Effective Communication in Correctional Officers

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Contents

Introduction. 2

Testifying in Courts. 2

Communicating with Peers and inmates in a Correctional Facility. 3

Conclusion. 4

References. 5

Introduction

Communication can be defined as the exchange of information or ideas. Ideas and information are expressed in two ways: verbally and non-verbally. Nonverbal communication entails the use of facial expressions, posture, the tone of one’s voice, clothing, gestures, and the other nonverbal signs. Nonverbal communication can be used consciously or unconsciously. Several theories have been developed to help people understand the concept of nonverbal communication. Communication is a very paramount aspect in criminal justice (Otu, 2016). However, there has been a deficiency in the use of nonverbal communication in the field of law enforcement. To ensure efficiency and effectiveness in court testimonies, correctional officers should make sure that the listeners understand well the kind of information that they convey.

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            All criminal behaviors are typically planned and executed by the use of communication. Similarly, correctional officers rely on communication skills to interview, prosecute, try, and convict criminals. It is imperative that every individual who is involved in the correctional systems should be able to express his/her ability and skills of communication in the diverse mediums available. In correctional facilities, communication provides relevant information regardless of the method used to convey it (Otu, 2016). The use of both verbal and nonverbal communication can be very effective to the success of correctional officers through efficient operations in correctional facilities.

Testifying in Courts

             In law enforcement, nonverbal communication is as important as verbal communication. Therefore, correctional officers should observe how criminals react to different messages. It is not just what the criminals say that matters in a courtroom but also what they do not say, though it is relayed in different other ways. Correctional officers should understand that nonverbal communication is part of one’s behavior, and that kind of interaction can form enough evidence to prosecute a suspect. The sensitivity of correctional officers to the verbal and nonverbal communication of the people they interact with should be very high (Otu, 2016).

            In a courtroom, the proceedings rest heavily on communication skills portrayed by various participants. Understanding the use of verbal and nonverbal communication by correctional officers helps them perceive and judge correctly the facts and circumstances surrounding a case. The comprehension of those methods of communication influences their decision-making process in ways they may not even be aware of.  It is imperative that they work on and perfect their communication skills to succeed while testifying in court (Otu, 2016). Verbal and nonverbal communication can affect the amount and quality of information a correctional officer conveys in a courtroom. The information in this context comprises both what a correctional officer gives and what he receives. Effective communication during court testimonies greatly affects the likelihood of people complying with the orders.

Communicating with Peers and inmates in a Correctional Facility

            Correctional officers should be certain that they have both the capability to decode nonverbal communication and to communicate nonverbally with inmates. For effective interactions between correctional officers and the inmates within a prison to occur, the former need to have the ability to interpret all instances of both conscious and non-conscious nonverbal communication. This helps inmates and correctional officers to express themselves efficiently. Better relationships can only be built if the parties involved are able to communicate effectively to avoid misunderstandings.

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Moreover, correctional officers should always observant only what inmates say but also what they do. It is through close monitoring that one can see how a person perceives things, moves, and even reacts to circumstances around them. while it is possible to derive meaning solely from what has been said, monitoring a person’s every move and reaction can greatly enhance the understanding of that meaning (Otu, 2016). Lastly, whenever correctional officers interact with inmates, gestures are continuously exchanged. So, it is imperative that the officers observe important cues such as the detainees’ sitting postures, the variation of their tone, and the distance inmates maintain when interacting with them. Each of these cues contributes to meanings that can affect subsequent communication. Thus, having adequate communication skills can improve the way correctional officers interact with inmates.

Conclusion

Correction officers ought to study and understand the legal environment in which they operate and the role of communication. The technical or specialized terms should not be overused to accommodate people in the court who may not understand them. On the other hand, it is important to offer a brief explanation of the jargon that one uses in a courtroom. During the interaction with the inmates, the correctional officers can quickly apply some practices to ensure that there is maximum compliance to the rules and regulations in a correctional facility by the prisoners. Correctional officers should always maintain eye contact when interacting with the inmates. This helps them to monitor inmates’ non-verbal cues. The art of listening is also a crucial element in communication. Excellent listening skills will help the officers to decode the information sent and to attach meaning to the information received. Effective listening means that one understands the speaker’s message in entirety and can combine integrate it into verbal and nonverbal communication skills.

References

Otu, N. (2015). Decoding nonverbal communication in law enforcement. Salus Journal, 3(2), 1-15.

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