Oklahoma Department of Corrections continues to develop and expand the skills of its staff to professionalize its workplace from prison yards to probation offices.

In additional to traditional training in self-defense, firearms and lockdown procedures, ODOC soon will provide employees tools to enhance the interpersonal aspects of their jobs, racial intelligence, creating a more empathic workplace culture. Racial intelligence is less about race and more about respect.

This week, ODOC is hosting a two-day training session by professionals in the field of emotional and social intelligence for law enforcement and corrections staff.

RITE Academy instructors are teaching training staff from ODOC and several other state law enforcement agencies about situational awareness, empathy communication and conflict management. RITE, which stands for Racial Intelligence Training and Engagement, teaches officers techniques to identify their emotions before they engage with others.

“This training is especially helpful for correctional officers right now as inmate agitation has increased due to their limited movement because of COVID-19,” said ODOC Director Scott Crow. “Lessons in de-escalation techniques will prevent confrontations inside facilities.”

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Rains is police and court reporter for the Enid News & Eagle. Follow him on Twitter, @cassrains.
Have a question about this story? Do you see something we missed? Do you have a story idea for Cass? Send an email to crains@enidnews.com.

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