An Integrated Conflict Management System in Corrections
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An Integrated Conflict Management System in Corrections

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We believe the Minnesota Department of Corrections is the only United States corrections department with an internal Integrated Conflict Management System (ICMS). It is over 10 years old and its ...

We believe the Minnesota Department of Corrections is the only United States corrections department with an internal Integrated Conflict Management System (ICMS). It is over 10 years old and its purpose is to create a more positive workplace by increasing staff conflict competency with training, providing services to aid staff and others in resolving workplace disputes, changing agency culture to talking things through, aligning policy, and evaluating to continually improve. Staff members of the ICMS serve in all types of agency positions and volunteer for additional responsibilities with ICMS because of their passion for the ICMS vision.

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  • Confidentiality here means that process participants will not pass on comments made by specific people to others who didn’t participate in the process. The fact that a process took place – and who participated in a process – is not confidential. <br /> The CRI facilitators do NOT decide how the situation will be resolved: the staff participants decide how to resolve their own dispute. <br />
  • EXPLAIN: who Marty and Laurie are (officers!), that they’ll be talking about CRI processes (i.e., mediations, WPC’s, circles), and that they facilitate CRI processes <br />

Transcript

  • 1. An Integrated Conflict Management System in CORRECTIONS? Kay Pranis Sue Stacey ACR Conference 2013
  • 2. 2 Trainers Kay Pranis International Sue Stacey trainer Facilitator Author Former MN DOC Restorative Justice Planner ICMS Coordinator at MN DOC Trainer Mediator RJ practitioner
  • 3. 3 Learning Objectives When you’re done with this session, you will  Understand vision, goals and history of MN DOC’s Integrated Conflict Management System  Know ICMS’s scope of services, trainings, policy alignment, infrastructure, and assessment  Be familiar with some results experienced with DOC culture changing to its New Normal
  • 4. 4 Overview - Minnesota Department of Corrections:  acknowledges conflict is normal  has dispute resolution services unique in corrections  is increasing staff ‘conflict competency’ with trainings in conflict management skills  is measuring culture change progress with staff surveys  has aligned policies with vision: DOC culture changing to talking things out as the New Normal
  • 5. Demo - talking circle process Talking circle process  Helps to manage discussion  Creates space for contributions of quiet people  Spreads responsibility to all participants  Promotes better listening  Encourages  Reinforces the use of silence the principle of equality 5
  • 6. Guidelines for circle  Pass talking piece in one direction only  Speak only when you have the piece  No interruptions  Speak respectfully  Speak honestly/from the heart  Listen when others are speaking  Speak on the topic and as briefly as possible to make your point 6
  • 7. Introductions  Who are you?  What are you looking for in this workshop? 7
  • 8. Show of hands  Training in mediation?  Training in restorative justice principles and/or practices?  Experience as a participant in mediation?  Experience as a participant in a restorative justice practice?
  • 9. 9 Workplace Relationships  Workplace relationships exist so individuals can share information, make decisions, and get own jobs done  Fostering healthy workplace relationships enhances employee satisfaction and commitment to their jobs, decreases turnover, and reduces leave abuse, grievances and litigation
  • 10. 10 Imagine … You’re having some trouble with one of the people you work with and:  You have stopped talking to each other  You’re avoiding each other completely  And you’re both talking with coworker friends about how wrong the other person is and how offended you are by their actions
  • 11. 11 What are the possible effects of that dispute?
  • 12. 12 Now imagine your workplace is a prison and you are a correctional officer… What effects of the dispute might be the same as in an office setting? What effects of the dispute might be different?
  • 13. 13 Minnesota Department of Corrections encourages voluntary, consensual resolution of workplace disputes:  to the maximum extent practical and appropriate  at the earliest stage feasible  by the fastest and least expensive method possible  at the lowest possible organizational level
  • 14. 14 MN DOC’s ICMS works to create a more positive workplace by giving staff, volunteers and contractors:  The power to use effective and efficient conflict response services (“CRI”)  Enhanced conflict resolution skills through training  Notice that DOC expects all will deal constructively with conflict
  • 15. 15 Integrated Conflict Management System provides  Conflict response services by trained staff facilitators:     Conflict coaching Facilitation Workplace conferences Circles  Training courses to develop staff conflict resolution skills  Research measuring DOC culture change: staff survey
  • 16. 16 ICMS is based on Transformative mediation and restorative justice principles and practices – such as:  All people deserve respect  Those most affected are best able to craft the solution  Any group of people, given some tools, can ‘clean up their own messes’  Repairing harm and relationships = important
  • 17. How did it all begin?
  • 18. 18 Restorative Justice
  • 19. 19 Restorative Justice  Who has been harmed?  What are their needs?  Who’s obligated to meet those needs to make things right? MN DOC’s Restorative Justice Initiative formally began in February, 1994 when Kay Pranis was hired
  • 20. ICMS History: MCF Willow River/ Moose Lake Fall, 2001  MCF-WR/ML researched incorporating RJ concepts into offender re-entry  Realized staff needed to 1st address unresolved staff conflict  That became their focus 20
  • 21. 21 Conclusions at Willow River/ Moose Lake: people needed  to understand and model restorative principles with each other  to recognize the impact of unresolved conflicts and unhealthy staff relationships on prison operations  another option for resolving workplace conflicts
  • 22. 22 Conclusions at Willow River/ Moose Lake  Traditional methods – confidential reports, grievances & investigations did not meet people’s needs  Wanted to create a process that let people in conflict find common ground and build relationships, rather than focusing on blame
  • 23. 23 Willow River/Moose Lake created Conflict Response Initiative (CRI)  Research and work with Kay Pranis (DOC) and Prof. Maria Cuzzo (UW-Superior)  CRI was created based on transformative and restorative models  CRI processes = face to face resolutions  Since then it has grown to become an Integrated Conflict Management System  And spread throughout the entire agency
  • 24. 24  1st training of Willow River/ Moose Lake staff as CRI facilitators  Trained as circle keepers (facilitators) Kay’s epiphany
  • 25. 25 ICMS’s CRI services  Offered by ICMS and used by staff, volunteers, and contractors  Staff are trained as “facilitators”  They assist individuals to clear the air and craft a mutually satisfactory resolution
  • 26. 26 ICMS’s Conflict Response Initiative (CRI) services  Conflict  Face coaching to face processes  Facilitation (mediation)  Workplace conference  Circle
  • 27. 27 ICMS’s CRI services  Voluntary participation  Confidential  Facilitators ≠ deciders  Unique for letting people decide how to resolve their disputes  Not available during an investigation or grievance, but available afterwards  Do not prevent employees from using other, formal options (complaint, grievance, etc.)
  • 28. 28 The Dirty Mops CRI and what it taught us
  • 29. 29
  • 30. 30 DOC policies support people talking things through  Policy 103.229 Integrated Conflict Management System  Policy 103.300 Anti-Discrimination and Sexual Harassment  Policy 103.228 General Harassment – Purpose: To provide a work environment free from general harassment and to encourage employee participation in mediation processes to resolve conflicts. (Emphasis added)
  • 31. 31 DOC policies support people talking things through  Policy 103.220 Personal Conduct of Employees (F.) 1. Employees must develop and demonstrate conflict competency skills, including: recognizing, understanding and acknowledging conflict; respecting the point of view of others; bringing conflict to the attention of the appropriate individual and working to resolve conflict when directly involved, in order to manage and respond to conflicts and disagreements in a positive and constructive manner to minimize negative impact, in keeping with the Integrated Conflict Management System Policy 103.229. (Emphasis added)
  • 32. 32 ICMS provides staff trainings  Basic course required for all staff for 6 years  Supervisors and managers have specific required courses  All staff - optional courses to develop conflict resolution skills  Trainings for work units about conflict management  Year: 9,000 – 11,000 training participant hours completed by 4,400 staff
  • 33. 33 Voices from inside: Officer Martin Heumann and Lieutenant Laurel Dinneen, staff who facilitate ICMS’s CRI processes
  • 34. 34 Critical elements that have made it possible for ICMS’s start and growth  Staff desperation        Leadership: staff with LONG term commitment, and warden Line staff initiative for line staff “On top of everything” work by staff Values-based Policy alignment Adding supervisors’ tool Training for all staff: required and optional, online and classroom
  • 35. 35 Challenges       Measuring impact – especially the more it becomes the New Norm Long-term resistors Ups and downs Each site has a distinct culture Corrections culture suppresses “needs” acknowledgement Persistence is required!
  • 36. 36 The New Normal  Hiring practices include conflict management questions  Conflict management skills, ICMS training and involvement = preferred qualification for promotion to lieutenant and above  Personal Conduct of Employees conflict competency responsibility to be reflected in all staff performance reviews  Staff at 3 facilities know Self Mediation  # of CRI’s ↓ and conflict coachings ↑
  • 37. 37 Workplace Conference A group conflict resolution process with  ordered speech where participants  focus on specific incident(s) and  formulate an action plan to resolve the situation and prevent future conflict
  • 38. Workplace Conference Demo 38 CoFacilitator Staff Staff Staff Staff CoFacilitator
  • 39. 39 A workplace conflict: practical jokes and exclusion
  • 40. Guidelines for circle discussion  Pass talking piece in one direction only  Speak only when you have the piece  No interruptions  Speak respectfully  Speak honestly/from the heart  Listen when others are speaking  Speak on the topic and as briefly as possible to make your point 40
  • 41. Talking Circle Separate Rounds: 1. Comments about the information presented? 2. How was using circle process for you? 41
  • 42. Other questions?
  • 43. 43 THANKS for your participation!