David Peterson and Lieutenant George Peterman greeted participants at the Waushara County Jail for a jail tour. Conference attendees met in the Multipurpose Room for a question answer session facilitated by Laurie Jarvis Fox Valley Technical College Jail Instructor and George Peterman Jail Administrator. A tour of the jail followed this informative session. The group then had a pizza party at Christianos.

The Jail Instructor Training Day featured speaker Joseph J. Marchese, of J.J. Marchese & Associates, Inc. His presentation Surviving Crisis Situations focused on bringing correctional staff personnel home safely at the end of each work day. His major focus was helping all of those in attendance to recognize a crisis situation in a correctional facility such as a hostage incident or jail riot. These incidents are one of the most critical situations that any staff member might face. For this reason it is important that staff be trained in facility safety and survival skills and in particular on how to survive a crisis/hostage situation.

In this workshop, participants gained information that gave them an understanding of the dynamics of a jail crisis and provided them with some methods and techniques they can use to enhance their survival skills in such a situation.

An extremely informative was session held in the afternoon. Rich Norenberg presented a workshop on Recognizing Mental Illness and Strategies that Encourage Student Cooperation and Learning. Rich is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Teacher and Social Worker. He facilitates Relapse Prevention, Understanding Mental Illness, and Follow Your Dreams classes at the Wisconsin Resource Center.

His workshop provided an overview of Depression, Schizophrenia and Bi-Polar Disorders, as well as typical behaviors associated with these illnesses. Participants were introduced to strategies and techniques used to connect with, understand and effectively instruct students with mental health issues. Expressing empathy, awareness of non-verbal communication, patience and individual instruction were emphasized. Helping students to develop and maintain a Relapse Prevention Plan was discussed.

Networking with other jail education workers and supporters is essential for quality programs to continue. Plans for Jail Break 3 are being made. Watch for information in the January/February 2010 newsletter.

by: Laurie Jarvis, FVTC/Waushara County Jail

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