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Assertiveness over friendliness

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Shadowlow
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Assertiveness over friendliness

Post by Shadowlow » Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:48 pm

Hey, just wanting to see what other people’s thoughts are..

I’m currently in my fourth week on the job, I work at a YOI, and am only 26 myself. I get on with the lads great, and have been told I’m “there favourite officer” by a handful of prisoners. I watch other officers and they basically brush prisoners questions or comments to the side and give them a no answer 8/10 times over the simplest of things such as giving them a mop to give their cell a quick clean over or to quickly pass shower gel for example from one cell to the cell next door. In my college training I was drilled about FMI skills ect, so last week a prisoner came up to me and said he feels stressed and isn’t coping well with Prison life. He wanted to write a letter to his sister but he wasn’t very good at spelling so I offered to help him write the letter while on soc. a few days after the offer, while on soc I helped him write a letter to his sister, literally took 5 minutes out my time, and he was so greatful that I had helped him. What I found interesting was that when I were writing it, other prisoners came over and I heard one say oh this is the nice officer. I was shocked that such a tiny bit of help I had given to the prisoner was looked upon by other prisoners as shocking, like it had never been done before. I am not the most assertive person but when prisoners do take the piss, I’m not scared to issue iep ect. So my question is, is being assertive and a “no” kind of officer the way forward or is going that little bit further to listen to prisoners and help them out on my terms such a bad thing?

Sorry for the essay!

Charlieharz
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Re: Assertiveness over friendliness

Post by Charlieharz » Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:14 pm

Good question I'd like to see what the opinions are.

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purplepig20
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Re: Assertiveness over friendliness

Post by purplepig20 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:42 pm

Be very careful. They’ve already started to condition you.

Just remember, it’s easier to turn a no into a yes, rather than a yes into a no.

I’m not saying what you’re doing is wrong, but remember that there’s usually an ulterior motive behind them buttering you up by telling you that you’re their favourite officer. Just be mindful and stay safe. You’re ‘nice’ until you tell them no. Then you’ll be called every name under the sun. Think logically.

As for helping that guy writing the letter, you did well there. But maybe advise him to have a dictionary on hand to help, as you won’t always be there or always have the time to sit down and help (or maybe refer them to another prisoner on the wing that can help that they feel comfortable talking to). FMI is to get people to think for themselves and find solutions, not expect you to do everything for them.

I’d also speak to your mentor at work and see what they advise on how to handle the ‘compliments’.
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SWM5436
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Re: Assertiveness over friendliness

Post by SWM5436 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:21 pm

Agree totally with Purplepig, although what your doing is admirable, you will only be their favourite until you say no.
Fam visit then POST - 21 June
RAD - 12 July
RAD result - 14 July
Conditional offer - 17 July
Vetting - 18 July
OH Assist - 28 Sept/9 Nov
Waiting the call - 11 Nov :slyay:
The Call 15 Nov - Start date TBC

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SgtBush
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Re: Assertiveness over friendliness

Post by SgtBush » Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:18 am

There is nothing wrong in helping a prisoner writing a letter.
There is nothing wrong in making sure if they ask for a mop in opening a store room to get a mop.
In short there Is nothing wrong with treating prisoners like humans.
There is nothing wrong with also saying no.

Officers who basically want to sit on their arse supping tea are more than likely old school and not in the supportive or rehabilitative frame of mind. Prob not been on the FMI course either which is taught in poelt now.

But remember that prisoners are also manliputive and whilst most dont want to condition there wil be some that do.
As soon as a request or coment is made and you think its a bit strange then IR it. Then see your SO or CM.

The classic one is mail.
(on bang up)
Gov gov I forgot to post this L.O., can you post it.... Yea ill drop it in the red box on my way down. Oh I got no stamps could you........
NO I CANT, you know the rules
Etc etc
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Huntsman22
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Re: Assertiveness over friendliness

Post by Huntsman22 » Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:29 pm

This is something I have been mentally preparing myself for. It’ll be interesting to see it all first hand
Applied - 12th May
Passed POST - 12th May
RAD - 16th May
Passed RAD - 18th May
Merit listed - 22nd May
Provisional offer - 29th June
Vetting started - 29th June
The call - 10th October
Join establishment - 1st January
POELT - 7th January

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Mercedes16
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Re: Assertiveness over friendliness

Post by Mercedes16 » Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:51 pm

I feel like I will be the same as u when I start. Im wanting to do this job to make a difference. Treat them like humans!! Yes they have been in for alsorts but we are not here to judge!! I’ve worked with ppl from all walks of life and usually found if ur nice to them they will be nice back!! Yes I am here to do a job I’m not afraid of saying no or putting them in their place and as has been said above it’s easier to turn and no into yes.. keep doing what ur doing but never take your eye off the ball id say just be wary but I’m sure in time you will get to know who’s who’s and what their about and be able to pick the ones that are trying it on. Your doing a great job be proud. Just always stick to the rules they are there for a reason And if your ever unsure always ask 1st :)
Applied- 04/09
RAD -11/09
RAD results - 12/09
OH - 12/09
Conditional offer received- 15/09
Vetting info sent back - 15/09
Status change-referred for a decision-10/10
Status change - we will be in contact 12/10
Got “The call” -13/10
POELT - 01/01/18

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TangoVictor
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Re: Assertiveness over friendliness

Post by TangoVictor » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:53 am

I’ve been told by a senior officer that there is always a motive behind everything. Maybe it seems innocent at the moment, just look out for the hook.
Familiarisation day 31st Aug
Rad - 28th Sep (Passed)
Conditional Offer - 6th Oct
Vetting and Oh Submitted - 7th Oct

.... choo choo, all aboard the vetting train :slda:

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Mercedes16
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Re: Assertiveness over friendliness

Post by Mercedes16 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:57 am

If people are always negative about other people’s motives we will never be able to help anyone!! The young lad wanted a bit of help nothing wrong with that yes keep your guard up always!! But nothing wrong with helping ppl at the same time .. that’s why I’m going into the job anyway!! Only we can make a difference!!
Applied- 04/09
RAD -11/09
RAD results - 12/09
OH - 12/09
Conditional offer received- 15/09
Vetting info sent back - 15/09
Status change-referred for a decision-10/10
Status change - we will be in contact 12/10
Got “The call” -13/10
POELT - 01/01/18

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Elkins17
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Re: Assertiveness over friendliness

Post by Elkins17 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:44 pm

Thing is, if you are over friendly with a prisoner you leave yourself wide open surely!
14/10/2017- Applied
16/10/2017- Passed POST
24/11/2017- Familiarisation Day

:slwh:

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Mercedes16
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Re: Assertiveness over friendliness

Post by Mercedes16 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:47 pm

I didn’t say anything about being over friendly... I just stated helping someone who needs help!!
Applied- 04/09
RAD -11/09
RAD results - 12/09
OH - 12/09
Conditional offer received- 15/09
Vetting info sent back - 15/09
Status change-referred for a decision-10/10
Status change - we will be in contact 12/10
Got “The call” -13/10
POELT - 01/01/18

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Elkins17
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Re: Assertiveness over friendliness

Post by Elkins17 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:55 pm

I think being in a prison you should take everything with a pinch of salt. Helping someone who needs help, that’s what we are there for. I think there is a fine line.
14/10/2017- Applied
16/10/2017- Passed POST
24/11/2017- Familiarisation Day

:slwh:

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Mercedes16
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Re: Assertiveness over friendliness

Post by Mercedes16 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:02 pm

We are all entitled to our opinions and our own ways of working but going on the originators first post.. 8/10 times other staff don’t or won’t help the lads in there even for simple things.. what’s the point in going into the job just to be a dick .. they are still humans (well most of them lol) no really in my opinion if u dont have the wits about u to treat ppl as you would expect to be treated whilst of course keeping eyes in the back of your head and your wits about you then u are possibly choosing the incorrect career how ever people will learn along the way what’s right and wrong for them!! However if I can go into this job knowing I possible change one persons life/opinions then I will be happy I’m not going into this job to be a dick and say no to 8/10 things just because I think I can or I’m a person with power!! It will only be if it’s absolutely necessary :slre:
Applied- 04/09
RAD -11/09
RAD results - 12/09
OH - 12/09
Conditional offer received- 15/09
Vetting info sent back - 15/09
Status change-referred for a decision-10/10
Status change - we will be in contact 12/10
Got “The call” -13/10
POELT - 01/01/18

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Karen47
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Re: Assertiveness over friendliness

Post by Karen47 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:35 pm

TangoVictor wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:53 am
I’ve been told by a senior officer that there is always a motive behind everything. Maybe it seems innocent at the moment, just look out for the hook.
Whilst I'd always agree it's good to support & help people. I would still always go with the above statement, plus I'd always listen to someone who's 'walking the walk' :slbg:
RAD 13/06. Pass result 14/06 :slyay: . Merit listed 20/06. Applied 2nd establishment 24/06, POST test passed 26/06. Conditional offer 11/07. Vetting starts 12/07. Passed vetting 30/10. Poelt 08/01 :slyay:

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Mercedes16
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Re: Assertiveness over friendliness

Post by Mercedes16 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:40 pm

Yup me too I’m about to do my 3rd visit to mu establishment and I’ve been getting a lot of guidance off my mentor who’s been in the job 13 years .. I’m sure over time I will learn more and get more guidance however i believe it’s always better to start anything positive than shooting ppl down or tarring every one the same before you’ve even learnt anything about them.. all prisoners you meet will be different in many different aspects from all walks of life!! So why greet them (mentally) with a negative attitude.. just my opinion as I said before
Applied- 04/09
RAD -11/09
RAD results - 12/09
OH - 12/09
Conditional offer received- 15/09
Vetting info sent back - 15/09
Status change-referred for a decision-10/10
Status change - we will be in contact 12/10
Got “The call” -13/10
POELT - 01/01/18

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